White Lies | Is a little white lie ok when sparing someones feelings?

By laura mitchell - June 16, 2018


I was out with my parents and other half last weekend. My Mum was telling us about her week and how she was supposed to go out with some friends of hers, but having had a long a tiring day she didn't really feel like going out. It happens, we all make plans in advance and then when it gets to the day you kind of wish you hadn't said yes. For some reason, it's hard for us (and I think I'm talking about the British public here) to make a decision that is best for us in fear of letting down the other person/people. This was the predicament my Mum found herself in and so she decided to tell a little white lie to get herself out of it.

Then guess what happened. She felt guilty for the rest of the evening. They were people that she likes and that she enjoys spending time with, however, she just wasn't feeling up to going out that night. Which is absolutely fine, but she didn't want to upset these friends, or make them think she didn't want to see them.

I got me thinking, is it ever OK to tell a lie, even if its a white lie that we tell to spare someone else's feelings? 

"That dinner you cooked was delicious darling"

"Of course you haven't put on a bit of weight, you look great!"

"I'll be there in 10 minutes, I promise"

I think we all can agree that we tell white lies on a regular basis, I am definitely guilty of the last one!! But ae we actually doing it for other people or are we doing it for ourselves? And is the white lie worth telling, even if we feel guilty afterward, is telling the truth just the best option all round?

Don't get me wrong, I am not excusing lies in general. I have been on the wrong end of some pretty horrendous lies and it made me feel so betrayed and hideously shitty. I am a mostly honest person and when I lie it is literally written all over face, the other person knows that I'm lying so it's hardly worth telling the lie. But of course, when I think I'm helping someone or trying not to hurt them, I have told a white lie. I like to think it was with good intentions but I never really thought about how the other person would feel if they found out.

I think maybe we need to ask ourselves if the person we're telling the lie to would feel worse or better if they knew we had told them the lie?

And the majority of the time, it is better to tell the truth. When we do, even if we think it's going to hurt someone, usually it's not as bad as we think and that someone is understanding and tells you everything is absolutely fine. If they're not, do we really want them in our lives anyway?

Food for thought I guess.

Until next time folks...

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