I have students who tell outrageous stories (lies), and manipulate situations to get what they want. Of course, part of it is that they have active imaginations, and they are only 6 and 7 years old. As entertaining as the stories may be, they do need to start realizing that their words/stories will have consequences. Just this year alone, I have been told that a student’s mother wakes her up in the morning by putting snakes in her bed, a child claimed she had gone to Disney World the day before…..Disney is 7 hours from us, and she hadn’t missed a day of school, “I got braces yesterday, but the dentist took them off again,” etc, etc, etc……. So many times I just have to tune out the stories, but they can be very entertaining!
These are funny coming from children, but when adults lie, make up stories, embellish, or manipulate, it isn’t cute anymore. There comes a time when we have to grow up and tell the truth. We all want to sound more interesting than we probably are. I have always thought I’ve lived a pretty boring life, until I talk to other people, and realize that through moving a lot, having a large family, and traveling, I’ve been able to experience some pretty awesome things, and my life has been very full and interesting. Maybe those who haven’t led particularly interesting lives feel the need to gain attention by lying or manipulating events and people. You know them…..attention whores.
I’ve known adults who thrive on drama, and with the drama, usually comes some sort of embellishment of the stories they’re relaying. I mean, I get it….they need to make it as interesting as possible to hold someone else’s attention. The longer they can hold an audience, the more likely they can gain sympathy, and let’s face it, they soak up any kind of admiration, no matter how they have to get it.
I guess my comparisons here have to do with maturity. It’s fairly common, and sometimes cute, for children to tell (and sometimes believe) big stories/fabrications. But there comes a time when everyone should outgrow this. We slowly start correcting them, and helping them to understand that they can’t keep telling falsehoods for attention, or to hurt someone else….these are the first ones in my class who accuse others of doing something that hurts them. These are the children who are busy talking, and when you call them out on it, they deny it’s them. You see it with your eyes, and you hear it with your ears, but they’re looking right at you, denying it’s them. I know we can try to channel this imagination into some type of creative writing, because they DO have great imaginations! It would be a shame to completely waste it as they grow up. However, some adults never reach that level of maturity, where they care about the consequences of their statements, or who they might hurt. I hear it nearly every day in the political world, and even those claiming to be of some religious faith, manipulating scripture to fit their agenda.
Everyone wants to have their way. Everyone wants to impress someone. Everyone wants and needs a certain amount of attention. But let’s try to do it honestly, without having to make up stories, manipulate, or embellish to satisfy our cravings for attention and sympathy. Be fair, objective, diplomatic, compassionate, cooperative, and honest! Leave the big entertaining stories for a novel or blockbuster movie, or just let the kids entertain us.