Lying Is Bad for Your Relationship and Your Health

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We’ve told you before how “financial

 infidelity” can hurt your relationship, but did you know that lying can also damage your health? Find out more from YourTango:

You know how you make healthy New Year’s resolutions every year like “eat more broccoli” or “actually use my gym membership?” You might even make these resolutions before the new academic year picks up in September, or before your schedule gets more hectic in the fall after the lazy days of August. Well, this year, add a new one to the list: “Don’t tell lies.”

Anita Kelly, a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame, gathered a group of participants ranging in age from 18 to 71 and randomly divided the group in half. Half of the study subjects were instructed to stop telling any sort of lies. The other half, the control group, didn’t get any special instructions. Both groups came into the lab weekly to submit to a polygraph test about the number of lies they told that week and to answer questions about their health and relationship status.

“We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health,” says Kelly. Researchers found that the no-lies group not only reported feeling less tense and melancholy, but experienced fewer minor health issues like sore throats and headaches. Although the control group didn’t have specific instructions to stop lying, researchers found that during the weeks in which they told fewer lies, they also experienced fewer mental and physical health issues.

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