Don’t you just hate being lied to? I sure do. But, and this is a big “but“, I haven’t been offended by all lies told to me. Why? Because some lies were told to keep pleasant surprises as surprises, for one.
Most lies are bad, but some are good. I was told that the club I belonged to was changing its meeting place. I went to the new place and was treated to a surprise party for my birthday one year. It was great! It happens all the time.
Also, we tell “white” lies. These are lies to avoid offending people or to prevent people, often older parents or grandparents from worrying. Can you imagine if we always spoke our thoughts. Saying to Aunt Marge, “Your hat looks dumb and too big for your head!”, when she asks you what you think, or saying, “Cousin Tom and his girlfriend lived together before they were married.” to your old-fashioned grandfather, or saying how dangerous your job in law enforcement can be to your worrying grandmother, will only cause trouble.
Of course, the truth may still come out and, in the above examples, the idea shouldn’t be to deny the truth as much as to lessen the full impact of the truth.
In that last example of your law enforcement career, God forbid if you are killed, everyone knows that your grandmother won’t accept the idea that you just decided to take a very long trip without any communication with her or anyone else when you’ve always been a stickler for keeping contact with all family members. What needs to be done is to gradually let her know what your career is and assure her that you are taking extra care to protect yourself.
But what these white lies can do is to prevent the truth from being too blunt. Instead, in all 3 examples, the truth can be brought out in stages so the recipients won’t suffer as much mental shock with the resulting tumult in the family.
And of course, your child home alone telling an inquiring stranger on the phone that you are home in the shower is also a very good lie.
So, there are times when the lie can be more helpful than the truth. Just something to think about.
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