Everybody lies a little. Some people lie a lot. Some lies are regarded as “white lies” or lies that don’t really affect much, so they are used to spare the feelings of a person. The trouble is that different people might define white lies differently. In any event, lying may not be the route to go.
No, no, hiding an affair does not count as a “white lie”. “I really like your dress” is a bit closer. Such lying doesn’t really affect a person too much unless they find out later that it was a white lie. Which leads one to wonder, why lie at all?
Honesty is the best policy most of the time. Admitting that you don’t find the dress flattering, while also admitting that it’s just your own opinion, will often earn respect because you weren’t worried about mincing words. And if somebody asked a question and was expecting to hear only what they wanted, they’ve got their own things to deal with. There’s also a big difference between “how ugly” and “it’s not my taste”.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.”
A couple of thoughts about telling fibs. If one lies about small matters, it’s likely they’ll lie about larger. If a person lies to get away with something small, for instance, “Did you spill the food everywhere and not clean it up?” How will this person ever confess about smashing the car into a stationary object? It’s likely they’ve been raised to avoid dealing with difficult situations and they won’t come clean.
For myself, it’s almost disqualifying when I hear somebody lie about something small. Red flags pop up that alert me to the fact that this person is highly untrustworthy. Which leads to another point.
If you’re horrible at lying, especially if you know it, stop telling lies.
Not even from an ethical standpoint. This isn’t consenting to lie if you are good at it. From a logical and rational standpoint, if you want to have any worthy relationships, stop telling lies if you are horrible at it.
It’s easy to tell. The hesitation and pause when asked a question. The changing of skin color. The changing of the eyes. The trying too hard to make or avoid eye contact. Attempts at changing conversation or steering in another direction.
People show different signs of deceit. If your signs are a “gimme”, stop doing it. Also, some people are good liars (in terms of avoiding being caught) and some people are good lie detectors. I find it rare to be good at both, but a few are.
Liars beware. For the good lie detectors, we’ll often throw out little things that don’t matter much to us to see how you’ll respond. It’s truly a test of character to see if the issue is discussed honestly or dishonestly. Some in the field know it as establishing a baseline. The goal is to figure out the way you answer questions honestly (or dishonestly), so people know how to detect the lie(s) even easier.
So, liars, what did we learn? It’s probably not worth it, most of the time. Also, the people who are on the lookout are steps ahead most of the time. And that’s no lie. Keep in mind that most things reveal themselves with time. That thing you confessed to your parents ten years after you moved out? Lie. That phone call that didn’t disconnect by happenstance, revealing what you were up to? Lie. It’s going to come out. It’ll drive you nuts if it’s inside. Let it out right away. Tell the truth.