The Difference In Lying And Deception

One of the questions I get most often is “What’s the difference in lying and deception?”  That’s a great question because the difference is a bit unclear due to the way people use the word deception these days.

The use and meaning of the word lying hasn’t changed much at all.  Sans the fact saying “I misspoke” after being caught in a bold faced lie, seems to lessen the harshness of the act.


Let’s start with deception.  Remember your uncle?  The one with the horrific combover?  He wasn’t lying to you and saying out loud “I Want you all to know I have plenty of hair up there.  Don’t look at it or anything… Just know it…”  He was just being a bit deceptive.  

He was presenting the world with this follicular atrocity he created, knowing the social contract we have all been abiding by since we were 5 or 6 years old will kick in and nobody will say anything or call him on it.

Another great example of deception is when guys see attractive women walking by.  We’ll suck in our guts, puff our chests out a little, and lower our voice, and try to look and sound cool for those 3 seconds.  “‘Sup girls?”.  Then everything falls back into place.  Guys reading this know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

THAT’S deception.  So what about a lie?   Again, let’s start with a low-scale, small-time lie.  Gentleman, please feel free to join me as I pretend to answer the question: Honey?  Does this dress make my butt look big?  –  “Nooooo.  Neeewwwwwww…”   Even when the answer is “yes”…  you say…  “no”.  Every time.

We all lie those little white-lies.  Why?  To keep the peace.  So you don’t hurt someone’s feelings.  To be nice.  That’s because socially & personally, you must lie.  You must get along with others the best you can at work, home, church, school, family get togethers, and everywhere else there are people.

And just like the little lie to your wife or girlfriend… there are consequences you would have to deal with if you told the truth.  Some big, some small.  Some would be forgotten fairly quickly, and some would be remembered for the rest of that person’s life.

I’m in no way saying lying and or deception are good and okay.  I’m just showing you the difference in the two.  In closing, it’s kind of like this:  A lie is a lie… and deception is Diet Lie Lite (Almost 3 calories less than a regular Lie).