“No, it doesn’t look bad. I just don’t think it’s the right one for you,” I replied for the millionth time as my friend tried on formal dresses. After all, I reason, the dress doesn’t look that bad, and I was being completely honest when I said I didn’t think it was the right one.
I lied to my friend. Well, I told her a white lie. What’s the difference? White lies are little fibs or slanted truths that are different from a blatant lie because they are told with good intention. People do it all the time to avoid offending others or to eliminate unwanted and possibly negative outcomes to their honest answers.
To most opinion-based questions, there is a certain unspoken trust that the responder will answer truthfully. Society has taught us that there are certain things, such as weight, appearance and criticism, that are impolite to give truthful answers to because they can potentially damage and lower one’s self-esteem and jeopardize their relationship.
In my experience, little fibs here or there are a little risky. Everyone lies and it’s a common thing occurring anywhere and at any time. Lies are never justified, but they are understandable. Most of the time people say they prefer total honesty with no safety filter, but sometimes people just want to be lied to.
Like medicine, a white lie is a form of relief people take to make a potentially bad situation better and keep it from getting worse. Everyone has their reasons, whether it is to maintain friendly relationships, keep from getting in trouble with your parents or simply telling your kids that Santa is real. Little lies are harmless.
Telling white lies may be annoying and obviously untruthful, but keep in mind that most people are just trying to be considerate of your feelings.