How BIG are little white lies and WHY do people tell them?
By Cinse Bonino
Liar - Liar - Pants on fire! Fibber! Nobody likes to be called a liar. But, should people ALWAYS tell the truth? Do you?
Do you think that SOMETIMES you HAVE to lie? Do you believe that little white lies don't hurt anyone?
Hmmmmmmm? Are you sure?
Does it make you nervous when someone starts a sentence with Honestly . . . or Listen, I'm telling you the truth . . . or says, Hey, I wouldn't lie to you . . .???
Why DO people lie?
I'm not talking about those BIG lies. Lots of people lie, because they are greedy or mean or want to get away with something. That's not the kind of lie that I mean. I'm talking about those so-called little white lies -- why do people tell those? To be nice. I bet that's what you are thinking. People tell little white lies so that they don't hurt someone's feelings. They are just trying to be nice. Just trying to spare someone.
Bullfrogs! Balderdash! Kaka! Simply NOT true. Oh sure, that's what they say. They SAY they are lying to protect someone else, and they might even believe it. BUT, what they're really doing is trying to protect themselves.
That's why people lie -- to protect themselves! Yes, even when they tell those little white lies. Think about it. Let's say your friend asks you if you think her new haircut is cool. You don't. You think she looks like the dweeb-from-Mars, the weirdo-from-wherever, BUT you lie. You say it looks kind of cute.
Go ahead explain to me that you didn't want her to feel badly. It's probably true; you didn't want her to feel yucky, BUT underneath that feeling probably lurks the fact that YOU don't want to be THE ONE who makes her feel awful. YOU don't want to be THE ONE that watches her face when YOU tell her that she'd better run right out and get a new haircut, cause she looks sooooooooooo bad!!!!
Wait, hold the phone, you DO NOT need to tell her that she looks like the bride-of-Frankenstein. You should tell her the truth though. You could find a way to let her know that you think that this hairstyle doesn't show how pretty she really is. That this haircut hides her best features. Find a way to tell her the truth without coming down on her so HARD!
BUT TELL HER THE TRUTH. Come on, she is your friend. Be honest.
And one other thing. If you lie once, just once, people will never know if you are telling the truth the next time.
Uh oh! GLITCH ALERT! Some people DO ask how they look and ONLY want to hear good stuff. Some people WANT you to LIE to them. BUT does it truly help them? Does it truly help you? NO!
You end up feeling badly that you lied. You feel on edge because your friend might eventually find out that you DIDN'T tell her the truth. AND you aren't being true to yourself. Would you rather be known as the girl who always agrees -- no matter what she really feels OR the girl who ALWAYS tells the truth? The one who calls it like she sees it. The one you want to hear the truth from, cause she's NEVER mean or judgmental or makes fun of anyone.
And one other thing. If you lie once, just once, people will never know if you are telling the truth the next time. Sure you can swear that you are telling the truth, but how do they know that you are telling the truth when you say THAT? If someone lied to you, and you found out, would you believe them the next time?
Most people believe that they should tell the truth about important stuff. BUT something that is important to you might not matter to them at all. How will you know? Simple. Tell each other the truth -- always. That's how you build trust. That's how you build friendships.