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To tell little white lies?

(20 Posts)
Pippin8 Wed 17-Dec-14 22:18:28

Just that really.
Is it ok to tell lies?

For example, to get out of doing something you don't want to? Like meeting a friend for coffee or an extra shift at work?

What about lying about passing exams or driving theory test?

CaulkheadUpNorth Wed 17-Dec-14 22:20:37

I have to remind myself continually that "lies always cause more problems than they solve". That stops me from white-lying.

Hassled Wed 17-Dec-14 22:20:51

The problem with little white lies is that they quickly become humongous flashing neon lies and people will start to know you as "Pippin Who Lies".

Fine to say you have a bit of a cold to get out of meeting a friend for coffee (when you don't) - not fine to lie about actual achievements.

Backtobedlam Wed 17-Dec-14 22:46:32

If it's to protect someone's feelings-like saying their bum doesn't look big, that's ok. If it's just to make yourself look better-saying you have qualifications you don't, then no. It could come back to bite you.

Hatespiders Wed 17-Dec-14 23:03:23

Well a lie is a lie. You can call it white, but it's still not the truth.
If someone asks what you think of their new dress and it's ghastly, you can say truthfully, "I prefer your blue one."

I try to be direct and tell people the facts. It's always better in the end. And people know they can trust you not to twist things. That's worth quite a lot.

DandyHighwayman Wed 17-Dec-14 23:14:36


SIL tells lies. I find it pathetic. And no, she is not regarded in the family as trustworthy or reliable. It's a shame. Nice lady, great husband, sweet baby, interesting job, lovely home. Why lie?

Hedgehogsbuzz1 Wed 17-Dec-14 23:18:29

Can't you tell the truth about not wanting to meet a friend in town - but say it diplomatically

ilovesooty Wed 17-Dec-14 23:26:22

I wouldn't lie about any of the things in your OP, no.

SteamTrainsRealAleandOpenFires Wed 17-Dec-14 23:35:33

If you have to tell a "little white lie", keep it short and don't add to it.

JeanneDeMontbaston Thu 18-Dec-14 00:29:14

IMO a white lie is of the order of 'no, your bum looks lovely/so sorry, we have plans that day/yes, we should absolutely meet for coffee sometime'. These are acceptable because it's part of the social code - people know 'we should meet for coffee sometime' does not mean 'turn up with a caffetiere and a jug of milk on my doorstep in one hour'.

Lying to get out of a shift at work is more dubious, though frankly I don't have the slightest moral issue with it if it's not going to dump someone else in the shit.

Lying about passing exams would really put me off a person.

I agree with hassled that people who lie become known for it, and it spirals.

Theboodythatrocked Thu 18-Dec-14 01:04:24

No apparently it's ok to have a fat arse!

My teen dds are worried their bums are too small.

Too fucking small
Weeps for self agonising over my bottom in 1984! Why God why.

BestZebbie Thu 18-Dec-14 10:13:46

Ther seems to be some confusion in the OP about what is a fairly big serious lie (eg: 'I passed my driving test') and a little white lie (eg: 'could you just come over to my house to give me a second opinion on my cat/be out of the way for your surprise party').

Beangarda Thu 18-Dec-14 10:21:17

Lies are only 'white' to me if the situation is unimportant and involves sparing someone's feelings over a minor issue in a way that can't be done by telling the truth, even if that truth makes YOU uncomfortable.

'Does my ass look big in this?' from a timorous friend about to embark on a date/interview, when there's no alternative outfit, and her confidence would be badly dented by a yes? White lie time. Same question from same friend considering a wedding dress that makes her look like a podgy-bummed meringue, but in which she isn't yet invested? Truth, diplomatically expressed. 'I thought the lace one was a better fit.

Don't lie about not wanting to meet someone for coffee - find a diplomatic way of telling the truth. And of course lying about qualifications or driving tests is always wrong. And likely to get you in serious hot water.

TheLovelyBoots Thu 18-Dec-14 10:33:10

Agreeing to meet a friend who you have no interest in seeing is one of a thousand cuts into your quality of life. "I can't, I have plans" is not a lie.

Sparing someone's feelings is usually the right thing to do.

AstroNaught Thu 18-Dec-14 10:38:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TheLovelyBoots Thu 18-Dec-14 10:41:26

I have a really, really good friend who lies so much it's painful to watch/listen. She is going through a divorce and I literally have no idea what is going on with the proceedings because everything I hear is filtered through a pathological liar (her).

vdbfamily Thu 18-Dec-14 11:34:56

I don't think it is ever necessary to lie. You can always word a sentence in a way that is not untrue,even if you are not painting the full picture and this is sometimes necessary. I agree that small 'white lies' can turn into bigger ones in some situations and so are best avoided. If you don't want to meet a friend for coffee there is usually a genuine reason(unless you don't actually like them!!) so just keep it vague and explain that another less busy week would be preferable. An extra shift at work is just that,an extra shift. If you don't need the extra money there is no obligation to do it.In most cases they will find someone who is glad of the extra cash. Just say sorry but not convenient that day.

skylark2 Thu 18-Dec-14 11:42:10

I think there are some white lies that are kinder than the truth.

"Sorry I didn't get back to you, I've been really busy" is a lot kinder than "I forgot you'd emailed." "DS is still reading the book you gave him" is a lot kinder than "DS threw it to one side after the first five pages because he thinks it's boring."

s113 Thu 18-Dec-14 13:49:51

Remember that if you lie (white lie or otherwise), especially about something practical, you have to remember what you said.

AstroNaught Thu 18-Dec-14 14:19:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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