This is a guest post by Roman Soluk.

From a very young age, we are taught not to lie. Even if we fail to heed those early instructions, we tell the same thing our children: It’s bad to lie!

An average person lies approximately 20 times a day. Why do we lie?

Very often with the help of a lie people cover themselves to continue to occupy the position where they are right now. Here’s a simple example: your boss asks for your opinion about some of his policies. Maybe you don’t really approve, but are concerned that telling him will get you fired.

Or your friend has bought something new and asks your opinion. You say that it’s awesome, though in fact you don’t like it at all. You lie in order not to offend your friend.

The ability to decorate the truth can feel necessary for successful existence in society. A small lie can save you from quarrels with colleagues, loved ones, and others.

Kids often learn to lie from their parents. For example, you want your son to think you are the best dad in the world and lie to your wife that the vase was broken by a cat, though in fact your son did it. Doing so shows your son that such behavior can protect him in the future.

In general, there are a handful of reasons people lie:

1. To protect yourself, your interests and relationships. You fear that if you always tell the truth people will not want to maintain relationships with you.

2. To look better to people around you. You feel the need to lie about your achievements, your age, and more.

3. To protect others. Whether friends, relatives, loved ones, or strangers, you lie to not offend someone you fear would be offended by the truth.

4. To get something you want. Some people lie to achieve what they desire. You know you are a very good liar if your conscience allows you to sleep at night after that.

Lying can help to get rid of many unpleasant situations. But how do you feel when you learn someone lied to you? It doesn’t make me feel good when that happens to me, even if it was something small. Small lies can grow into big ones, making the situation more complicated. So, I avoid lying, and feel much better for it.

Always telling the truth can create difficult situations, but friends and loved ones desire authentic relationships and in the end would rather hear the truth than a lie, even a “white lie.” It takes mindfulness and leadership to pledge to not lie, but it’s worth the effort.

What do you think? Join the conversation with your comments…

Roman Soluk is the founder of a site full of articles on personal development, positive thinking, and life improvement.