White Lies

Some people believe that there are times when a lie will serve better than the truth and then they call it a white lie. I find it hard to reconcile myself with such a philosophy because I think it is yellow if you don’t have the guts to tell the truth; regardless of the results.scold

Let’s take a hypothetical case and imagine that your forty year old somewhat overweight mother, wife, sister, girlfriend, cousin, niece or whatever approaches you in a dress that sits way above her knees and asks you if she looks OK. It is obvious that she has her doubts otherwise she would not have asked. Now how do you reply?uh oh

You could tell her the truth and there is a possibility that she may be pissed off with you for a few days but she’ll get over it and more importantly, she'll know the truth - if she had not known it before. Or you can deceive her with a lie to make her happy but in believing that lie, she may make a spectacle of herself in public.doh

I could ask you which reply served her better; the truth that made her unhappy or the lie that made her happy but I won’t. I’ll rather ask you which you can live with better: To displease with the truth or to create a short-lived illusion of satisfaction with a lie. But don’t answer; I’ll leave that with you to chew on.mumbling

Of course, if she did not ask, you could have kept quiet. Ok, maybe the ethnics are not right but you still had the option to exercise your right to remain silent. But now that she asked, you are in a predicament. And this gives you another reason to be truthful; for people should learn not ask questions if any of the possible answers will offend them.dancing
cats meow cats meow

Comments (93)

Hello Cat,

I hear what you are saying and you bring up a valid argument.

What is wrong with people who cannot just accept reality/truth?

There is nothing perfect out in the world...what makes them think they have to be told they are perfect?

Hi Johnny,
I think we all have a certain born-in vanity to have our ears tickled. We want to hear nice things even if we know that it is not so.devil
Helo Catfoot.. wave
Let say you just got back from a medical check. The doctor said that you had a deadly cancer. Coming back home you found your happy daughter who was going to wed asked how you were. Telling her about your cancer would really break her heart. Would you just tell her the truth?
I'd lie by obfuscation... something like- Yeah that other much longer dress looks really good with those shoes...
Hi Kal
If she asked, yes. At some stage she'd learn the truth in any way and I think that sooner would be better than later. And it will be better coming from me.
Hi Pat
Would that be a lie? I think that is telling the truth in a very tactful way.grin
Its a complex area, as you say... If my future girlfriend asks me if a certain pair of jeans makes her bum look fat, the last thing she wants to hear is the truth- no its all the cheesecake and chocolate and shit like that you eat thats causing all the problems.

noun: obfuscation; plural noun: obfuscations

the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.
"when confronted with sharp questions they resort to obfuscation"

I love to learn new English words.laugh
As I said, She won't ask if she had no doubts and I repeat; one should not ask a question if you're not prepared to accept the answer.
Anyway, I need a few thing from the supermarket. Leave comments if you wish; I'll deal with then as soon as I return.wave
Its all back to our ownself.
For me, there is a time I have to tell a white lie and
there is also a time and circumstances that needed
me to tell the truth.hug wine
You are a tough guy, Catfoot. thumbs up
If that was me, then I would say that I was and felt ok. Yes, that's a lie.
I would tell her the truth when I found the right time,
at least after her wedding day was over.
But! Suppose It's Not A Lie?

For Example!
What May Not Look Nice To You! Just Might Look Nice To Someone Else....conversing
Hi Mei
I cannot say that I have never told a lie, we all do sometimes but I think it is wrong when somebody willfully mislead somebody else.
I remember one time I wanted to change my airline ticket, so I rang them up and told them I chopped the end off my finger, then went into great detail about blood squirting everywhere and how bad it hurt. For some reason, I wanted to change it again, so I simply rang them back and told them now I'd chopped one of my toes off and had to change it again.

Alternatively, you can give them a credit card number and pay 50 bucks.
Hi Kal,
If she did not ask, I could remain silent until then but she asked! As I said, people should not ask if they are not willing to hear a truthful answer.
Hi Angel
This is not about differences in taste. If the person did not lie, it is the truth and there is no problem with that. The fact that somebody else does not agree does not make his statement untrue. He gave an honest opinion. And even if he changes his opinion at the later stage, it does not alter the fact the he spoke the truth - as he saw it at the time.
I suppose $50 can be worth more than the truth.doh

Hey, no more exotic English words? Come on, Lace a few into your comments again. I love to look up word I don't know.grin
I'll be recalcitrant and hide my locqacity... Another thing, every time I get pulled over by the cops, you should hear the bullshit flowing.
hi pat
Recalcitrant I already know and I cannot find q word like locqacity

But maybe I can teach you a new word?grin


noun: loquacity

the quality of talking a great deal; talkativeness.
"he was renowned for loquacity"
synonyms: talkativeness, over-talkativeness, garrulousness, garrulity, volubility, long-windedness, wordiness, prolixity, verbosity, verbiage, effusiveness, profuseness; More
chattiness, chattering, babble, blathering, gibbering;
informalthe gift of the gab, yackety-yak, yakking, big mouth, blah-blah, gabbiness, gassiness;
rarelogorrhoea, multiloquence
"he had a dim recollection of talking with drunken loquacity of his adventures"
antonyms: taciturnity, succinctness

laugh rolling on the floor laughing
Shoulda used verbosity, easier to spell...
Indeed, But I like your vocabulary. It points to a youth misspent on reading paperbacks.laugh

Not stray too far from the topic at hand but, can we honestly believe the thoughts and feelings of
written by everyone here on this site? There are over 55000 blogs on this site written with noble intentions seeking a nice response. Some here are well liked some are probably considered trash.
Yet how many are telling the truth of what they think of people here. Usually if one who writes a blog or poem and based upon responses or very few responses plus the quality of responses is a good gauge to measure the effectiveness of one's message. Hence, if nobody says anything then its clear they dont identify with what was written or they think its crap and just dont want to waste time replying or they dont want to hurt the person's feelings. There are those who can say just about anything here and many fall head over heels to whatever they post but is that their true feeling or are they just kissing their a** to avoid any arguement? What about those who may have long distance relationships at any level? Do you think your long distance lover is going to you the truth that he/she is f*ck someone else while they tell you their undying affections? Many will tell us what we want to hear rather than the truth. Yet, a real friend will tell you the truth and be not afraid to tell you that you are messing up or acting like a useless wanker. A real friend will tell you they love you and are hard on you because they see much greatness and potential in you. Its upsetting to them to see talents go to waste in people when they dont use them. So, how do you tell the truth to people you care about with hurting them? Or is it better to let them blunder along in their life an watch them fail in hope there is time left to change? Telling people their overweight or lazy or useless only will alienate them more. Telling a person they worthy as they are but just behaving badly will gain their trust in you. Thats what caring for one another in my book is about. However, we have to care enough about ourselves to change and not depend on others for approval.
Sorry for grammar errors but my reply was written by a crappy phone. Overall I hope people understand my take on this. A good topic Catfoot for it could make people think about how they get along here.
Hi Akel,
I agree, we should beef people up when they feel useless but surely there must be a way to do it without leading him/her astray. No matter how 'inferior', everybody has some good qualities and those - I think - should be used to lift his spirits. If we compliment somebody with something that is not true, it may bring a temporary gloss to the face but sooner or later the person will discover the truth and fall right on his face again.

And you're right, we don't know if anybody here - the self included - is genuine. We don't know if they are sincere in what they write.

For an instance take your second comment where you apologize for the grammar mistakes. We are a international community and many people make grammar mistakes; for various reasons. It could be because of illiteracy in one's own language, or as in my case because English comes to me as a second language, or as in your case, a clumsy instrument, or many other things.

Now you stated your reason for the mistakes and I stated mine but nobody knows for sure if we are speaking the truth. Yet, people are likely to believe us; for why should we lie about it. And this is my problem with a white lie. We are believed because there is no reason to lie; after all, white lies are mostly told to people who trust and respect our opinions..
No real reason to hurt someone's feelings over something trivial!
Hi Mick,
But does the truth have to hurt? If somebody tells me that I have a long nose or big ears, I don't need, to look in the mirror to know that it is true. Yes, I would have liked a shorter nose and smaller ears but short of plastic surgery, there is nothing I can do about it. My late brother took offense when somebody spoke about his ears and I cannot understand why. It has never bothered me.
I'd never let that hypothetical person I cared for go out in public looking horrendous even if they believed they looked good, if avoidable.

(If that is the only thing they had with them to wear ... ok. We HAVE to fib. Especially if the shops are shut and there's no alternative at all, because bad enough they look awful, what virtue in making them feel awful as well?)

In other words, if my honesty will correct a potential problem, it should be corrected. If there is nothing that can change a situation, though, why make it worse by damaging their confidence?

Here's another example of having to be diplomatic - someone shows me her baby so I can admire it. It is flushed, drooling, has crossed eyes and there's a fresh smell wafting up from the nappy regions. What, I'm going to say eek how disgusting and push it away? I'm gonna fib, Cat!

Kal's example was good. I certainly wouldn't tell happy daughter all was fine and I'd been given a clean bill of health. Neither would I wail out the bad news. I'd wave the question off, saying I was waiting for results, or would be going back to the doctor later, but change the subject firmly back to the wedding. So yeah a kind of fib.
Research has proven that if you can laugh at your own mistakes your lifespan is increased considerably.

On the other hand if you intend to shorten your lifespan just laugh/lie at your partners mistakes...
Totally agree with Pat on this one.laugh thumbs up
If a white lie makes people feel better about themselves, I have absolutely no problem in using one. Shoot me.

Some people, lots of people, lack self-confidence. These are the people who need a second opinion.

Generally I would suggest a different way they might do/wear something to improve on the present situation. Or, for example, if they had not already bought the dress, I would steer them towards something better suited. But if they need a white lie to make themselves feel better about themselves, I will give them what they need.
Hi Biff,
You see, I have this intolerance for a liar. I suppose that makes me somewhat of a hypocrite for I cannot say that I have never lied and even less can I say that I never will (again).

But the fact of the matter is that I will trust anybody - within the scope of the relationship - until that person lies to me. Therefor I say, give it to me the way it is and that is why I say things the way it is. I call a spade by its name.

I may not always comment if not asked, but if some of the possible replies may hurt, don't ask me; for I will reply with an honesty bordering on cruelness.scold
hi Luke,
So how many fingers and toes you have left?rolling on the floor laughing
Just call me 'Stompie'rolling on the floor laughing

Have a good week im offwave laugh
Hi Molly
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this. I simply cannot see how giving a person a false confidence can be seen as a doing him a favor.

What is more, the people around me know me like this and I believe that they would not want me to change. I have often told people that the look awful. And when they ask me why, I tell them.

There is no malice in it. I just tell it the way I see it and they need not believe me; they're welcome to get another opinion or to follow their own heads. But strange enough, I'm often asked for my opinion. Maybe some people want an honest answer.grin
Cat, as I said, it depends on the situation for me.
I am not talking about you here, but there is a difference between being truthful and being unkindly blunt.
Some people choose to do the latter, and disguise it as the former.
Some people choose to hurt people with their 'honesty'
Me, I prefer to make somebody feel good about themselves if the issue in question isn't going to affect anything either way.
Telling somebody that the dress, they have already bought and like,would be positively accentuated by wearing a scarf rather than saying the dress is disgusting on them may make the difference between them wearing it with confidence or feeling like a pariah wearing it.
Hi Luke,
I did not know that you had something going with Winnie Mandela. You should be grateful my proposed tax legislation is not in place yet. Maybe we should add a clause to recover old debts as well.laugh devil
Hi Molly
No sweat, I did not think you were referring to me specifically. And I agree that we have to lift those who feel down. I just feel that we can find enough good qualities in any person to build him up without having to mislead him about his shortcomings. He cannot improve on it while he thinks that it's OK.

You have to know and admit that you're drinking too much before you can stop and you have to know that you're overweight before you will make an effort to shed some of it and you have to understand that you're dressing in poor taste before you can remedy it. So to me it does not make sense to tell an obese person he/she is not fat.doh
You are right, Cat.
There is not an obese person in the world who is not aware that they are obese.
Calling them fat does not help them.
However, if they do not know how to solve their problem, then positive advice on how to shed it is much better than telling them that they are bursting out of their clothes
Tried both Cat....and as the Germans say---Ehrlich waehrt am laengsten. Truthful lasts the longest. VKH-Aa.
Hmm, I'm not going to agree on this. I have a rather "large" cousin and as a result he has all kinds of health problems; including but not limited to heart problems and diabetes. We are all very concerned about him for he is really a jolly good fellow, a family favorite and a delight at any party but he won't shed any weight because he refuses to believe that he is obese.doh

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