white lie: (Merriam Webster)
Definition of white lie
: a lie about a small or unimportant matter that someone tells to avoid hurting another person.example:”He told a (little) white lie as his excuse for missing the party”.
A few days ago I heard a Fleetwood mac song I didn’t know , so it’s only fair that I should keep last week’s promise and tell you how I was brought up on the concept of “white lies aren’t actually lies”.
(By the way-just in case you were interested, the Fleetwood mac song I heard was “I’m so afraid”, go check it on YouTube- whether you know it or don’t- you will enjoy one of the greatest guitar solo’s out there- performed by Lindsey Buckingham).
Before you start rolling your eyes at me and going all high and mighty about how you shouldn’t lie and all that, let me ask you a few simple questions:
#Have you ever met a good friend of yours and told them they look great , the whole time thinking “oh. my. god. what. happened. to. them???”
#Have you ever chatted in a meeting/class/convention-whatever- and once caught -told the lecturer “we were discussing the subject”? (yea right, subject of how bored you can get in a 20 minute meeting).
#Have you ever been asked by a friend to tell the absolute truth about his-her partner, and told everything but the truth?
#Were you ever asked by your parent how was lunch-dinner- whatever, and complimented the whole dang thing although if you could take back time , you’d rather chew on your car tires instead?
I believe you got the point.
You really wish you didn’t have to lie- but between lying a “harmless little lie” and facing the implications of telling the truth- you’d take lying any day.
Growing up I simply didn’t get it, and my mother- an firm believer in the concept of “white lies” , had a hard time convincing me of the purpose of “a lesser harm”.
When I grew up and came across workplace politics, not only did I embrace the “white lies” concept- I believe I stretched the limit of the concept like no man ever did.
I discovered even the harshest of bosses are human when it comes to flattering their “brilliance and wonderful understanding of the human nature”, not to mention their “hilarious sense of humor!”
Also discovered the art of getting your workers to do extra work or take on a huge project : well, you get it- shamelessly flattering them on their great work and telling (each and every one of them) that they are the only one that can get this project done right, all the while wishing you had totally different people on your staff.
“That’s life, Amiga!” I told myself.
But although I perfected the “art” of telling little lies as to “not hurt people” and stretched it to the direction of “getting my way at work quickly and efficiently”, I did remember it was, at the end of the day- lying.
I retired early- so I can’t give you any advice on the complex subject of using harmless little whatever colored lies, as a way of avoiding the consequences of telling your actual opinion to people.
I thought of 2 possible outlets -see if it works for you-
#1: instead of lying- Maybe try avoiding the subject and deflecting it to another subject, counting on the terribly short span of attention everybody has.
#2: “shrink them”- if you are presented with a question you can’t tell the truth to or you won’t see the end of it- use the all time TV series psychologist tactic: ask right back :”and what do you think ?”