Joka van Wijk


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Blog  >  Can lying be good for you?

Can lying be good for you?

I noticed this morning that somebody has discretely changed the lettering on the Barclays bikes. It made me laugh and also think about how we all, at times, can be a bit economical with the truth.

We lie to others in order to make ourselves look better or our stories more interesting. We tell little white lies so as not to hurt anybody’s feelings and that often includes our own. I am sure most of us have tried to convince ourselves another cupcake would not be such an unhealthy option after all.

Lies are not necessarily unethical when the motives behind it are intrinsically good. Telling a lie, or being tactful can maintain healthy relationships or even save somebody’s life.

However can being dishonest with ourselves be beneficial too? ‘Psychology Today’ suggests that there are psychiatrists who believe that people who are depressed don’t delude themselves as often as their non-depressed peers.

Most relationships though will benefit from being honest with each other and working through differences can bring people closer together by offering understanding. Furthermore it is important to consider that by avoiding the truth we can also avoid responsibility and accountability.

Here is a little exercise that through twisting the truth a little might help you to feel better about yourself.


Make sure you are sitting comfortably and take three deep breaths. Letting go of tension and closing your eyelids, so you can become more aware of your breathing and of yourself positioned in the chair.

Imagine you are looking at a situation where you usually feel uncomfortable, like you are watching a little film with yourself in it. This can be a specific situation like a job interview or a social event. Or it can relate to how you are feeling generally at the moment.

Now imagine that you are the director as well as the lead actor and that you can begin to change this little film a bit and make it more positive. You can give instructions to yourself as the actor to act more confidently, be more assertive or more active. You can change the setting or make it brighter.

Now watch the little film again and you can adjust the details until you feel comfortable with it and notice how your feelings change.

Topic: Confidence