Sometimes, people exaggerate, and it’s often harmless and done for amusement. We’ve all heard of stories like the HUGE fish that got away! Most people who exaggerate don’t see it as lying. They may see it as a little white lie, but more often than not, they see it as only stretching the truth a little, to make their story more entertaining.
If a person embellishes or overstates a characteristic or quality of a person, situation, or object, it is seen as exaggerating. You may notice that someone exaggerates all the time, and it can become annoying. If it’s obvious when they are, you may find you don’t bother listening to their stories completely because you can’t believe them anyway.
Why Do People Exaggerate?
People who typically exaggerate want to compete with others. They always have it worse than you or better than you. Their mundane life experiences may appear boring to them, so they want to spice up their life to make their life look more appealing or interesting. They want to draw other people’s attention to their dramas.
Some exaggerate their skills and talents, such as in their job applications, to meet the required qualifications and stand out from the rest. In reality, they are expressions of their dreams or goals, driven by a desire for others to like and accept them.
Sometimes, it is a way of magnifying minor hardships to make it an excuse for avoiding responsibilities. Even successful people may embellish their successes, relationships, or their children’s achievements to minimize their shortcomings.
Many exaggerations are self-serving. They tend to mislead other people intentionally about the events that occurred, but they do it in such a way that will benefit them emotionally or physically. This is why many people consider exaggerating to be lying because they are a mixture of both truth and lies.
However, sometimes exaggerating (or stretching the truth) helps to stimulate the awareness of others. Those who exaggerate in this way cause the listener to become more engaged or absorb the information more effectively.
Most people are attracted to exciting stories because they are more compelling, and hearing the exact facts and details may not be a major concern for the listener, but the storyteller can still get their point across. In this case, exaggerating is used as an aid to transform something important that may otherwise be ignored.
Exaggeration Can Have Side Effects
People who exaggerate constantly are compulsive liars and are usually very insecure people. True stories or statements that are spiked by overstated or fabricated details can have undesirable outcomes. Those who intentionally exaggerate, or lie all the time, can cause social relationship problems. It is perceived by many as being morally wrong. Exaggerating is manipulating the truth and can damage the foundation of any relationship.
Exaggerating may seem harmless at first, but if done constantly, can also damage a person’s career and reputation. Most people find it hard to take them seriously and find it even harder to trust them. Exaggerators can turn into habitual liars and may eventually lose track of what they have said and to whom.
If they embellish stories about another person, it can damage both their reputations! They may be seen as a liar, or if believed it may hurt the other person’s identity. It can destroy credibility and can create doubt.
Another negative aspect of being an exaggerator is that many people don’t see them as being clever or funny, and eventually may not tolerate spending any time with them. So they can lose friends too.
If you or someone you know likes to alter the past, or details of your memories or current status to make themselves appear better, while it hurts you, let them know their little white lies are not warranted or wanted! Unfortunately, some people are fond of exaggerating, and cannot relay anything without some embellishment and fabrication.
For a more fulfilling and happy life, keep everything balanced and real. Don’t be tempted to habitually exaggerate or risk damaging your reputation by distorting the truth.