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Lying is considered by many experts to be a natural human tendency. In the same way that children learn to walk, talk, and cry, we also learn to lie at a very early age.

The primary reasons people of all ages lie is to avoid punishment or get something they want.

Fortunately, as we grow older, we become aware that lying can have many painful consequences. Over time, we learn that we can get away with some lies while we can't get away with others.

Empathy - The Key to Lying

Lying is done through communication. As humans, we communicate in many different ways, both verbally (talking, sounds) and non-verbally (facial and body gestures).

Another important component of communication is the ability to empathize, or understand what another person might be thinking or feeling. Having empathy is necessary to lie, because you have to understand another person's thoughts and feelings to be able to make them believe your lie.

For example, a friend asks you for help with her homework, but you know she'll just end up talking about her problems. Because you understand that she values your friendship and don't want to hurt her feelings, you might tell a lie like, I'd really like to help you out, but I have chores to do at home.

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