Protect Yourself…staying safe and healthy

When Is It Ok To Lie?

August 23, 2013

Never…Never… Well, Almost Never

Why Do People Lie?

People lie about their age, financial status, jobs, height, weight, marital status, etc.  They are pretending to  be something they are not…trying to impress.  They lie because they think they can’t get what they want by telling the truth.  What they don’t realize is that most people can see right through the lies.  And eventually the truth surfaces.    Doing a “google search” is quite simple, takes seconds, and reveals so much about a person.

Lying is prevalent in on-line dating.  Many people use it as a way to get more sexual partners, even if they are married.

Sometimes people lie because of the consequences they will face if they tell the truth; where they were last night?, how much money they spent?, were they with another woman or man?

There are chronic liars amongst us.  People who lie about almost everything.

It’s important to realize that the person right in front of you is not always who he/she appears to be.  If something doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.

I had the misfortune to meet a chronic liar.  I actually felt like I was losing my mind.  His stories did not compute.  Didn’t smoke…only smoked one or two a day, was quitting, was addicted to alcohol (the vodka bottles in the trash? he was cleaning out the basement).  Made sense to gullible me.  His lies always served to feed his ego.  I believe lying and cheating go hand-in-hand.  In this particular case, he was flirting at the bar when we went out under the guise of networking.  (He was networking, but for dates.)

If this sounds familiar, move on while you still have your sanity.  Where there is no trust, there is no relationship.

Is  A Little “White Lie” Ok?

What determines the difference between a lie and a “white lie?”  The difference is the motive. When you lie to protect yourself for some wrongdoing, that is one motive.  When you “massage the truth” to protect the feelings of another, that is a different motive.

“White Lies” are often used in response to the following type of questions:

  1. How old do you think I look?
  2. Is there really a Santa Claus?
  3. Why won’t you go out with me?
  4. What do you think of my new hairstyle?
  5. Do you think I’m pretty?
  6. Honey do these jeans make my butt look big?

We would probably be considering the feelings of the other person before we answered those questions.  I would venture to say that some of the answers would be “white lies.” (Please don’t tell me there’s no Santa Claus.)

A friend of mine uses an expression that I love called “honesty with compassion.”   I personally would describe this as the incomplete truth.  Focusing only on the positives.  No need to “slam” someone with a hurtful truth.  Such as Question #6.  You might respond that you like those jeans instead, of “They don’t make your butt look big, your butt looks big all the time!”

Dr. Phil recognizes “white lies” as something we all have engaged in.

Every lie has a consequence no matter how small, as we are lying to ourselves when we are not being authentic and totally honest.  Always strive for honesty in all communications.  (honesty with compassion, that is)


I honestly would like you to let me know how you feel about lying :).


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