In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Truth or Dare.”
Honesty is often the best policy. I think that it’s possible to be too honest. And as much as we would all like to say that we’d take the truth over lies, we’d be lying if we did. Although the truth might set you free most of the time, it might not have the same effect on others. Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning lying about everything. But some situations may require a bit of careful consideration.
As children we were all lied to. And we continue to lie to children. Whether is about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the boogeyman or how babies come into the world. We do it out of good intentions. To protect their imaginations and prolong their childhood. Although sometimes its just because we as adults don’t know how to explain the more complicated things in life.
White lies in my world are reserved for those whose emotions are easily hurt, who are sensitive about particular topics. Maybe a certain outfit choice wasn’t very becoming or maybe they haven’t quite honed in a new skill. White lies are a method to encourage and build confidence. Like telling someone that their presentation went well despite the Powerpoint presentation being out-of-order. Or telling a friend that their crush didn’t notice the nervous tic during their brief conversation. The only other occasion that lies are acceptable is if it involves a surprise.
We all have a right to hear the truth. Most of the time we prefer it. However, too much honesty can be too much of a good thing. Imagine for a minute being told the truth about everything. Like you’re a character in the movie ‘The Invention Of Lying’. Imagine being constantly told the truth to about your new haircut, your choice in partners, your weight gain during a stressful period, your baking/cooking skills, your political stance, your valued skills, your abilities as a parent…you get the idea. Could you handle that kind of criticism. Even if you could, what would that do to your self-esteem and self-worth.
Sometimes, lie to protect other, other times we lies to protect ourselves. Saying “I’m fine”, “I’m just tired” or “I don’t really care” are just some of the ways I lie. Usually its just a way to avoid talking about things that bring stress and anxiety and emotion. Other times it’s because I don’t think others will understand or they won’t really care.
Most of the time, we’re quite aware of what the truth is. We’re not delusional. So we don’t need to be lied to all the time. If people do lie, most of the time, it’s the nature of the lie and reason for it that’s causes the most pain. The lie might not matter all that much but the thought that another could not be trusted to handle the truth is worse.
So although I prefer the truth when it really counts, a few white lies won’t hurt once in a while.