Pretty white lies
Sometime lying might do you some good. Lying about the big stuff in a couple could prove fatal, but the little ones? We tell more white lies than you may think. Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Virginia found that most people lie once or twice a day, or deceive in 30% of 1 to 1 conversations. This includes fake positive lies (pretending to like something more than you do) which are 10 to 20 times more common than false negative (lies pretending to like something). And even things like responding “I’m fine!” when you aren’t.
Lying as social lubricant
Women and men equally lie, but tend to lie for different reasons. Women tend to lie in order to protect others and men ten to lie to about themselves particularly with other men. Lying might make you suffer fewer negative consequences.
- “Sorry to be late, the traffic!” versus “I couldn’t stop updating my social media profiles this morning.” And in some situations, it’s considered more polite to tell small lies.
- Say you are invited to a dinner party and you hate the cooking? Is it right to tell the host?
- Or in your couple, “Darling this pizza you heated for me is delicious, thank you!” At the right time, that might go farther than an eye roll, and “How many times do I have to tell you I prefer Thai TAKEOUT!”
Lying improves my health!
Beyond politeness, some self deception could be good for your mental health. Researchers such as UCLA psychologist Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., found that depressed people didn’t lie to themselves as much as their non-depressed peers did.
Should I lie or should I not lie?
“I’m not upset you lied to me, I’m upset I can’t believe you.” Nietzche
Lies that refrain from truth but acknowledge good intentions, protect others or just make you feel better about yourself are common place and likely not harmful in your couple. But as a marker, ask yourself if any of these white lies will erode your partner’s ability to believe you. And if that’s the case even the white lies would be best decreased.
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