Do you often tell white lies about your life?

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TwilightPrincess
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14 Apr 2024, 11:15 pm

To be honest, yep, I tell white lies about my life sometimes. I’m very shy offline and greatly value my privacy, so I’m not above telling a white lie to protect it. I usually tell people that I’m “pretty good” when they ask even when I’m not. There have been times when I told a white lie to protect my safety, well-being, and that of others.

Elder: “Are you repentant?”

Me: “Yes, what hurts the most is that I hurt Jehovah.” As if. You have to be thorough about it or they won’t believe you. I managed a quavering voice, but I can’t cry on demand. I knew the question was coming which enabled me to practice beforehand.

I have no moral qualms about telling white lies. Telling bigger lies or lying to people I care about is something else. I wouldn’t lie if doing so could harm someone else. If it could harm someone else, then it wouldn’t be a white lie.


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IsabellaLinton
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15 Apr 2024, 12:10 am

Wow. I'm sorry you're put in such crappy situations like that but I'd do the same thing in that circumstance. I don't get pointed or invasive questions asked of me very often but if I do, I tend to go mute and not reply, or else I shrug and say "I don't know" (which is true because "I don't know how to answer"). Other times I change the subject.


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naturalplastic
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15 Apr 2024, 7:24 am

When the subject of "what year you were born in?" comes up sometimes ... a younger age than the truth will...pop out of my mouth (to my own surprise sometimes).

But I dont generally lie about my life.

Though I have toyed with telling "white lies". Like with subject of aspergers/autism I have toyed with saying that I have a "cousin with autism". And using this fictional cousin to describe myself. Like when this funny nerdy guy used to work with us...I could say "he reminds me of my cousin who has autism...when my cousin was 14, but even my cousin has out grown a lot of those behaviors" instead of saying the truth which is that "I am autistic and I used to act just like him when I was 12 or 14, but I out grew out by the time I was an adult of his age". But I never actually launched into that kinda story telling.



TwilightPrincess
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15 Apr 2024, 9:04 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Wow. I'm sorry you're put in such crappy situations like that but I'd do the same thing in that circumstance. I don't get pointed or invasive questions asked of me very often but if I do, I tend to go mute and not reply, or else I shrug and say "I don't know" (which is true because "I don't know how to answer"). Other times I change the subject.

I usually have answers prepared in advance and just go by the script. If people ask how I am, I just say “pretty good” without thinking about it. Depending on the question, I’ll give a short response which may contain a white lie and get them to talk about themselves instead. It’s weird, but most people seem to like talking about themselves, perhaps especially the people who are trying to engage me in conversation. It’s good because it saves me from having to talk. On top of plain, old timidity, the number of things that I’m comfortable with talking about to people I don’t know well is small. It’s easier for me to just go with the script I have prepared than to evade the question or come up with something that’s sort of true. I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling white lies to protect my privacy and to appear polite.

Sometimes people I’ve not seen in a while will ask how my husband is. I’ll say: “Oh, he’s doing pretty good. How’s Mike doing? Is he still working for that construction company?” Then a long, boring monologue almost always ensues in which I strive to look extremely interested while I think up more questions to ask to avoid talking about the as*hole who’s most likely not doing pretty good by any stretch of the imagination.

This is just one example. When people (or a guy I’m not interested in) ask me to hang out and I don’t want to, I’ll usually claim that I have other plans. Most people seem to do that.


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IsabellaLinton
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15 Apr 2024, 9:08 am

Those sound like good responses. Again I talk to so few people outside my immediate family that it's not really an issue for me. When they ask how I am I tell the truth: "s**t". When semi-strangers ask how I am, I say "tired". If my doctor asks, I launch into a ten minute explanation. When I used to work, I infodumped.

Maybe one of these days I'll get it right.


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TwilightPrincess
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15 Apr 2024, 9:16 am

I don’t talk to that many people outside of my family either, but it still feels like an issue given how shy I am. I’m also not entirely comfortable with my own family.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong in what one says. It’s more about what you are most comfortable with.


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IsabellaLinton
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15 Apr 2024, 9:24 am

I think society expects white lies like "I'm fine", and they're an accepted norm.
That's why I wish I did it.

I don't stop and filter before I answer.
The truth just comes rolling out even if it offends some people.

I didn't even know saying "I'm fine" was the accepted answer until I joined WP.
I can tell it rubs people the wrong way irl but I never catch myself in time.

That's why I said it's "wrong".
I know you aren't judging it.


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TwilightPrincess
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15 Apr 2024, 9:36 am

I think most people filter and choose to tell white lies sometimes. Some do it because it’s the norm, others do it for different reasons.

I learned to filter when I was a child because I was told that my thoughts and feelings were bad. I think I started scripting when I was a teenager because I realized that it made things easier, especially when I was struggling with selective mutism. Then I greatly valued my inner privacy when I was dealing with abusive situations. I only let people in if I really want to.


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IsabellaLinton
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15 Apr 2024, 10:02 am

I don't know how to mask or script.
It doesn't come naturally for me so it's one less coping mechanism.
With 25 years of legal cases I've also been conditioned to tell the truth with supporting details.

I wish I could just shut my brain off, say some niceties, and fake it a bit.
I just got very blunt with someone on the phone for the same reason.
I need to be blunt with my son too but I'm worried about how to do it.

I always come across as rude if I'm trying to hold back what I really think.
Then when I finally say something I explode.
There's no middle ground unless I'm not upset, which is rare with PTSD.

Sorry - going through hell right now.
Just venting.


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babybird
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15 Apr 2024, 11:22 am

I've had to lie all my life

Sometimes tiny little lies and sometimes absolute whoppers. It's been a survival thing for me

It's called self preservation


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blitzkrieg
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15 Apr 2024, 11:29 am

I always strive to tell the truth as a general rule, but in certain situations or scenarios, I think white lies are permissible, though they shouldn't be used excessively.



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15 Apr 2024, 11:33 am

You're a good lad


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blitzkrieg
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15 Apr 2024, 11:36 am

babybird wrote:
You're a good lad


Aye. :nerdy:



ToughDiamond
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15 Apr 2024, 1:52 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I think society expects white lies like "I'm fine", and they're an accepted norm.
That's why I wish I did it.

Certainly it wouldn't anger many people if they later discovered you hadn't actually been feeling fine. I suspect the answer "surviving" is usually acceptable too, and that has the advantage of not being untrue. It's also brief.

A frequent problem for me is that the truth is often so detailed that nobody has the time to hear me out. Since society won't often let me be honest to the point of verbosity, these days I see the validity of the phrase "pathological honesty." There was a time when I simply saw it as an oxymoron, but now I think a certain amount of inaccuracy is inevitable. I define lying as deliberately giving a false impression. But I still feel guilty if I know I've said something that isn't accurate, as if the world would never forgive me for making the slightest error, like a phobia. Quite irrational.



old_comedywriter
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15 Apr 2024, 2:12 pm

White lies are racist. Lies should be more inclusive.


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naturalplastic
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15 Apr 2024, 2:20 pm

Another anectdote from work.

We go into retail stores with little hand held computers, and physically count their whole inventory.

I was on a team counting a little convenience store.

The newly minted supervisor was a young guy who would OVER supervise...assign to much...and not allow self direction enough. This resulted in me not being allowed to count areas with lots of "pieces" that would boost my productivity numbers.

So I ...pretended that I didnt hear him, or forgot what he said, and jumped on a good area with large number of physically small snack items to rack up my numbers. Thought to myself "if it matters to him, and he mentions it I will just quit this area without a fight". And sure enough he noticed what I was doing and ...politely reminded me not to count it, and I politely said "oh yeah...I forgot... I will quit it and move on".

Trouble is I had already made a deal with another coworker to split up the store. The other employee happened to be the same lady I mentioned above. So I said to her to "guess what...he ordered me not to count such and such".

The guy supervisor was known for doing things in odd ways, but in all fairness this lady may have been out of the loop and not known that about him.

She told me later that she went to the boss to ask him if he really had ordered that...which he confirmed, because "I cant imagine why anyone would give such an order".

The point being that...in the same one incident ...I really DID "tell" a white lie. That being that I forgot what the boss told me to not to do. And then someone falsely accused me of telling a bigger lie...when I told the second person the truth...that the boss actually DID order me not do a certain thing and she didnt believe me. :lol: