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by Jennifer Brown Banks

(The Ultimate Image Killer)

I may be in the minority here (no pun intended), but dishonest people really diminish my regard for them. To be quite candid, they make me wanna’ scream!

I’m not talking about the guys that try to help you feel better by not ‘fessing up that your butt really does “look big” in those jeans! I’m not talking about women who “round down” when revealing their age. Or the folks who strategize and tell tales to prevent you from discovering your surprise birthday party is being planned. I’m not even talking about lies of omission (except, of course, when a guy lies about having a wife). Now, that’s a real no-no!


I’m talking about people who deliberately or maliciously mislead; or those who lie to give themselves an advantage financially or emotionally; or those who lie simply to impress others; particularly people who make lies a way of life.

Ironically, what these real life “Pinocchios” don’t realize is that many times lying has the opposite effect than what they intended. When the tale is uncovered, (which most times it is), they look even worse than if they had told the truth from the start!

I’ll give you an example.

The other day, I was talking to a client of mine, who gave me some contradictory information. Since I wanted to believe that the inconsistency was a simple mistake on my part, and not hers, I checked her records. Sure enough, the sister had lied! And it was totally unnecessary. I can’t go into great detail here, because I’m sure that some of my business associates may read my column. (Or maybe I’m just flattering myself). In any event, it really bothered me.

Now, here’s a woman who on the surface seems to have it all together. She has a Master’ s degree, speaks eloquently, is polished in her appearance, and comes across as very friendly. Now, I must admit, I think a little less of her. Not to mention, it affects my trust. If she lied about something so small, will she lie in big matters as well? Can I believe her when she says, “the check is in the mail”?

The situation also brings to mind a situation that happened many years ago along the same lines. A guy I was dating, who treated me like a queen, lied about what he did for a living. Months after going out with him, I discovered that he really wasn’t “self-employed”, like he originally said, but rather “unemployed.” It was a real image killer in my eyes.

In the movie LIAR, LIAR (with Jim Carrey), we see an attorney, Fletcher Reed, who has built a successful career out of manipulating the truth. Until one day his son, Max, makes a birthday wish that his father not tell any more lies for 24 hours. The story line makes for a hilarious script! But in real life, deception is not so funny.

Here are a few things that typically happen in the midst of lies:

» Somebody usually gets hurt.

» In business matters in can affect your “bottom line.”

» In dating and mating it destroys trust.

» It causes stress and anxiety for those who have to remember the specific details of the lie.

» It’s time consuming.

» It insults others’ intelligence.

» It can have legal consequences. (See the daily news of the antics of some of our politicians for details).

Here’s a better way to operate: If someone asks you something that is inappropriate or intrusive (like when a visiting co-worker asked me how much my house cost), just take the fifth. Or a 5th of gin, if it’s more palatable to your personality!

Here’s a poem I wrote on the topic, many years ago:

The trouble with lies
Is that they’re breeders of pain
And tremendously exhausting
In their demands
To be maintained
© Jennifer Brown Banks

Here’s hoping that you walk in truth, prosperity and peace! Until next time…


Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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