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When you think about lies and people being untruthful, you might picture mean manipulative people — like the stereotypical sales person trying to get you to buy something, the guy you meet in a bar with his 101 pick-up lines, or politicians saying what people want to hear in order to get elected. But in reality, a lot of good people who generally live honest lives tell lies — myself included. They tell them not because they’re looking to gain from a situation, but because they want to others to feel good or to feel better about a situation.

Sometimes it's OK to lie (Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Sometimes it's OK to lie (Photo by Leo Reynolds)

Think about it: Humans created the idea of heaven to ease the fear of dying. Parents tell their children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to make Christmas and Easter more fun. Husbands and boyfriends tell the women in their lives their butts don’t look fat in those jeans. Women smile and say thank you, when their boyfriends or husbands buy them a slinky negligee for their birthday when what they really wanted was a pair of comfy sweatpants.

I am not always able to tell those white lies. If I don’t like a gift, it shows on my face. If someone asks me if they look good in an outfit, and they don’t look good, I tell them so. Ask me my opinion on a situation, and I’ll tell you exactly how I feel. You might think it’s good to be so honest, but my actions have hurt people’s feelings. When dinner is made for me as a surprise, I should say thank you and eat it — or some of it — regardless. I should not throw a fit like I did with the infamous Sloppy Joe supper made by my boyfriend years ago.

As a parent, however, lying is part of the game. “Mom, can I have some candy?” “Let me think about it.” “Mom, can we go to the mall?” “Maybe.” “Mom, can I go to Horror Nights with Amanda?” “We’ll see.”

The true answer to all of those questions was “No.” Why didn’t I just say no? Because I didn’t want the battle. While our kids are young, we can get away with those responses. Soon, however, they figure it out — “No, maybe! Maybe means no! Why caaaaaan’t I!” Read the rest of this entry »