Why should you lie? Isn’t honesty the best policy? Actually the real question should be why not lie, or more conversely, why tell the truth? Didn’t your mom and school warn you to never talk to strangers? And with ID theft  being the quickest growing crime around the world, why do people feel so obligated to tell random people information about themselves? Possible employers, banks, suitors, government agents, credit card companies, and services ask information about your private life all the time, even though it should not be any of their business.

People shamelessly ask way too many intrusive questions nowadays. The hard truth is that in this growing world full of constantly advancing technology, the more honest you are, the more you will be punished. Just for an example, pretend that a murder was holding a gun to your head and told you to reveal where your family members are. You certainly wouldn’t tell the truth, now would you? Therefore, lying is the first line of defense to protect your privacy and family. But don’t be mistaken, this is not about lying to your family and friends to be mean, but lying to those who oppose you and are out to hurt you. Would any good poker player perform well by being honest? They have to bluff often, and you will need to as well.

Are you concerned about your morals? Keeping your morals is a good idea and is not hurt by lying to those who oppose you. You can tell the truth to God, your spouse, family, and friends, and under oath. But why is it important to tell the truth to anyone else you don’t know well or wholly trust? While bearing false witness against your neighbor is unethical, it’s not horrible to evade the truth. Usually lying and avoidance of what is seen as the truth is usually the best way to get ahead in the rat race, maintain your civil liberties, and keep your reputation. All successful people are obvious liars, no matter what profession they are in.

Another part of lying is telling little white lies. These also do not generally affect your morals and can also protect you and your family without doing any harm. If you have watched the movie “Liar, Liar” you know that being honest all the time just isn’t practical. Sometimes you have to tell white lies to protect yourself or other people. Everybody tells these lies occasionally, and it’s a question of why. Contrary to belief, white lies are actually sometimes beneficial. Stretching the truth is a natural component of being human because it is an easy way out. As long as you do not harm others or break the law, these white lies can make your life more pleasant. They soak up friction between different personalities and changing moods. Many white lies just stretch the interpretation of what the truth is. And because of our stiff optimism to lead a perfect life, white lies actually cushion us from ourselves.

Here are 16 of the most usual white lies and why they are told:

  1. I didn’t do it—Because some things just aren’t taking the credit for.
  2. Dinner will be done in 5 minutes—Because it sounds better than 15.
  3. That makes perfect sense—Because option 2 means admitting you are clueless.
  4. Thank you, I love it—Because telling someone their present is awful would make you look insensitive.
  5. You look great in that dress—Because it’s better than being hit.
  6. Things would’ve been different if I were there—Because I’m heroic and can always help out…at least that’s how I want others to see me.
  7. No, Officer, I didn’t know how fast I was going—Because claiming unawareness is better than admitting to insubordination.
  8. I’m 29—Because 29 is so much younger than 30.
  9. Yeah, I can start on that immediately—Because telling someone you have things to do first would just annoy them.
  10. Yeah, they were with me last night—Because that is just what friends do. They agree and ask questions later.
  11. My resume is 7 pages long for a very good reason—Because anything less would be boring.
  12. Yeah, I was amazing in my high school football team—Because you want others to see you in a better light than you see yourself.
  13. Man, that thing was 10 feet long—Because anything smaller would be boring.
  14. I’m 21, 6’2, with a muscular build—Because you can’t see me in this online chat site…ha ha.
  15. I thought I’d already sent that email. I’m certain I did—Because telling someone it wasn’t a high priority and that you forgot would hurt that person’s feelings.
  16. I was just about to call you—Because telling someone you hadn’t even though about them would offend them.

The line between white lie and plain ole lie is pretty clear. What’s even more interesting is that in the well known Ten Commandments, there is no “thou shalt not lie.” But there is a “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Probably the failure to put lying on this tablet of rules for humankind was because constant truth telling is a hard deal, that there are grades of lies, and that those people who insist on being completely honest are likely going to be friendless. After all, who wants a friend who constantly tells you that you look fat? Actually most social niceties rely on lying.

As you can see, sometimes lying is not all that bad. And no matter who you talk to, or how adamant a person is in saying that they never lie, you can bet they tell a white here or two, or lie to nosey people to protect their privacy. However, just because it’s okay to like in some situations, that does not mean you should lie whenever you can. Keep the lying modified and limited to necessary situations.

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