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American swimmer Ryan Lochte has always been a bit of a goofball. Even though his 12 Olympic medals are an impressive feat, Lochte will now be remembered more for the lie he told Brazilian officers this past weekend when he fabricated a story with some of his U.S. teammates.
Telling police that the foursome was held up at gunpoint and robbed—with the perpetrator even pointing the gun at Lochte's forehead—the swimmer even went as far as to talking on video about the entire thing, only digging himself further into a hole that was now too deep to climb out of now that the truth has come out that none of it was the truth.
Since every man has been there before, we figured we'd give some tips on how to dig yourself out of a situation like this. Whether hiding details from your girl to your buddies calling you out for doing something you earlier denied, here's how to dig yourself out from under a massive lie.
5. Pull The Plug
Trust us, it would be a hell of a lot easier to just tell some other white lie that makes your original one more believable. Unfortunately, once you do this—even if successful—that only puts a bandage over the initial problem, making things even more sticky when the truth finally does surface.
What Lochte Should Have Done: Reports say he told his mom the story about the robbery first. Fine, leave it there and tell her later on that it didn't happen and move on. Instead, he paraded around Rio acting as if he was a victim.
4. Don't Make It About You
One of the most common mistakes us guys make when caught in our own lie(s) is turning it back onto the other person and trying to justify the lying. Things like "well, you would get mad if..." or "I just thought you would be upset if I told you..." usually spew from our mouths. Avoid this at all cost and stop trying to make yourself seem less like a prick. Stand up, own it and deal with the consequences.
What Lochte Should Have Done: For all intents and purposes, even after the swimmer knew he was lying, Lochte tried to make people think that he was the victim. Once the truth came out, it only makes him look more like a jackass—especially considering there was absolutely no reason to make something up in the first place.
3. Address It Immediately
For whatever reason, when in a lie, we never, ever talk about it—and we're all guilty of doing it—so it must be part of our subconscious or something. Rather than face the dilemma head on and deal with things, we overthink things and wonder what might happen if we were to tell the truth. As that happens, things only marinate in our minds and guilt sets in.
What Lochte Should Have Done: Ryan Lochte has too much of an ego to have address things in the moment, on the biggest athletic stage in the world. In that sense, I can understand his hesitance to tell the truth. Still, after running from Rio and leaving his teammate behind to fend with the police themselves, Lochte ran from the problem and only made it look worse for himself.
2. Be Sincere
It's one thing to apologize and try to convince the other person that you feel bad about it, but it's another story when you actually leave it all on the table and actually learn from the situation. Lies happen—both big and small—but when caught, it's important to take it as a reason to better yourself and leave the other person confident that they can trust you moving forward.
What Lochte Should Have Done: This is still to be determined. The news that Lochte made everything up was officially released today, so, as of post time, he had yet to give his thoughts. Chances are, he'll apologize and try to let his PR people deal with repairing his rep.
1. Apologize! Apologize! Apologize!
OK, so you've pissed everyone off and you're the biggest asshole on the planet. You knew this was coming and it's time to start damage control. This doesn't mean going out of your way and buying gifts for everyone or acting fake, but simply saying sorry, accepting the consequences and learning from the mistake. Really, it's all you can do.
What Lochte Should Have Done: An apology is bound to come from the swimmer soon. Ryan Lochte will issue a statement and people will move on. Sure, this will always stick with him, but, lucky for him, the Internet forgets faster than Usain Bolt running a race, so he's got that working in his favor.