Opinion: 20 lies we all tell ourselves… and others

by Hemenseter Butu

lies

Corruption in Nigeria should be eliminated: Oh yeah? How did you get your drivers licence in 2 days? Did you pay tax on the last revenue you received, though the government wasn’t aware? Abegi leave matter for Matthias

We do tell lies.

Sometimes we convince ourselves something we did by chance or habitually for a while and enjoyed has become part of us. Other times it is in a bid to fit in, or make ourselves feel better. Sometimes we are lying when we do so albeit unknowingly. Like Mark Mason says, we do this to “mortgage our long term needs in order to fulfil our short term desires”

Here are some of the lies we tell ourselves and others.

1. I don’t want anything to do with the PDP: It is a big lie. Your friend’s cousin’s dad is a PDP chieftain. He buys you drinks and invites you to parties occasionally and you attend and never grudgingly.

2. I don’t want to marry someone for her looks: Really? How come you’ve only fallen in love with cute, lovely and ‘shapey’ sisters. When the not so pretty fall for you, it’s always when you’re not in the mood to go into a relationship.

3. I don’t eat Indomie………anymore……..ok, just this once. LOL, need I say more?

4. I am not a bad person: My personal pick for the worst lie one can tell oneself. Thinking you’re a good person doesn’t make us good people. We’re only as good as our actions.

5. If I could help, I would: Yes you can help, just un-plug your phone so he’d jolt his phone’s battery to life, or split that little buck with that friend that can not repay you considerably.

6. I don’t know how to lie: Ooooooh! This one is usually told by those who are “professional liars”

7. Five more minutes: I’ve done this several times, repeated the phrase so many times I woke up an hour later.

8. I like Savage Garden, yeah me too: Wow, what’s your favourite song of theirs? Eeerrrrrmmmmm…….eeerrrmmmm……that eeerrrrmmmm (might not be Savage Garden, maybe TuPac, MJ, Lionel Richie or MLTR, you get the gist)

9. I’m not addicted to chocolate, PS4, Twitter, Facebook, my phone etc: You’re the only person in the whole world who thinks so. Every other friend of yours knows you’re an addict.

Now, let’s get a bit more serious

10. We need an out of the box idea for the company’s advert: Then someone finally offers that very creative idea that will send the company’s image and rating through the roof only to be met with the dismissal that often sounds like this “no that’s just impossible and crazy” or “it doesn’t conform with the image we’re trying to send out”

11. I am not motivated by money: When I went for an interview to be employed as a tele-sales person with The First Group in Abuja, my interviewer Mr. Brian Cohen asked me “Are you motivated by money?” I answered yes, though I had thought for a while what the right answer should be. We often say we aren’t but, oh, we so are. Right from trying to achieve that university degree; it is so we can make money with it. Simple.

12. Articulate oral skills, analytical skills, good interpersonal skills, attention to detail, ability to learn fast…blah…blah…blah…and so forth on our CV’s and resumé. Half of us don’t even know what we are saying, the other half are just lying out of their pen (teeth) but it’s on Chinedu’s CV so it should be on mine, and that justifies it all. We type it, smirking and nodding like an Agama.

13. I was too busy: No one is truly ever too busy to do important stuff. We’re too busy to read our Bibles and Korans, too busy to watch the news, too busy to visit friends, too busy to finish a day’s work in a day, too busy to reply IMs etc. Lies. This issue, sadly, can’t be over-flogged. Proper time management and planning and an outright end to laziness creates ample loads of time.

14. I have changed or else I would break up, or slap him or drive faster. For the past ten years of your life this has been a recurrent statement. If yes, then you’ve not changed. You’ve always been forgiving or a slow driver or…..blah blah blah. Again you get the point.

15. If I lived in the United States….I’d be great: Well, as much as I say this to myself a lot and I so wish this were true, Aliko Dangote in 2013 gave me 20 billion reasons why it mustn’t be true. Yes, opportunities abound across the Atlantic, yes venture capitalists wake up everyday seeking some bright chap to invest millions in. But all of us aren’t going to make it to Land of the Free, we might as well make our dreams come true right here.

16. I have never gone a day without my smart phone, or headset, or iPad etc…….except that time we went to Cameroon mountains and stayed for two weeks, and the other time NEPA went on strike, and…..aha! One thing truly amazing thing about humans is adaptation, we adapt quite quickly and with very little consequences also.

17. You’ll be OK: This is one of the best lies because we don’t know the future. But we need the morale boosting of this lie, the hope it offers. So we all like to hear it. Sometimes we say this to someone and it never becomes OK. My advice next time you’re in the same situation, repeat the words “you’ll be OK”. It works more often than not.

Finally, let’s get a bit more political

18. I wanted to go out and vote, but……: Bros! If you wanted to vote you would have. The quote “If you want to do something you find a reason to, if you don’t you find an excuse” has never fit any situation better

19. I want Nigeria to change: No, you don’t. If you did you’d ask your Uncle who’s a commissioner why he hasn’t fixed the road to Adikpo market. Or I would ask my friend who is a Doctor why they’ve never gone on strike to protest the law (if there is any) that prevents accident victims, and gunshot victims from being treated in hospitals without a police report (that takes hours to get) all in the name that they MIGHT be “suspected criminals”

20. Corruption in Nigeria should be eliminated: Oh yeah? How did you get your drivers licence in 2 days? Did you pay tax on the last revenue you received, though the government wasn’t aware? Abegi leave matter for Matthias

Truths we need to start telling ourselves will be coming your way soon

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Hemenseter Butu tweets from @Hembuts

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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