Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What's in a little lie?



Are all lies harmful? Have you ever told a lie about something to stay out of trouble? Have you ever told a little white lie? I have when I was younger, I am sure. First when I was a child I am sure that I told a lie to stay out of trouble because my fathers' belt was powerful and I didn't want the wrath of being struck by it. My father would beat you if you even formed your lips to lie. He always said he couldn't stand a liar. His thinking was this: if you lie, you have to keep telling them to cover over the first lie and on and on. He also felt that if you lie, you will just as quick, kill to cover that lie. So I tried my darnest to stay on his good side. I couldn't handle that thick black leather belt. As a child I found myself being so truthful that sometimes I was left out of activities because my siblings thought I would tell everything that happened and I would have.

But as an adult, I lie only when my husband ask have I been shopping and I say no when I know that my trunk is packed with clothing and shoes. For the moment, I don't want to hear my husband's speech about we will never have anything because I spend too much on nothing. He has been saying this for twenty years. So rather than hear that I am destroying our finances I hide my new purchases until I can get them in the house. I know this is dishonest but I work too and if his facts are straight about me causing our financial downfall for spending too much money, we would be homeless by now. But I always admit my shopping sprees by the next evening or so. I even said don't ask me that question because you know what I am going to say. I am working hard to change this habit-but you know that old habits die hard.

One other lie I told was to save a co-workers' job. It happened about 5 years ago. I coworker who was making a six figured salary did something stupid on the job. As a manager she said some downright ugly things about two of the staff workers and someone heard it and ran and told. Problem was she didn't mean it. She was so upset that day because she lost an uncle whom she was very close to and I knew this. So I wrote off what she said and reminded her that as a manager she shouldn't speak like that about workers. She agreed. But the person who heard the early remarks didn't stay around to hear the rest of the conversation before they ran off to start up a bunch of mess. So we ended up in many meeting trying to stop the company from terminating her. When they asked if I heard the offending remarks I said no. I just couldn't allow the trouble maker to win. After all she hated the manager and everyone on staff knew it. Think about it. Five years ago it was hard to find a six figure job, heck it's hard to find one now. So I didn't want her family to suffer because she said something when she was down in the dumps and depressed. Besides she was a very nice person who in the right state of mind wouldn't have said what she said. Why allow three small children to suffer if their mom who was not married lost their only income? They would have even lost their home. So I did what I thought was right at that time. I prayed hard for forgiveness for that one. She did go to the two ladies and apologize if she said something to hurt them and said she was truly sorry. So did my lie hurt those involved? No it strengthened all those relationships involved except the person who ran back and caused the confusion in the first place. Now truth be told, I am not a liar. I just tell one white lie about shopping. I admit that. I am not a bad person, with my husband I was diffusing a problem. Everyone who knows me understand that I am a shopoholic. As far as the lie about my coworker, I was saving a family but I prayed about it and asked for forgiveness. We should not lie, I know this but this doesn't stop folks from lying.

What's your take on lying? Are any lies good ones?

34 comments:

jazeGma2 said...

Rose,
I don't think all lies are harmful allthough we are not suppose to lie. I don't think there is one person that has never told a lie. As an old lady told me if your mouth has a split in it then you have lied. Weather it's a little white one or night.

I have told a few little white lies especially when trying to surprise someone.

Shirazi said...

No lies are good one. The world would be such a nice place to live if no one lied, even in a joke or to stay out of trouble, or for any small gains.

lady in satin said...

Yep...I've lied many times!!! lol

Umm...I don't think lies are good, but I think sometimes they are necessary. Like if one of my friends asks my opinion of something and I don't want to hurt his/her feelings by telling them the truth, I will lie. Most of the time, its only in those types of cases.

***Double_Oh_No*** said...

This is such a confusing issue. I always thought lying was bad, but like your incident in which you saved a person's job...well, I can't help but think maybe a few lies are worthwhile.

But I really don't know. After living with a habitual liar for the last five years, I have grown to HATE lies. A person living with lies is never secure or comfortable--can't ever let your guard down because you never know what's fact from fiction.

kathi said...

"Honey, that was amazing"

That's about it. :)

chele said...

I was married to a lying bigamist and a to a lying cheater. Needless to say, I can't stand a liar. The person who is being lied to is left feeling betrayed and humiliated when the truth comes out ... and it always does.

Your lies (about shopping and to help the coworker) are not devastating and don't ruin lives.

Sometimes, I tell people I'll call them when I don't plan to ... I guess that's not right.

DIVA said...

Hey,

It truly depends on the nature of the lie and the intentions behind it. If the lie is meant to deceive or be harmful then of course it is no good. However, sometimes when other people's feelings are involved you have to lie. I do not believe in being brutally honest all of the time because that can often be rude and obnoxious and could truly hurt someone. Sometimes people just need you to be a friend a not speak your mind instead of being the judgemental truth police all of the time. I have lied and I have told the truth. Hopefully in every instance it has been for the greater good.

Stephen Bess said...

Hello Rose,
I sometimes omit certain parts of the truth to save feelings at times, but that's lying too. :) Otherwise, I find it difficult to straight-up lie as an adult. I prefer the truth. It hurts sometimes but that's the way to go.

Michelle said...

I think in your example -- the lie was okay because ultimately no one was hurt. But in personal relationships, while the truth may hurt -- I think it's always prefered to a lie -- because most lies (the big ones) will eventually be discovered and that will ultimately hurt much more. BTW, I loved that you had the Liar, Liar movie shot shown with your post. That movie was funny as heck. A man that no matter what he tried couldn't help but tell the truth! Mercy!

DizYaBoy said...

ugh ... that's a tough one!

Ruben said...

Lies are harmful whether they are told to avoid hurting someone or not. Carrying around the burden of keeping up with what lie you told can take a lot out of you. I lied to protect a friend from getting a divorce and it made me feel like I was the one doing the cheating.

Shine said...

I think everyone of us lie at some point or another.

We call in sick when we are not sick, How many haven't done that?

I think in your case Rose, the lie was beneficial for all. You might not have told the truth about the incident but you did act on her character.

As a professional woman who has others working under her, sometimes it is hard to stop "LIFE" from coming on the job with us.

I totally understand your situation and your co-workers situation as well.

For those that say they have never lied...You're one in a million.

...This is one time I fit in the majority.

The Gig said...

I have always wondered if it was alright to lie when it is harmless and would help to keep trouble down. I have a son who worries about me constantly. I have allergies that affect my nose and for some reason he is really bent out of shape over it. He calls everyday to see how my nose is and when I tell him it's okay; he doesn't believe me. Therefore, I tell him every now and then that I had a little problem with it on that day so he will think that I am coming clean whenever he asks. The trouble is I'm usually lying but I don't want to tell him the truth because I don't want him to get too stressed out about it, and believe me he does. I found out recently that he is concerned about the air in my house (my house is very old).

princessdominique said...

Lying is just too much work for me. I mean, when you tell a lie not only do you have to remember it but you have to build on it and cover up the lie which means another lie. It's an endless cycle!

Shawn said...

I hate liars. I have a cousin I grew up with that was compulsive liar. He's the type of liar that calls you on the phone to tell you lie before you ever ask a question.

I hate being lied to. I tend to lose respect for the liar once I discover the truth.

I am realist so I know everyone tells a lie or two. I don't see anything too wrong with telling a small lie occasionally.

I discovered that I am really good liar.

Georgiapeach said...

I lie. I didn't even think it was possible to live life without lying. Sometimes the truth is unnecessary.

'ka said...

lying is tiring... 'cuz once you lie, you open another gate to another lie... then you gotta keep up with all your lies.

no lies is good at all. however, sometimes at certain extreme condition and situation, you need to lie a bit to keep 'world peace'

NellaBella said...

I hate people who lie... I mean I do every once in a great while...yes... but its nothing big.

PS: ROSE GO TO MY SITE...AWESOME NEWS ABOUT THERE.

defiant goddess said...

I think truth spoken with compassion and empathy is always better than a lie. But not always easier to tell.

Stacy-Deanne said...

Yes there are good lies and bad lies. Good lies are lies that you tell if you don't want to hurt someone's feelings or if you have to protect them from something harmful. Bad lies are if you lie and it can harm someone. Some people say they don't lie but that is not true. Everyone lies because it's a part of life. I don't believe it's not possible to lie. And it isn't possible to be completely honest. If someone says they are they are claiming they are perfect and if someone is perfect in this world I want to meet them. We all make mistakes. I don't " lie " just to lie but I will lie in order to protect someone. Oh yes, definitely. You just have to know what's harmful and what's not. And if a person is truly sincere. They know what will hurt someone and what won't. Someone mentioned joking I believe. As for lying and joking, I don't find anything wrong with that(as long as it's not very misleading). I couldn't live in a world without a sense of humor. On April Fool's Day we all say one little lie or not don't we?

TTD said...

good post.. i tell little lies (like your shopping one) but i see that more as playing b/c the person im telling them to, knows that im lying.. i believe serious lying is wrong (i mean the outright, blaent lie) like.. did you have an affair? no (knowing damn well you did!)

Hasan Mubarak said...

we have a saying that a lie is the root of all evils. And it's quite true.

Unfortunately, there are so many of such occasions that I cannot recall any one for when I told a lie.

In your second case, that lie seemed not to be a lie... It wasn't evil and it would have made you feel bad if you didn't tell it...

Dee said...

as long as no one is hurt..........I guess....I go back and forth!!!!!

I would take the new shoes out of the box and scratch them on the floor of the garage so they looked like they have already been worn............my auntie taught me that.........my ex husband still doesn't know that trick.........."Are thoose new shoes dee?" I lift up my foot to show the scuff marks.........

AsianSmiles said...

A friend once said, "whenever a person is put into a situation where he could lie without getting caught, he would always lie".

I don't know how others would respond to that statement.

But I disagreed (except for the pathological liars, etc.). Lying also depends on the 'liar's' motives and the proceeding circumstances affected by the lies. If no one gets hurt, if damages could be controlled & rectified, if lying does not become a habit, if reality is not severely compromised, if the motive is not selfish or meant to damage someone else.. maybe lying is an option. Otherwise, it's still better not to lie.

If I were in your shoes in the cases that you narrated (leather belt punishments & the office situation), I would have done the same thing that you did.

Thanks Rose & God bless.

Clare said...

Lies are good. Without them I wouldn't be able to get out of work early to go to interviews

Brotha Buck said...

It's the little ones that will really come back to bite you.

Hassan said...

Yeah, like me not telling my most recent about a little situation that could have quite possible put her in danger if we would have continued to go out. I associated with some folks that helped me obtain a little extra dough (real estate rehab), but when it came time to split the profits, the lies kicked in on their behalf. I knew these folks were shady, and I knew that it was a one time "investment" in their venture for me. My partner and I were never told about the close and the issuance of the check, so we went to visit and claim our share. They shot at us. All of my money (rent, auto expenses, advance to spend on her Christmas gift) was tied into that money so I had to get my share. Plus, in order not to be seen as 'less than advertised', I needed extra loot in order to take her out.

If I would have just told her that I was broke and some things just could not happen like she wanted at that time... But I didn't, I went out and bought a ton of stuff (for her and myself), splurged on dates with my last savings with hopes of getting my lil investment with interest back soon enough to recoup what I spent.

I'm stuck with an iPod Nano, paid studio time and recorded material that I was going to put on said iPod (she inspired me to write an album), and other smaller items as well as new outfits and $$$ reserved for now scratched plans for travelling. I didn't directly lie to her, but I damn sure didn't tell her the truth.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Fibs and white lies can get you outta trouble and in big trouble. I think honesty is always a good approach.

"N" Search of Ecstasy said...

I know its not right but I don’t think all lies are harmful. I mean what about telling kids that there is a santa clause, tooth fairy, and the easter bunny. I used to believe all of that. I’m not saying that I doing (at least not on a regular bases), but I can see why some people do.

Sometimes for the sake of someone’s well being a lie might be necessary. Just like I know someone who had an abortion and her grandmother called her outta the blue and said that she had been dreaming about the girl having a baby. She would not dare tell her grandmother about the abortion because it would literally kill her.

Lieing becomes a problem when a person is just doing it for their own personal gain. I don’t won’t my man lying to me. Its like if he does it, I can’t trust him. But I have a girlfriend that tells little silly lies sometimes and I just laugh it off. She’s been like that since I’ve known her, we always joke about it.

Good post!

Jaimie said...

I have lied, but I don't lie regularly. I'm actually a horrible liar. I do elaborate, though.

Brea said...

I lie all the time. I tell guys that I have a boyfriend when they try to talk to me. If I'm honest and say I'm single I have to listen to their lines. And even after I say I'm not interested, they still keep talking. So, I say I'm taken and go about my business.

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