We've all been there. We find our self in a particular situation: a few minutes late to an appointment; an invite from friends when you’d rather stay home in your jammies; or that little person tugging on our pant leg for a treat. And before we know, it just slips out – a white lie. Everyone does it, so there can’t really be any harm to it, right?
I’ve compiled a small list of white lies I have used and (believe) have been used on me. Any sound familiar?
Lies We Tell Others:
· I just got your message/text.
· My e-mail has been down for a day (or few days).
· My alarm didn’t go off.
· I can’t get a sitter.
· I was just about to call/text/e-mail you.
· I was stuck in traffic.
Lies We Tell Our Self
· I’m not too young to wear that.
· There’s nothing wrong with my driving.
· I can get that done in ten minutes.
· I’m fine.
· I don’t need help.
Lies We Tell Our Children
(Note – these work best with small children J)
· We’re out of ice cream/popsicles/chocolate.
· The (insert store) is closed.
· Mommy didn’t bring enough money.
· It’s past your bedtime.
· If you eat ______ it will make you bigger/stronger.
Now, this list certainly isn’t complete, and you could add a few of your own. I’m sure you (and I) could easily justify using these in any given situation. Unfortunately, because white lies are so common and viewed as benign, many of us don’t think twice before they do it.
It’s also easier to lie when you don’t have an audience. Andrew now knows what traffic is. Dare I use that lie in his presence and he calls me out on it? That would be a bit embarrassing, don’t you think?
But lies have consequences too. We have to decide how it will affect our image. (And, if we really care.) I am always 10 minutes late to social events. (Even before I had children to blame!) So, what’s better? I claim there was traffic, or just admit to my friends, “I’ll be ten minutes late.” Honesty is the best policy, right?