- Tuscaloosa US-AL
- [email protected]
Short Term Goal: Obtain a Bachelor Science degree from The University Of Alabama in Food and Nutrition
Long Term Goal: Become a Clinical Dietitian close to my hometown
September 18, 2012
“The Ways We Lie” Response Paper
A lie is any false statement or action intended to deceive, or gives a false impression. In her essay, “The Ways We Lie,” Stephanie Ericsson discusses societies growing problem with lying, and ten different forms of dishonesty. Ericsson’s use of personal and specific examples support the conclusions she forms about lying. Her thoughts shed light on how often we actually do lie and if any form of lying is justifiable. Ericsson’s paper directly relates to my life in that not only have I been guilty of lying myself, but I witness it on a daily basis.
First off, Ericsson begins with discussing “white lies”. She describes a white lie as a “harmless untruth” that will do less damage than the truth. We have all told a lie like this before at some point. For example, this morning my roommate asked me if her outfit looked ok. Despite the fact that I did not like it at all, I told her that it looked cute. However white lies also have a down side. My roommate was now going to be walking around campus in an outfit that did not look good. Even though I didn’t hurt her feelings by telling her the truth, she thought she looked cute when she really did not. Therefore, there are consequences both ways. As Ericsson exclaims in her essay “Its an act of subtle arrogance...”, because it is not our place to decide what is best for another person. In this passage Ericsson captures both the pros and the cons of telling a white lie. In turn, this directly relates to my experience with my roommate, and creates an accurate perception of white lies.
Furthermore, Ericsson discusses the characteristics of “facades.” She explains them as a tool used to “seduce others into an illusion.” My ex-boyfriend often put up facades. He would act like he loved me so much and he would never do anything to hurt me. I later found out, however, that he had not been very faithful to me. Needless to say, I ended that relationship. This is similar to the situation Ericsson describes about her “former friend”. People that use facades always know “the right words” to make you fall into their trap. In her case, her friend made her believe he would make an adequate business partner. In my case, my ex-boyfriend made me believe he would be a loving faithful boyfriend, but when it came down to it their real personalities were revealed. We all put up facades weather we do it to intentionally to be deceitful, or just to “obey the expectations” of society.
Furthermore, Ericsson analyzes the effects of her fourth type of lying, “deflecting.” She describes this technique as being “selectively blatant.” In other words, you are very up front and honest about some things but if there is something you want to hide you avoid talking about that subject. I have had experience with is multiple times in my life. For example, in 6th grade I got a C on my progress report. I knew my my parents would be mad about it, so I told them the teacher just miscalculated the grade and she would fix it for me later. After that, every time school or grades got brought up I would change the subject because it would make me feel guilty and I didn’t want them to find out that I lied. Likewise, Ericsson uses the relationship of a bully and their victim to reflect deflection. Usually the reason the bullies are the way they are is because they get made fun of themselves. In turn, they “deflect” this behavior onto other people. Ericsson describes it perfectly in her quote: “I have learned that the real culprit is not necessarily the one who swears the loudest.” In essence, she accurately exemplifies her definition through her examples and directly relates to my life.
Moreover, Ericsson analyzes “ignoring the plain facts.” This form of dishonesty can be explained by a person intentionally disregarding a key factor about a person or in a situation. After giving an example that demonstrates the negative outcomes of this form of lying, she concludes that: Even though ignoring the facts may not be legitimately lying, it still conveys “a false action done with the intent to deceive.” Personally, I have not had not experience with ignoring the facts to the caliber of the example Ericsson uses, but I have been effected by the consequences of other people’s ignorance. In high school, my basketball coach did not do his job. As a result we always had a losing season. Instead of firing him, he got the job as the athletic director just to get him out of coaching basketball. Although this is not directly lying, the act is still deceitful.
Next, Ericsson discusses “Omission”. She states that “Omission involves telling most of the truth minus one or two key facts...” For example, I told my mom that I did well on my chemistry test, but I left out that I forgot to turn in a homework assignment. Therefore, she thinks I have a wonderful grade in that class, but in reality it isn’t too great. Even though I didn’t lie I wasn’t completely honest, and what I left out would have changed her reaction completely. Likewise, Ericsson examines “stereotypes and cliches” and “groupthink.” Both of these are a spin off of omission. As the author explains, they are both composed of a combination of “exaggeration, omission, and ignorance.” Being blonde headed, of course I have dealt with the “dumb blonde” stereotype. As far as groupthink goes, Ericsson describes it as a sense arrogance. Like when my gymnastics team lost because we thought we were too good to lose so we ignored the fact that if we didn’t do our best the other team would win. In essence, Ericsson’s perception of omission, groupthink, and stereotypes accurately relate to my personal experiences.
Ericsson’s next topic is “out-and-out-lies”, in other words a “bald-face lie”. This type of lie “does not toy with perception- it argues with it.” When I was little and did stuff to make my mom mad like making a mess, or breaking something I would lie and say my sister did it. It worked out for a while until my sister was old enough to understand what was going on. In this passage Ericsson relates this lie with little kid, which again parallels with my example of my sister and I.
Lastly, Ericsson discusses “dismissal” and “delusion”. I strongly agree with her that these types of lying are extremely “powerful.” She goes as far as telling the reader that dismissal can lead to “mental disorders.” These forms of dishonesty both use “the dismissal of reality.” Instead of seeing the truth they convince themselves of a false actuality that is better than reality. With dismissal and delusion you have to your own judgment to know when things have gotten out of control. For example, when I was growing up I would l tell my mom that I was scared, or I was hungry, and if it wasn’t a big deal she would just reply “no you aren’t .” Of course when I was little it would persuade me to forget about my problem, and believe that I was ok. However, when this technique gets out of hand is when it leads to the “mental disorders.”
Overall, Ericsson’s essay achieves her goal of giving her audience a better understanding of lying. Her work sparks your thoughts and makes you form your own opinion of lying. Not only does it relate to my experiences, but to everyone. Like Ericsson says: “We lie.” “We all do.”
Martin’s, 2004. 120-129. Print.
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I will work my hardest to provide my patients with adequate advice concerning their diet in a way that is beneficial to them. Also, I will both promote, and be and example of a healthy lifestyle.
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