Personality Cafe banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at a dinner party on the weekend and the subject of little white lies came up between myself, my ENTJ SO and an INFP friend.

My INFP friend's view = Little white lies are ok if it is about something inconsequential and/or if it saves someone's feelings from being hurt.

My ENTJ's view= Little white lies are usually a waste of time. They usually have more to do with sparing the liar discomfort than they are to spare the listener's feelings.

My view = I am not particularly good at lying, so I try to avoid it... instead opting to tell the truth as tactfully as possible or if I am having difficulties re-routing the conversation. (eg " Does this make my butt look big" - I might answer, "hmmm do you know what body shape you are? Let's google the styles that would be most flattering")

So what's your view? Are little white lies a necessary social lubrication or a disingenuous display?

How do little white lies tie into being authentic? Can you be true to yourself while speaking untruthfully?

How do you react when you find out someone has told you a little white lie?

How about little white lies of omission? Are they just as ok/bad/worse than stated white lies?

Any other comments, anecdotes etc regarding the topic?
 
  • Like
Reactions: UnicornRainbowLove

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,350 Posts
When I don't want to lie and I feel like my thoughts are going to rustle some feathers I tend to be quiet XD
Depending on the subject I might outright avoid it or if they do directly ask me I'll be honest, don't think I come off as abrasive as some who think being honest equates to being nasty.
So maybe I just have better tact than some ^_^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
I guess it depends on the situation, but I lean more towards the side of tact. I strive to be truthful as much as possible, and there are situations where a little tact is preferable. It's usually possible to be tactful without lying though, so I don't see the point in lying.

As for white lies of omission... well not everybody needs to know everything, and if you don't need to know then I might not tell you. It's fine, as long as withholding that information isn't deceptive, for example when they would need that information to make the right decision about something.

In your example of "does this make my butt look big", I see no need to spare anyone's feelings or to be tactful, because if they're not ready to get an honest answer they shoudn't ask the question. It's a really simple question, and getting upset about getting an answer you don't like to a question you chose to ask is emotionally manipulative and childish. Don't make me responsible for placating your insecurities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I don't want to lie and I feel like my thoughts are going to rustle some feathers I tend to be quiet XD
Depending on the subject I might outright avoid it or if they do directly ask me I'll be honest, don't think I come off as abrasive as some who think being honest equates to being nasty.
So maybe I just have better tact than some ^_^
From what I have seen, you rock at saying exactly what is needed at just the right time in just the right way... geez Wellsy, I hope you are a people leader... I think you'd be great at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
Always being told the truth can be a bit disheartening at times, but I've never been crushed by it. I don't like being lied to and I try my best to not lie to others. If they ask me a hard question, I'll stop to think about my answer, but generally I do my best just to say what I feel is true. It can be hard, but always being honest seems to be the best way to express who I am inside or at at the very least who I'm striving to be.

I understand your INFP friend's view of wanting to keep the peace, avoid conflict, and not hurt anyone, but as my ESTJ humanities teacher has pointed out(and I tend to agree) if your going to ask a question in order to get a specific answer from somebody and become frustrated toward them for their honesty, then thats manipulation. Obviously being rudely honest isn't what I'm talking about, but if a wife ask her husband whether those pants make her butt look big and he says yes, then the wife should thank the husband for not allowing her to live with the lie that they don't. If he was 'suppose' to say no then she shouldn't force her husband into a corner that gives him only two options: lie or eat a twix.

This is, of course, my opinion and I hold no one else to such a standard that I have for myself. I definitely have times I've lied out of shear desire to keep moving and not deal with the conflict that might've came, but I hope the more I practice honesty, the less such lies occur. In all reality, I have a hard enough time working with doing my best to be myself, I don't need any added stress to my journey of authenticity haha.

I definitely don't condone your friend for being ok with lying (be they little or not). I would never wish to force anyone into my personalized views. Thats just how I feel about it.

Great questions! Always get all excited to share my point of view on such types of questions ^^.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
As for white lies of omission... well not everybody needs to know everything, and if you don't need to know then I might not tell you. It's fine, as long as withholding that information isn't deceptive, for example when they would need that information to make the right decision about something.
Same here.

@Sangoire I'm a terrible liar if I'm put on the spot, and that's if I even think to lie in the first place! If I have time to prepare I might tell the odd white lie, if I think telling the truth would end badly.

In principle, I appreciate honesty and try to give that to others. However in reality I've noticed that a lot of my peers aren't equipped to handle the truth, and thrive on telling each other socially acceptable lies. In that case I just avoid people when possible, or if I can't avoid them I'll weigh up whether it's better to say nothing, play along, or shake things up a bit. Generally I just try to be invisible, but if I'm feeling cranky I'm not above being a little bit mean.

Depends on culture too, I think. I wrote the above with my home country in mind, but where I'm living now it's generally expected that you'll be honest and get straight to the point, so white lies aren't really something I have to tear myself up over these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Same here.

@Sangoire However in reality I've noticed that a lot of my peers aren't equipped to handle the truth, and thrive on telling each other socially acceptable lies.
Oh so true... I am so glad I was raised by an Fe dominant mother who is a very gifted and patient teacher... otherwise I fear I would be blundering around bruising feelings, completely blind to the social niceties in this regard. I learnt the hard way not to tell my girlfriends "yes in that dress, which you paid $150 for, does make your butt look fat. Can you get your money back or is it store credit only?" :laughing:

And I agree with you and your ESTJ teacher @Wolves273... it is totally unfair to put someone on the spot like that... I had never thought of it as manipulative though... that's a very interesting observation. I will definitely ponder that further... thanks Wolves :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
The problem is never in the truth, the problem is in what you believe about it. Whether you should lie or not depends on whether the recipient can ever reconcile with the truth or not.
Even in a world with terminal cancer there really is no universal good or bad, only subjective judgment. We all strive to be more succesful, popular, beautiful, healthy, smart, painless and ideal, and when we cannot be it we either live with the shame and grief or lie to ourselves and encourage others to keep up the illusion. We forget that maybe striving for and trying to maintain all this in reality is more painful than rewarding, and we lose or injure ourselves in a game that perhaps we never had to play. How do you know you must be a succesful businessman to be loved and appreciated? How do you know you would never realize yourself without becoming a writer? Why do you only allow yourself to love yourself when you feel beautiful? It is such beliefs about what is ideal that coerce us into a grand array of lies both to others and ourselves, and they stagnate both truthseeking and spiritual understanding. There is no sense in telling the truth as long as he who hears it would only use it for harm, so the only solution is to teach others what is worth believing in and only give the uncomfortable details if it helps them to see it.

Btw. everyone in this thread has a big butt in those pants. I'm just being honest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Oh so true... I am so glad I was raised by an Fe dominant mother who is a very gifted and patient teacher... otherwise I fear I would be blundering around bruising feelings, completely blind to the social niceties in this regard. I learnt the hard way not to tell my girlfriends "yes in that dress, which you paid $150 for, does make your butt look fat. Can you get your money back or is it store credit only?" :laughing:
AHAHAHAHAHA I would definitely take you shopping with me!! XD I actually had one friend who said she liked taking me along precisely because I was so honest with her, and because I'd always ask her if she really needed something if she was about to make an impulse purchase. But yeah, awkward when someone's already bought it and it's horrible on them.

My Fe dominant mother wasn't so much a gifted and patient teacher as, erm... a good example of how hung up people can get over this sort of thing, I guess? I'd watch her interact with people and then had to listen to what she had to say about them after she got home. So I figured out pretty quickly that the strictly enforced "thou shalt not tell lies" only applied when she was asking me if I'd done my homework... >_<

Oh and I also agree that those sorts of questions are manipulative, and that you shouldn't ask them if you're not prepared to receive an honest answer. I cannot stand people fishing for compliments, and I hate that as a woman, I'm stereotyped as being especially prone to it!

@UnicornRainbowLove My butt is smooth and luscious, and that's a statement, not a question. Oh wait, no, that was the coffee I just drank. Never mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
@UnicornRainbowLove My butt is smooth and luscious, and that's a statement, not a question. Oh wait, no, that was the coffee I just drank. Never mind.
No worries, I mix those two up all the time as well. It grants me some perplexed looks from the waiters when I'm in coffee shops.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wolf's Tale

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
No worries, I mix those two up all the time as well. It grants me some perplexed looks from the waiters when I'm in coffee shops.
I was trying to reference a coffee ad that's currently playing on the telly here, but I got it mixed up: it's actually "elegant and full-bodied".

Again, totally like my arse in that dress.
 

·
Plumcot
Joined
·
2,186 Posts
"So what's your view? Are little white lies a necessary social lubrication or a disingenuous display?"

Uuuugh I hate lying in general. Screw that.

"How do little white lies tie into being authentic? Can you be true to yourself while speaking untruthfully?"
They're not authentic and never will be. You're hurting the person in the end. No, you cannot be truthful when being untruthful.

"How do you react when you find out someone has told you a little white lie?"

I shrug it off; it doesn't bother me.

"How about little white lies of omission? Are they just as ok/bad/worse than stated white lies?"

Honestly when I know someone has lied, it makes me angry. If it didn't change anything, it's probably something I wouldn't confront someone over.

"Any other comments, anecdotes etc regarding the topic?"

I just hate lying haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,436 Posts
I was trying to reference a coffee ad that's currently playing on the telly here, but I got it mixed up: it's actually "elegant and full-bodied".

Again, totally like my arse in that dress.
I did not catch that reference... I wouldn't know. Actually I lied to make a joke. I never drink coffee. It tastes like being told you've got progeria and gives me the bodily sensation of lucid death. Then again, I'm picky. The moral of the story is that you should get a different dress.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ElliCat

·
Retired Administrator
Joined
·
18,159 Posts
I don't lie very well, and it would probably bother me if I felt like I had lied about something that ended up being detrimental to another person (as lies usually are). I don't like the idea of straight out lying to "protect" someone's feelings because if it is the truth then it's going to come out anyway, and might as well help them deal with it before it hurts more.

But it's also difficult to define truth. If someone asked me if their ass looked big in a pair of pants, I wouldn't know what to say...I don't really go around thinking "that person's ass looks big in those pants." I actually think big asses look nice and usually when I dress to impress (IDK who) I will try to make my ass look bigger. But I might offer some suggestion about how cold dark colors make objects appear to recede and smaller, whereas brighter colors highlight them more.

With important things, I wouldn't lie about them either--but would stress about finding a tactful way to express things during a conversation. The only problem I've really had with lying was when I couldn't think about what to say because the person was in my face and I felt threatened.

And then I reserve the right to lie in some circumstances...like anything I feel threatens my basic rights, immediate safety, or whatever else I decide. But generally, I lie very poorly and so try not to lie. I also feel really uncomfortable about it.

Sometimes I worry a lot about saying something that gets misunderstood...and so becomes a sort of lie or misinformation. Probably because I am not that confident in my communication skills.

Oh--and I will dodge giving information as well. I don't always feel comfortable sharing everything. I remember as a kid I once shared someone's secret, and it really bothered them--I felt bad about it so I try not to be so open as to hurt other people.

I watched a ted talk on lying and it seems women more often lie to protect someone. Ah--that reminds me that there was a radio show on lying that I meant to listen to. It sounded interesting. If I find it, I'll post a link.

Currently, I am working on balancing openness and comfort, and being honest and responsible in my communication. But it's a challenge.

Here's the link:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/552/need-to-know-basis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
sometimes i do lie...... and i have no problem with lying.

if lying with benefit me and it is still within my comfort zone then i will lie.

I'm usually very authentic though and i don't think little lies here and there will effect my authenticity.

if lying does effect my authenticity then i will try to fix/correct it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
So what's your view? Are little white lies a necessary social lubrication or a disingenuous display?
Eh... maybe.. but there are better ways like re-framing the truth in a more logical positive concise way that can't be argued. Also implying that it's tied to your strategy for making your way in life (i.e. core values). A trick I learned from hanging around NTs too much.

How do little white lies tie into being authentic? Can you be true to yourself while speaking untruthfully?
Eh... haven't thought of this. Maybe if you are tied to someone else's personal well being. However usually it's a crazy circumstance that I would start lying outright.

How do you react when you find out someone has told you a little white lie?
I might be somewhat hurt. However I would be worried about the toll it might have taken on them to tell a white lie. Because I usually cross-check information all the time as a habit to look for a pattern. Then it gets integrated into one of my values and I start following it.

How about little white lies of omission? Are they just as ok/bad/worse than stated white lies?
I'm more comfortable with these ones. However the omission is usually the "timing" of the events that occurred.

Any other comments, anecdotes etc regarding the topic?
When it sounds reasonable I usually just believe people and collate that information with other things. However sometimes when I put that into practice the person who told me the white lie feels a little stress since it comes back in their life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
I did not catch that reference... I wouldn't know. Actually I lied to make a joke. I never drink coffee. It tastes like being told you've got progeria and gives me the bodily sensation of lucid death. Then again, I'm picky. The moral of the story is that you should get a different dress.
Sorry. Like you, I merely saw the opportunity to make a joke and jumped on it.

The dress is staying!

The only problem I've really had with lying was when I couldn't think about what to say because the person was in my face and I felt threatened.

And then I reserve the right to lie in some circumstances...like anything I feel threatens my basic rights, immediate safety, or whatever else I decide. But generally, I lie very poorly and so try not to lie. I also feel really uncomfortable about it.

Sometimes I worry a lot about saying something that gets misunderstood...and so becomes a sort of lie or misinformation. Probably because I am not that confident in my communication skills.

Oh--and I will dodge giving information as well. I don't always feel comfortable sharing everything. I remember as a kid I once shared someone's secret, and it really bothered them--I felt bad about it so I try not to be so open as to hurt other people
Yes, these are the sorts of situations I was talking about when I said I might tell the odd lie. Not that I really find myself in immediate danger (although you never know)... But I have lied, usually by omission, if I thought that something would be misunderstood badly enough to cause someone hurt. I've done that enough times by accident to know it's a real possibility with me. :-/ I don't know if I sounded flippant in my previous post but I do consider it the "lesser of two evils" rather than something I'm genuinely okay with.

It's kind of like that old joke - I always tell the truth so that way I never have to remember what I've said to people. Even aside from the moral implications of being dishonest with people, my memory's nowhere near good enough to keep track of regular lies!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top