Would You Lie to Protect a Loved One?
All relationships with loved ones include the silent agreement that we would protect one another. However, would you even lie to protect someone you love?
Let’s start by saying that lying is unethical behavior but sometimes we still lie. It’s not unusual that people cover up for each other’s unethical behavior all the time. It’s enough to pay attention to the media’s reports on corruption and fraud. Most of the crimes include people who remained silent and/or lied to protect loved ones.
Why People Lie to Cover up for Others?
There are a few possible reasons why people cover up for each other. One reason is that we don’t want our loved ones to get in trouble due to unethical or even unlawful behavior. The other reasons might even include direct or indirect intimidation or bribery. Bribery is less common in close relationships with loved ones such as family members and partners but more common in relationships with others that we are not so close to. In these cases, you are making a decision not to report the unethical or unlawful behavior of a loved one.
Would You Lie to Protect a Loved One?
Maybe you have never been in that type of situation but if you would find yourself in a situation where the dearest person in your life committed something unlawful would you report them or cover up for them.
Some people won’t cover up no matter how much they love the person or how much they are afraid of or how much they would like to get the benefits in the form of bribery to themselves.
What Are The Qualities of Those Who Would Never Lie for Others?
People who would never cover up for a loved one even if that was their child are usually scoring high both on humility and honesty. If you are on the high end of these two traits you would be more likely to insist for your loved one to report the behavior and you would not cover for them compared to those who score low on humility and honesty.
Loyalty vs Morality
Often this is a battle between loyalty and morality. Those who have a strong moral backbone would not cover up for loved ones no matter the relationship or the value of the bribe. On the other side, some people are loyal to the point that they would compromise their values and moral standards. This is something that can happen to good people. These are not always the bad guys.
What to Do When Asked to Cover Up for a Loved One?
This is never an easy choice. No matter if we are ready to cover up or not, we are not comfortable with the fact that our loved one did something unethical or even unlawful. There is a lot of strength that one needs to have to stick to their values and the ethical behavior that they want to follow in life.
It can be tempting to engage in unethical but loyal behavior. This is a moral trap that a lot of good people will fall into.
It’s completely normal and desirable that we want to protect our loved ones but where is the limit? Do we have one? Often when we see the other person as a part of ourselves, it becomes difficult to reject covering up for them. Those who decided not to lie to protect a loved one are more likely to choose not to lie to protect themselves either. They value honesty and their behavior is in line with that value.
Protecting a Relationship
When you want to protect a loved one, you most likely want to protect the relationship too. If you decide not to cover up for a loved one, you might lose them and you might lose the relationship you have with them. They would never forgive you. If your loved one feels this way, it is difficult to stay true to your values when a close relationship with a child or partner is at stake. The closer the relationship, the harder it is to choose to stay true to your values and do the right thing.
It’s hard to find the line where you can preserve both a relationship and your integrity but trying to do so is always the right choice.