Little White Lies

January 28, 2014

admittedly, i have a great affinity for little white lies.  i tell them believably, i wouldn't say often but often enough that the thought occurred to me just how good i am at them.  heck, i'm an only child who pretty successfully blamed the bad things i did on the dog.  poor crystal.  it's a skill i've really honed over the years and while some people just have no poker face, i doubt you could ever tell when i'm lying.  some lies, like the fact that i'm allergic to cherries, are so deeply ingrained that i now believe them myself.  i guess i picked an ideal career, huh?

now it's not as though i tell some life altering lies like pretending to be a doctor or faking a major illness.  it's more like... i claim to have plans when i really just want to avoid someone or sit on my couch all night and watch netflix.  and i know i'm not the only one who does that.  (though, the older i get, the more likely i am to just say 'no, i'd rather hang out with my dog.'  feelings be damned.)  or if i don't want to eat something, i tell people i'm allergic to it.  this is my favorite little white lie.  i'm not actually allergic to shellfish, but people put up less of a fight to try to get you to eat it so i just tell them i'm allergic instead of 'seafood smells like death, why would i put that in my mouth?'  i'm also allergic to cherries, energy drinks, kale, and licorice, to name a few.  my close friends (like john, tara, betsy) are aware of that this is a lie and just laugh.  but i still say it, every time.  it's just easier.

everyone does it.  it would be hard not to.  you do it every time you're nice to your evil in-laws.  you do it every time someone shows you horrid wedding photos and you tell them the bridesmaids dresses were so pretty.  you do it when you tell someone their cooking is the best ever.  hell you do it when someone says 'how are you/things?' and you say 'fine, you?'  so i'm still on the fence about whether or not i consider this a bad characteristic.  because i really was going to title this post 'my worst trait' until i thought more about it.  miranda lambert's song makes it sound pretty evil, but i actually tend to think that being a (skilled) white liar is a good thing.  i spare people's feelings, everyone gets what they want, and it just all around promotes efficiency, let's be honest.

or maybe it is my worst trait and i'm just blind to it.  but i really don't see the point in telling a bride that the bridesmaids dresses she picked were actually horrible and they'll never wear them again.  who benefits in that scenario?  it's not like she's about to do her wedding all over again.  we're definitely taught that lying/liars are bad, but if i say 'yeah you picked nice dresses, they're pretty' does that make me a bad person?  i certainly have a lot of bad traits but i'm struggling to see how that's one of them.  unless there's just some secret nice way out of that situation that i should be taking up instead.  until i figure out what that is, i guess i'll keep embracing my little white lies.

what about you - can you tell those little white lies or can everyone read you like book?  or are you solidly in the 'honesty is the best policy' camp?

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49 comments

  1. Girl... I'm the same way! I just can't be honest and hurt peoples feelings. It's kind of a lose lose situation sometimes!

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  2. I always say I'm allergic to tomatoes because I cannot stand when they put them on a sandwich even when you say no tomatoes...like even if there's a seed left on my food I won't eat it. Totally easier than explaining all of that to some poor waiter

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    1. People sometimes eyeroll when you say you don't like something and either forget or just don't care. You say 'allergy' and they never forget it! I have a giant allergy sticker on my medical charts now because I hated cherry jello as a kid but the hospital staff kept bringing cherry. Hence the beginning of my cherry allergy.

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  3. I dont think honesty is always the best policy. sometimes people dont need to be bruised just to avoid unnecessary madness. like the bridesmaids, she obviously likes the dress so just go with it.

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  4. hahah i hate all seafood! it does smell like death? i don't like cheese, so i tell people i'm lactose intolerant. it avoids the whole gasping-whatiswrongwithyou thing.
    laurenofthedoxey.blogspot.com

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  5. Interesting question...as for your allergies, ha! I mean I hate sushi and all my friends know this but every so often I end up at a sushi restaurant. It's just as easy to go with the flow as it is to tell a lie isn't it? I mean I end up getting some sort of chicken teriyaki dish (which I don't love) and then it's no sushi for another 6 months. Instead of lying about horrible bridesmaid dress I'd redirect to something I did like. Like, wow, your veil was stunning, or your bridesmaids hair looked fabulous. Now I'll get off my soap box because I've been known to tell a lie or two myself but these one's seem easily avoidable. Nothing in moderation is bad :)

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  6. I am the master of little white lies. Is this something I should be proud of? LOL

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  7. some white lies are needed thou... the bridesmaid dress is the best example...what about when you have to buy it and wear it? Just smile and say you like and wear it for a couple of hours then donate it!! little white lies are fine.... i too tell them with ease...when it benefits me and others around me...mostly me :)

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  8. I use my white lies more than I should admit; even in stupid times when I really don't need to... It's a curse but I've accepted it.

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  9. Hmmmm I probably use white lies too often. I just hate the idea of (potentially) hurting someone's feelings! But I really think there are worse things than not being honest all of the time... I'll have to think about this one.

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  10. haha I've said a few times that bridesmaid dresses are pretty when I secretly curse them. :)

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  11. when you have a kid, white lies become the norm. "what do you mean you don't like school? SCHOOL IS AWESOME!" . "math is so amazing - you learn so much". "no, you can't have that dessert. it's actually not that good". so easy when you have a kid LOL

    kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  12. I totally do the allergic to shellfish thing. I hate a twenty minute lecture on how shrimp are delicious. They're not. The fact that you have to pull out their poop vein before eating them makes me never want them, ever. I am fine with white lies on little things for the sake of time, but on bigger things, or when I should lie unexpectedly, I turn bright red and my face gives me away. It sucks!

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  13. 9 times out of 10 I will tell someone I'm busy or sick so I can stay at home and watch a movie with walter. what can I say? I'm a homebody and I love me some puppy snuggles.

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  14. no shame in being a good white liar. I like to think I'm great at it too. I can lie to anyone about anything, but like you it basically all comes down to me just wanting to have a quiet night in than a wild night out.

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  15. I'm in honesty is the best policy camp not because I am offended by white lies but just because it's easier for me to remember the truth. So when the baby isn't cute I will say the outfit is or just "well look at this baby!" and if the wedding is hideous I'll say "I hope your day was everything you dreamed it would be." I just avoid the thing that is hideous.

    I will also just say no thanks instead of making an excuse as to why I don't want to do something. I need to sit on my couch with my dogs. The End.

    I do lie to strangers to get them to leave me alone, and then those are huge whopper lies not little white ones.

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  16. I seriously think I want to adopt your "I'm allergic" excuse. I love it!
    I have to share something. I popped over here because I read a comment you posted on someone else's blog. You were so honest that I had to give you a virtual high five. I notice many times bloggers will seemingly blow smoke up someone's ass instead of questioning anything...you, on the other hand, went against the grain and spoke up. I respect that (especially when you were literally one of two that said anything contrary to the original poster). Then to come and read this post?! You're genius and I think I love you...in a totally platonic way, because I'm married and all.

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  17. I have told white lies about little things, usually about plans or food but never about the big things. I hate hurting peoples feeling so I will err on the side of caution.

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  18. I definitely have lied about the bridesmaid dress thing. And I lie about having somewhere to be early the next morning if I want to leave an event. And yesterday I lied about bringing my own lunch because I wanted to sit by myself and read.

    Wow... I lie more than I thought.

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  19. hahahaha totally reminds me of the Sex and the City episode where Berger blows up on Carey about lying about the parsley allergy....sometimes it is just easier saying that then getting into why you freaking hate it and don't want it on your plate! :-)

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  20. I'm kind of in the middle on this issue. On the one hand, sure, a few little lies like the ones you mentioned aren't really a big deal. People tend to take things personally if you tell them you just don't like something (for me it's nuts, also seafood, anything shortbread-ish...), but if you're "allergic", well, oops, I'm sorry, I'll make sure to have something you CAN have next time, so why don't you put in a request? Like you said, easier than just saying you don't like it and potentially hurting feelings/offending or whatever.

    But then the trouble with lies, even little ones, is that once you start to justify them, it becomes easier to lie about other things. "I mean, the TV was only $100 more than I said, and we can afford it anyway, so like, really it's not even that big of a deal and he doesn't have to know I spent that much money." "Yes, I did go to lunch with my guy friend, but he really IS just a friend, and I'm not cheating, so why even bother to tell my SO, because it's just going to bother him and make him think I am cheating."

    Obviously, this doesn't happen all of the time, but it is part of the reason that I have found that at least for me, honesty is the best policy all of the time. I will try to redirect/not answer a question if I can't say anything nice, but at the end of the day, if pressed, I will usually say the negative truth over a positive lie. For me, I've realized that I never have to think about what I might have told someone, because it's always the truth so it won't change, plus it's nice to know that even though they may not always like what I have to say, people can count on me for my honesty.

    However, I will be the first to admit that I have done the "white lie" thing in the past... I've also been the one lied to, and that, more than the fact that I lied and felt bad about it, is what made me change my tune. I know how much it sucks to be the one lied to, and I don't want to put someone else in that position.

    I'd rather be hurt by the truth than flattered by a lie.

    *sorry for the really long comment

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  21. I was just talking to someone yesterday about how bad I am at lying. Even little white lies! What's even worse, is I'm bad at sneaking around. I tried dating two people at once...once. (I mean, they were both doing it so I could too, right??) It blew up in my face VERY QUICKLY. I'm talking, calling one of them the other's name on the phone and people I know ratting me out to one any time I was at the other's house. Lying and "dating" just aren't for me.

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  22. I'm a huge hypocrite when it comes to this. I demand 100% honesty from everybody but if it's just easier for me to say "your haircut looks great and you don't look like a felon at all whatsoever" when my boyfriend gets his haircut too short... well, I'm gonna say it. Hypocrite. I know.

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  23. for me, it really really depends on who I'm talking to. michael can tell so easily it drives me nuts. but sometimes you have to have a little white lie every now and then.

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  24. I'm good at little white lies, sparing people's feelings is way more important than not lying to them sometimes.

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  25. I'm scary good at lying. It made for a very angry mom growing up..

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  26. I think white lies are apart of our social structure - it's a necessity. If you were brutally honest all the time you wouldn't have any friends and your family wouldn't want you around. It's good to be honest but sometimes you just need to tell them what they need to hear and sometimes it just happens to be a little fib. We're all guilty so don't feel bad :) Have a great one Stephanie! -Iva

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  27. teach me your skills! I've always been a terrible liar. I've heard the more detail you go into makes it more obvious that you're lying, to keep it short and sweet, but I always ramble b/c I'm nervous and that makes it that much more obvious. lame, I know. little white lies are pretty much the glue of society.

    I've never told people I'm allergic to something, but am damn sure going to start! Especially seafood; totally agree on the "smells like death, not putting it in my mouth" part.

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  28. As much as I've seen people hounded to try something because "you might like it this time" I don't blame you at all for lying about the foods.

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  29. Little white lie? I call that being nice! Also -- I am still chuckling that your dog's name was Crystal. =)

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    1. Yes! Crystal Caitlin Samuel. She was a spoiled little pup!!

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  30. I will lie if i feel like i will hurt your feelings, just small white lies unless you really need to know the truth.

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  31. I know exactly what you're saying. Most of the time, I'm really bad at even telling little white lies though.

    Ex. A friend told me that someone at work told her she got fat. The truth is, this friend has gained quiiiiite a bit of weight. After all, her diet consists of beer and McDonald's. My response was, "That wasn't very nice." She kept going and clearly wanted to me to say, "Don't worry, you're not fat." But I couldn't do it.

    With your bridesmaid dress scenario, I wouldn't be able to white lie that either. I'd probably say something like, "Oh, cool" in response to, "Check out these pictures of the dresses!" But, I've also been known to lose friends because sometimes I'm brutally honest. "Alex, I'm sad over my boyfriend." My response: "Well, that's understandable. He's an idiot. And he's probably cheating on you. I mean, come on, he won't even add you Facebook." ... that friend kicked me out and we haven't talked since.

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  32. I completely agree with you! I do it too. Not to be malicious, but to avoid unnecessary drama or hurt feelings. I think it's just a part of life. As long as the lies aren't harmful, I see no point in focusing on them.

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  33. Putting it in perspective, I guess I am a pretty good liar aka nice person! haha

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  34. I'm TOO honest. It's gotten me into trouble pleeeenty of times!

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  35. For the most part I believe that honesty is the best policy. Period. However, I have told little white lies to avoid hurting someone, where the truth would have done no good and the lie does no harm. Also, I will lie to total strangers all day every day for them to just leave me alone.

    I would never lie when it matters or affects someone one way or the other. I also have a hard time lying and normally turn a little red or avoid eye contact so I am not good at it haha.

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  36. Haha, this is making me laugh my ass off. The older I get, the less I tell white lies. No doubt it get gets me into more trouble being truthful. Because some people can't take it. In which I say, buck up and be an adult. I will tell you if you look bad in something, I will tell you if you are acting crazy, and I will give tough love when needed. I try not to sugar coat or do the white lie thing. Not my problem if you can't handle it!

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  37. i see no shame in lies, as long as they are kept straight :)

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  38. I am sooo good at telling white lies! I view it as both good and bad!

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    1. Haha well if you're convincing, I think it's good! It's a life skill.

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  39. Ha I love this post! I hate lying.....but, white lies that don't hurt anyone....I prefer to think of them as me just being tactful.....like when my baby girl wants to know if the song she just sang me sounded just like Taylor Swift....well no it didn't, but I'm not going to tell her that, I'm her mum, it's my job to build her up not tear her down.....so I just smile and say you sounded awesome babe...

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    1. Haha that's so sweet of you! My mom used to say 'Who sings this song?' and when I'd answer 'Britney Spears!' she'd say 'let's keep it that way!' In her defense, I'm a truly awful singer. I still do it though :)

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  40. ps, I have an imaginary allergy to shellfish too....lol....so much easier than everyone hassling me to :just try it"...

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    1. Completely true, people spend 20 minutes arguing with you that it's delicious, the conversation is much shorter if you just say 'allergy!'

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  41. I totally tell white lies....all the time. Depending on the context and the person, I'm usually pretty good at it. But sometimes I get caught. Either way, definitely not the worst trait you could have.

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  42. I have a great poker face. No one can tell when I'm lying. I definitely have much worse traits than that

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  43. Honestly, I'm a horrible liar. I'm not good at embellishing either. Life would probably be much easier if I could tell some white lies...ugh!

    -AJ
    OccasionallyAJ.com

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  44. ummmm two favorite lies to tell shitler are "no i've always had that" and "i bought that awhile ago."

    whoops.

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