Pretending vs. Lying

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Difference between Pretending and Lying

Both pretending and lying are acts of deception which intended to mislead others. But lying is considered as an immoral act. Pretending or bluffing is a harmless act actually but lying stands as an act of disobedience which has its roots in one's childhood itself and grows to make a person a practised liar. In short, lying means falsehood. Let us now proceed to look into the differences between both of these terms. Just read further to know which of them possess consequences, which requires thinking, and what's the success rate associated with each of them.



Pretending is inbuilt and it persuades people to trust you without any consequences. But lying is nothing but utterly deceiving people which is done for some ulterior purpose and they have consequences. For example: consider that you are pretending to act like a great public speaker when you are not, in this case, you are just pretending to be good while speaking in public. So, in fact you are pretending to be a person who's not you and this has no consequences at all. Whereas, if you lie to your boss as to why you weren't able to make it to the office, even though you were at home with no work at all that is termed as an outright lie and has grave consequences.


Pretending to be someone is an inbuilt trait for which you need not think too much. For instance: If you are a silent chap and you want to show your friends that you are a courageous person, the next thing you do is, you start pretending to be a courageous person which in fact is not true, since you know that you are not what you are trying to be. 

In your childhood days, there would have been lot of issues like: you had an exam for which you weren't prepared well; in this case, what most of them do is they lie about being ill and so on.

Success Rate

Considering the success rate of pretending and lying, one can know that the success rate of pretending lasts longer than lying. Let us consider movie actors. They pretend to portray themselves as someone they are not but it earns them a substantial income. But consider a person who is lying. He gains success by speaking a lie and whose effect is momentary, since if the true fact is known the consequences can prove to be pretty bad.    

Similarities and Differences

  • Pretending does not have any aftermaths but lying surely has consequences which cannot be changed in any case. So, cooking up stories to prove your point is what is called as lying. If you get caught the consequences can prove to be pretty bad.
  • Pretending is an in-built feature which requires no thinking whereas lying needs some amount of thinking. Thereby, lying requires thinking till you become an expert in lying to others and to yourself.
  • Success rate of pretending stands longer compared to lying. You can pretend to be someone else or to possess certain qualities till you can pull off the act convincingly but in the case of lying the risk of your lie being exposed to the people around you is very high.

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