Why So Many Gay Men Are Serial Liars
How many times have you seen this in someone’s personal online profiles: "No liars, flakes, or games please!"
Why do we lie, flake out, or play these mind games with each another? Are we hiding something truthful about ourselves, such as our age, weight, attraction to others, money earned, job, or, sexual orientation? Or, are we trying to keep others from being hurt if they were to hear the clear and honest truth?
Why, in short, do gay men lie or become dishonest so easily? How many times does any one of us have to be lied to or, "get played," before we finally yell, "Stop it!"
"Nearly any adult will tell you that lying is wrong," Jenna McCarthy wrote in "Truth About Lying" on the magazine Real People’s website. "But when it comes to avoiding trouble, saving face in front of the boss, or sparing someone’s feelings, many people find themselves doing it anyway."
But why do gay men in particular lie so frequently? Why can’t we tell someone that, although flattered by his intentions, we’re not attracted to someone? Are we really trying to avoid hurting feelings or simply trying to avoid an uncomfortable situation for initiator of the lies?
Feigning interest in someone and then never calling him back is an epidemic in the gay world. So is making a date with someone while having grave doubts that we are really attracted to the other person. Is this pattern of lies all about saving face and trying not to hurt someone’s feelings (whose feelings get hurt in the end anyway)?
For an upcoming book project, I have been studying how gay shame affects communication between gay men in social settings. I’ve found that many gay men have lived secret lives of shame, hiding their true sexual orientation from others based on fear of possible rejection and familial and societal ostracism. Therefore, lying has become something we have become very able to do but, not without its consequences to our own emotional well being and the same for the others with whom we interact.
When you are about to tell a lie, first ask yourself: How would it feel to have to lie or be dishonest with someone who wants something from you whom you are simply not desiring or willing to give? Or, how does it feel to be lied to from someone you trusted or wished to trust?
When was the last time you arranged a meeting only to have the date postponed, even at the last minute, due to work commitments or other priorities? Or when had someone done that to you?