This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
1, scene 3, 78–82
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius’s shared this counsel with his son Laertes, who was departing on a journey. It is wise counsel to us all. As I follow the growing research in medical sciences, it becomes more apparent that dishonesty with others, has a greater impact on our own health. In neuroscience, it has been documented that even the very organization and process of the changing brain is intimately connected to the truths and falsehood we personally embrace.
Lies stem from fears. It orbits a deeply rooted insecurity created from the dialogue we share with ourselves. The false statements such as “I am worthless” or ” I am not important” are planted by primary support authorities when we were children, and they reside close to the center or seat of the pathology. Over time, we coat this falsehood in added layers , with what we believe to be “our evidence” , from how we are treated, how others react to us or how we expect others to regard us. This leads us to a desperate course of snatching any available opportunities to “feel a moment of gratification” at the expense of honest and just means. We find ways to meet our immediate needs like a homeless child, stealing candy from a candy store when we could not afford the costs. Under intense judgement, we grow up and learn whatever we have to in order to avoid the punishments attached to our wrong actions. Over the course of years, we will either look inward and unravel the lies that bind us, or we will continue our journey to become skillful in obtaining what is not ours, by whatever means necessary. We do this while we find that particular means to avoid judgement and criticism of those “righteous people” who dare to ‘ look down on me’. We steal, and rationalize. We injure, and redirect blame. But avoiding truth and living in the denial of our core negative self regard, always catches up with us. We are funny that way. Sometimes we think it is better to go on living with our lies, despite the snowball of growing consequences, than to to just own our lies and confront them as needed. Just because we have injuries from our past, does not make our distorted “view of self” true. We just make it true. We live to fulfil it in full without considering its impact.
Well, I was not planning to dissect this pathology of our mindset, but there it is.
Recently, I have read articles about uncovering lies.
One way in which we are not even conscious, is how it affects our handwriting. See the following.
Lying affects the way we write
..This study shows that the system can identify when participants have written the truth and when they have lied: For example, the pressure exerted on the page when the participants were writing false symptoms was greater than when they were writing about their true medical condition.The regularity of the strokes when writing a lie,reflected in the height and width of the letters, was significantly
different from the regularity of the strokes when writing the truth.Differences in duration, space and pressure were also found in false writing. The researchers were also able to divide the types of handwriting into more distinct profiles (very small or large handwriting, etc.) and to find other more substantial differences associated with each writing profile.
According to the researchers, when a person writes something false, cognitive load is created in the brain
and this load creates competing demands for resources in the brain, such that operations that we usually perform automatically, like writing, are affected. They added that the current study found that false
medical information in “laboratory conditions” creates cognitive load that enables the computer system to identify changes in handwriting, and it can be assumed that in a natural situation, together with the need to lie to the doctor, the cognitive load would be even greater.
Here is an interesting article on clues about lying.
How To Tell If Someone Is Lying: The Tell-Tale Signs
- TV shows and folk wisdom have suggested commonly held beliefs for spotting lairs, but the truth is they’re not always accurate
- A liar will tend to give too much information and they often struggle to
repeat their original performance if asked to recount the events in
- liars tend to avoid “I” statements and use third-person pronouns like “he” and “she” instead.
- people who are speaking honestly will maintain eye contact for about 60 percent of a conversation. When one lies, they work at keeping eye contact
- so as to appear honest.
- A lliar will often engage in more eye contact without much blinking.
- Liars will subconsciously point their feet towards the exit of the room.
- A smile often surfaces from the liar when they think they’ve successfully deceived you.
- Often they nod their head while denying or shake their head while agreeing.
Let us agree make it a regular habit to review our “self talk” the next time we find our words are not ringing quite true.
Our integrity and health depend on it.