Author Topic: Do you lie too?  (Read 12534 times)

Norwegian72

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Do you lie too?
« on: June 13, 2014, 02:39:03 PM »
I freely admit it. I lie. I lie to colleagues, I lie to friends, hell I even lie to close family. It is a white lie for sure, or just being economical with the truth, but it's still a lie. We've done something stupid you see, and the truth of it must stay hidden, for it causes much grief and anguish. I never lived a very frugal life, my wife and I bought a house together many years ago, we got the fancy car, we went to exotic places, we even took the kids with us everywhere around the world. But for all this spending we've always hated living paycheck to paycheck, and we've always hated debt. So we agreed that there should always be money left over, not always month to month, but always in the long run, from year to year. If there wasn't money for a fancy vacation, well then we waited till next year. The foul deed happened last year, we had been preparing for some time and the end came quickly. We killed our debt.

Do you lie too?

gimp

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 03:16:00 PM »
Rarely. Too much effort.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 05:56:58 PM »
I freely admit it. I lie. I lie to colleagues, I lie to friends, hell I even lie to close family. It is a white lie for sure, or just being economical with the truth, but it's still a lie. We've done something stupid you see, and the truth of it must stay hidden, for it causes much grief and anguish. I never lived a very frugal life, my wife and I bought a house together many years ago, we got the fancy car, we went to exotic places, we even took the kids with us everywhere around the world. But for all this spending we've always hated living paycheck to paycheck, and we've always hated debt. So we agreed that there should always be money left over, not always month to month, but always in the long run, from year to year. If there wasn't money for a fancy vacation, well then we waited till next year. The foul deed happened last year, we had been preparing for some time and the end came quickly. We killed our debt.

Do you lie too?

Huh?

And no. Lies come back to bite you hard. If anything, I'm "too" honest.

Jack

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 06:48:30 PM »
No, of course not!

(Insert shifty-eyed emoticon here)

Pex

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 09:03:06 PM »
I am with you.  I respect my fellow Mustacians, and certainly honesty is the best policy...yet:

  • Neighbors see my wife and I, both senior IT professionals working for many years, yet living in a modest home.  They...suspect.
  • Friends and colleagues see us admire their new, shiny SUVs and luxury cars, yet we purchase used Hyundais.  And they wonder...
  • Family asks us to join them on cruise #214.  We have a pleasant staycation instead.  "Too busy this year!", we say...and they look at us with narrowed eyes.

Recently my wife retired.  She'll be 45 this year.

They were all shocked:"But she's so YOUNG!  When is she going back to work? You have bills to pay!"
"Never", she answers.

What happens when I retire in a year or two?

Someone will eventually put all the clues together, and then...our dirty secret will be exposed!

arebelspy

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 09:22:36 PM »
No.  I stopped lying years ago.

So glad I did.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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shadowmoss

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 06:01:51 AM »
I read Dune at an early, impressionable age (long befrore the movie came out).  In it was the concept of not lying, as that can be detected, but just giving out parts of the truth.  So, ever since I was 17 I do my best to not lie.  I just am selective with the truth.

little_owl

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 07:55:31 AM »
I am with shadowmoss, slective truth is better.

I specifically do not share broadly about my finances or FIRE plans.  There are only 3 people in real life that know about my FIRE goals, and I think that is good, so colleagues and neighbors can't rain on my parade or discourage me.

I "comiserate" even though I often have little to comiserate about..for example:
Neighbor: "We just booked another vacation...but we haven't been able to pay off our last trip yet, credit card bills suck."
Owl: "Oh man, I know, they are the worst!"

Which is totally true, but inside I am thinking, "why dont you save up first so you can afford vacation!!?" :). But, no one wants a financial lecture from their neighbor.

In other areas, I am pretty forthright and candid so lying doesn't enter mind.


arebelspy

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 09:19:15 AM »
Which is totally true, but inside I am thinking, "why dont you save up first so you can afford vacation!!?" :). But, no one wants a financial lecture from their neighbor.

Not lecturing someone is not the same as lying.  Keeping your mouth shut is one thing.  If they ask you though, be honest.

I highly suggest those that are in a habit of lying - even what you may call "little" or "white" give it up, completely.  Try it out.  Making your life genuine has amazing consequences, especially for happiness.

As Gandhi said:
Quote
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

lizzzi

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 09:34:20 AM »
I don't lie…but that doesn't mean I tell everything I know, either. I do keep the finances close to the vest. I've learned that when friends or family who are not as comfortable find out that we are in great financial shape, it leads to envy and jealousy. At least, I sense that from others…I could be wrong, but I don't think so. And with family, I feel that I've given them enough, perhaps too soon. So what I have now…and I'm ER and FI…belongs to me, me, me. I'm tied down with heavy caregiving responsibilities for my husband--and do not stint one thing on his care--but when he goes, I plan to enjoy myself and not hand over any more resources to family members.

arebelspy

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 09:40:30 AM »
Not lying doesn't mean you have to go spouting out information and telling everyone you know everything.

But yes, it means being open and honest if you're asked.

I agree with not giving more to family members than you'd like, but that's a separate decision.  I think you'll be much happier in the long run being genuine, open, and honest with them about your situation and why you won't or can't give them money than lying about your situation.

Even if they don't understand at first, or are angry, or envious, or whatever.

If you had been open and honest in the first place, for example, they may have adjusted and understood by now, and you'd be living a carefree, genuine life.

There will be those speed bumps/growing pains when you switch over.  People may not understand, because you have been lying, and now you're telling them something new.  But in the long run, I believe it's worth the trouble.

MMM wrote an article "Get Rich With: Good Old-Fashioned Honesty"

I don't care so much about the Get Rich part, but it has many other (more important) benefits, IMO.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

clarkm04

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2014, 09:54:30 AM »
I lie to my family.  They suck with money and would be totally ok in asking me for money if they knew my situation was much better than theirs.

I'm blessed that since they have newer cars and larger houses they think I'm poor.  Love the mirage!

little_owl

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2014, 09:56:11 AM »
Arebelspy, I like what you are saying.

I like to think I am pretty candid and honest, however I will say that at work, I am not honest about my #1 motivator right now - which is FIRE.  I have several colleagues that are either acquantices or actual friends, and I do worry that if word got out I am on a track to plug out in less than a decade, opportunities would be limited.  :/

Cpa Cat

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 10:01:43 AM »
I lie a little. For example, at work it's annual performance evaluation time. I am currently FI. I plan on quitting my job in 6-9 months.

But I still set "career goals" and ask for a plan for promotions, etc, as though I actually plan on being there in a year. I say that I will improve on my weaknesses - but really I don't care unless I feel that they will impact me in ER.

I certainly don't say, "Maybe you should go fuck yourself because I don't really need this job and it will take you at least 6 months to run me through the HR system and get rid of me." Even though I'm sometimes thinking it when particularly annoying colleagues bother me.

Lyssa

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2014, 10:08:21 AM »
I figured for myself that lying is not worth it 99% of the time. Not necessarily volunteering any kind of information but like arbelspy summed up "being honest when asked". No one has asked me yet "Do you plan retiring around 40?" or "Do you aim for a 75% savings rate?". People know that I save and that I invest. Likewise, I don't feign interest in cars, sports or 1.000 EUR purses. Surprisingly, I still can have conversations with my lawfirm collegues and are even still invited to barbeques and birthdays. Not to afterwork parties at the bar however since everybody is aware of my lack of interest. So, yes, honesty is possible and even "works".

I have no problem fighting fire with fire though. Meaning: when confronted with manipulative jerks or downright sociopathic behaviour I will lie and do so with a clear conscience.

Jamesqf

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2014, 11:33:33 AM »
Not lying doesn't mean you have to go spouting out information and telling everyone you know everything.

But yes, it means being open and honest if you're asked.

I wouldn't even go that far.  Some things (not just financial ones) are just nobody else's business, so if I don't feel like telling them that directly, I'll give them a selective and maybe misleading fraction of the truth. 

NinetyFour

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2014, 11:39:05 AM »
I agree with Jamesqf on this one.

warfreak2

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2014, 11:46:04 AM »
"I don't want to tell you" is also honest. Being honest doesn't mean not caring about your privacy.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2014, 02:43:54 PM »
We all lie.  The only thing that differentiates us is how often we do it, and whether or not we own up to our falsehoods.

Heck, our brains even lie to us, nytimes article.  We're hardwired to be somewhat less than honest at times.

Work is my personal weakness.  I make every attempt to be truthful with people closest to me.  The honesty is what makes those relationships so special. 

But at work I lie to smooth things over.  Constantly.  I play the games they want me to play.  Game A:  I'm always "busy."  Game B:  I want to always "do better."  Game C:  My 5 year plan is to <get promoted, finish a ridiculously challenging project, etc.  Game D:  I love everyone on my team and always want to support everybody. 

Etc.

We're complicated creatures.  I think it's OK to lie sometimes as long as you're not willfully manipulating people or being a sonofabitch in general.  I can already see a few other posters on this thread rolling their eyes and feeling superior to me, but so be it.  I'm human.  I have absolutely no desire to be perfect.

I will say that I'm as truthful as possible on these boards and my blog.  Being anon makes this possible.  I could not, for example, walk into my manager's office and tell him that what he perceives as a pleasant boss-worker relationship is a complete and utter sham, unless I had a bag over my head, a voice modulator, and platform shoes on to change my height.

As others have noted, offering the full truth to strangers is, in many cases, dangerous business and to be avoided.

Love the Dune answers btw. 

Edit:  Link format correction

arebelspy

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2014, 05:23:38 PM »
"I don't want to tell you" is also honest. Being honest doesn't mean not caring about your privacy.

Indeed.  "I'd rather not say" is a perfectly valid answer.

What benefit does lying get you?

In the long run, I'd argue it's only detrimental.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Nords

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2014, 08:08:57 PM »
As Gandhi said:
Quote
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
If Gandhi had grown up in Hawaii, the quote would have been:  "No talk stink." 

Or, as Miss Manners would say, "Politely change the subject."

Zamboni

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2014, 08:25:52 PM »
^ Those are all great.

Another response to uncomfortable questioning is to answer a question with a question.  For example, once at a party at my ex-boss's home, which was a a beautiful expansive property with a nice lake, a co-worker asked him (in front of us all)  "How much did you pay for this land?"
Smooth as silk the reply came "Why do you ask?  Are you thinking about making me an offer?"

And that was the end of that line of conversation.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2014, 08:42:20 PM »
This neuroscientist fella named Sam Harris wrote a short book called "Lying" and I found it to be quite profound, on so many levels. Sort of along the lines of what arebelspy has said above. It's a short book/long essay, and if anyone is interested, it can be found online for free if you have some decent google skills, or can be purchased as an ebook. The basic concept is that lies come with a cost and possibly unintended consequences, but that you really aren't doing anyone, or yourself, any favors by lying.

And with regards to full disclosure v. lying:
Quote
Deception can take many forms, but not all acts of deception are lies. Even the most ethical among us regularly struggle to keep appearances and reality apart. By wearing cosmetics, a woman seeks to seem younger or more beautiful than she otherwise would. But honesty does not require that she issue continual disclaimers—“I see that you are looking at my face: Please be aware that I do not look this good first thing in the morning …” A person in a hurry might pretend not to notice an acquaintance passing by on the street. A polite host might not acknowledge that one of her guests has said something so stupid as to slow the rotation of the earth. When asked “How are you?” most of us reflexively say that we are well, understanding the question to be merely a greeting, rather than an invitation to discuss our career disappointments, our marital troubles, or the condition of our bowels. Elisions of this kind can be forms of deception, but they are not quite lies. We may skirt the truth at such moments, but we do not deliberately manufacture falsehood or conceal important facts to the detriment of others.

Here is a blurb and an interview: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/12/27/harris-lying-book

Jamesqf

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2014, 12:23:57 PM »
"I don't want to tell you" is also honest. Being honest doesn't mean not caring about your privacy.

But that so often winds up with the asker taking offense. 

The incomplete truth even works when the full answer would be inconveniently long and philosophical.  As for instance, when asked (as I sometimes am) why I drive a 14 year old hybrid with a few dents in it, I could either wax long-windedly philosphical on how Mustachian it is (70+ mpg, next to nothing in repairs :-)), or I can say "I just like small cars, and couldn't fit the dogs in a Tesla."  - which is perfectly true, as far as it goes, and does tend to shut up the nosey ones :-)

Zikoris

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2014, 01:14:13 PM »
I haven't done this yet, but I fully intend to lie and say my boyfriend and I are married when travelling to certain countries in the future, complete with fake rings. Apparently makes thing WAY easier in places where unmarried men and women have all sorts of restrictions on them.

Norwegian72

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2014, 01:22:57 PM »
Sorry about the theatrical spin to the post, didn't come off all that well in retrospect. However, I appreciate all the responses. As for lying, I usually go for staying away from the subject, or not volunteering information. This is mostly in defense for people I do care about, but are not economically savvy and I know it's a touchy subject. So usally no direct lying, except maybe to real undesireables. I live in a strange country anyway. Just up until two years ago the entire world could check out each person's income and wealth in Norway on the internet. While details are not provided, you will get to know (anonymously) what each person pulls in over a year and the accumulated wealth (house included). The government has put in some restrictions finally (not least after episodes of criminals tracking down people of wealth), so now just the entire population of Norway over 18 can check each person's income and wealth (so far, still anonymously). So I can't really lie much about income if someone has done their homework. Working as a consultant does lead to "problems" if income doesn't match an employee's for instance.

sheepstache

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2014, 01:32:19 PM »
You mean having a creative approach to the truth?  Absolutely!  Not only is it a creative outlet, lying is a natural outcome of a society that is impatient.  Explanations that are easier to understand win out over the strict truth.  Finally, people who espouse the truth and nothing but the truth ignore the wide spectrum of outcomes and interpretations that result from how a story is told.

Oh, do I lie about money?  No, not usually. 

Obviously this is subject to a lot of confirmation bias, but I find that people who talk about money are more likely to be good with it.  Shyness about talking about it seems to be a reflection of shyness about thinking about it.  Those are the folks who put things on credit card and carry a balance, don't have investments, etc. 

True, some people never think about it because they're awash in plenitude, but I don't see the point in taking up the habits of such people just to give the impression that I'm in the same boat.  (I mean, unless I do want to give that impression.  Refer back to first paragraph.)

HSLmom

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2014, 01:52:52 PM »
I really dislike lying. If anything, I'm blunt. I do omit specifics from people who are just being nosey.  My job 'pays the bills' is my vague go-to answer.  But then I also will bluntly say 'I don't want to spend money on that right now" for vacations/going out to eat/buying things that are on sale or "we're not low income" when people are seeing if we need financial assistance, usually based on my car being old.

Zamboni

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2014, 09:05:20 PM »
Quote
"we're not low income" when people are seeing if we need financial assistance, usually based on my car being old.

Love this one. 

Dan Ariely has done many studies that show that most people lie at least a little bit, and that the amount of lying can be controlled by certain conditions which are interesting.  At the risk of posting a TED talk, here is a TED talk that addresses it:
http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_code
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 09:39:57 PM by Zamboni »

mozar

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2014, 09:27:32 PM »
Interesting thread. I don't lie unless you believe one can lie by omission. I drop tidbits here and there. I told my mom I might work part time some day. I told my uncle I max out my 401k. My uncle repeatedly has asked me how much I make over the years so he can compare to his kids. He asked my mom my income about 7 years ago. Since then I haven't told my mom or anyone in my family that I have had 10k in raises.  And I will never tell them my income again.
I did tell my dad my income a few years ago. When he asks me for money I say no. I won't even give him ten cents from my pocket.

I bought a house recently and when I was dumped I got a roommate. My family thinks I can't afford the mortgage by myself, I haven't corrected them.

For work I say nothing. They think I'm poor because I take the bus. They think I'm a weirdo introvert anyway so they don't ask me things.

Oh yeah and no one in my life except my ex knows that I paid off my student loans (135k). My parents bring it up every once in a while and I just say nothing.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 09:30:22 PM by mozar »

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2014, 08:58:30 AM »
Interesting thread. I don't lie unless you believe one can lie by omission. I drop tidbits here and there. I told my mom I might work part time some day. I told my uncle I max out my 401k. My uncle repeatedly has asked me how much I make over the years so he can compare to his kids. He asked my mom my income about 7 years ago. Since then I haven't told my mom or anyone in my family that I have had 10k in raises.  And I will never tell them my income again.
I did tell my dad my income a few years ago. When he asks me for money I say no. I won't even give him ten cents from my pocket.

I bought a house recently and when I was dumped I got a roommate. My family thinks I can't afford the mortgage by myself, I haven't corrected them.

For work I say nothing. They think I'm poor because I take the bus. They think I'm a weirdo introvert anyway so they don't ask me things.

Oh yeah and no one in my life except my ex knows that I paid off my student loans (135k). My parents bring it up every once in a while and I just say nothing.

geez man, that sucks that you can't share such good things with your own blood. Congrats on the accomplishments though. :)

sheepstache

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #31 on: June 16, 2014, 09:07:47 AM »
At the risk of posting a TED talk, here is a TED talk that addresses it:

HA!  I don't know why, but I laughed out loud at that.

mozar

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Re: Do you lie too?
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2014, 04:49:55 PM »
Thanks HairyUpperLip. I might come out of the closet some day.