Has Lying Become a Part of Our Culture?

While getting coffee at It’s a Grind this morning in an attempt to maintain my Foursquare mayorship and Yelp Duchess title I had an interesting encounter. “Interesting” can be seen in a few ways. It’s either genuinely of interest or something that caught you off guard so all you can say is “interesting.”

The “interesting” scenario went as follows:

Me: Are you brewing the Hawaiian Hazelnut this morning?

Cashier: No, but we have your usual the Vanilla Nut. Do you want cream cheese on your bagel?

Me: Yes please, can you make it light?

Cashier: Light cream cheese? That’s funny. You’re ordering a flavored coffee and you want light cream cheese? Oh well. Nevermind. Just kidding. Hey, don’t get all mad at me. I was only kidding.

I’m a regular here. They know me by name. The cashier in question was the first to tell me that my nickname “Suki” meant likable in Japanese so yeah, we often joke around but when does a joke go too far? Are you really kidding? Of course the conversation could have purely been innocent but it left me wondering. Does he think I’m fat? Being a glutton for ordering a bagel with my coffee? There had to be some thought process for him to utter those words because he immediately took them back when he saw the look at my face.

Has “just kidding” become the new catch phrase? A savior from malformed or ill intention towards others? Haven’t we learned anything from our Mothers? If you have nothing nice to say, just don’t say anything at all. Or do we need a better internal filter for our thoughts before they turn into words that we immediately want to retract with a lighthearted “just kidding.” It’s almost as if lying has become a natural habit. A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? Somehow, the “just kidding” method allows you to air your thoughts and not feel guilty about them because the other person will never know you meant what you said unless they stop to think about it like I did.

Another time you might find yourself lying is during one of your friends carefully crafted jokes. They’re obviously excited about it and say something like “hey, you’ve gotta listen to this!” So you naturally brace yourself whether it’s funny or not. What happens when it’s all said and done and you simply say “oh yeah, that was pretty funny.” If it was, wouldn’t you have laughed? Even a little? The last time I checked a joke isn’t funny if it didn’t make me smile or literally LOL (laugh out loud). Speaking of which, how many times have you seen LOL, LMAO (laughing my ass off), ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing) or my personal favorite ROFLMAO? You laughed your butt off and you’re rolling on the floor? Seriously? I’d like to see that. Could you please YouTube that next time because honestly I don’t believe it. So why is it taken out of context? Are we too nice and can’t express what we’re feeling? Or are we comfortable telling lies and it’s just part of our culture?

After this morning, I’ve definitely become aware of situations I might have been compelled to say “just kidding” or misuse abbreviations like LOL or LMAO. Have you ever been stuck in a similar situation? How did you handle it? Or do you think I’m just crazy? That’s OK too. Just don’t lie to me. ;)

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  • Bruce

    Listen to the DJ’s and talk radio people: in order to work there way to a punch line, they fabricate some event or personal experience. I call them “radio lies”.
    What about the answering machine message we all hear? “Sorry to miss your call, we’re either on the other line or helping customers.” Right! It’s a one man operation and he’s out working.
    My industry, the mortgage industry, is a hotbed of lies. Homeowners have become accustomed to telling whatever lies they think will get them approved. Worse yet, they think I will lie for them. Not going to happen.
    Retailers? Politicians? The makers of consumer goods? All of them all the time.
    What to do? Take full responsibility for the information you use to make decisions. If you were lied to it is your fault because you didn’t check.

    • http://www.sukhrajbeasla.com Sukhraj Beasla

      Thanks for your comment Bruce and I agree with you. Lying has become a part of everyday life. I appreciate your thoughts. :)

  • Laker Fan

    It’s a Grind is my favorite and some of their stores do poorly. I like that location. The owner is nice and so are many of the baristas. I used to work for a competitor full time to make a living. I would not make a joke like that if I was serving you. It’s a weird joke but I doubt the person helping you thought you were fat.

    When I did work for the competitor, I was not friendly or chatty at all. The job was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. It was a very weird period in my life and I did not talk much in general. Is not smiling and chatting better than trying to make conversation, even if it is awkward? On the bright side, I made drinks and rung people up quickly and did not comment on their food and drink selections.