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9 Times It’s Actually Acceptable To Tell A Little White Lie

We are all familiar with white lies. They’re the harmless kind we often tell out of politeness, or contingent upon social norms and cues.

Some may think lying in any way is wrong and awful, and only the whole truth and nothing but the truth should ever escape our lips.

Still, most of us can agree that there are certain times when telling a white lie is absolutely necessary.

Below are nine examples of when telling a white lie is totally okay:

When your girlfriend asks if you like the mixed drink she just prepared for you both

Sure, this “cocktail” may taste like a mango exploded in a glass of sweetened OJ, but when your gracious host and provider of the alcohol eagerly awaits your approval on the drink, you simply have to tell her it’s fabulous and you need another.

Then, pour more Svedka in it when she goes to the bathroom!


When your mom asks if you’re eating well at college

Telling her you basically live off of Chipotle once a week and semi-stale cereal won’t put produce in your fridge or change your habits, so there’s no use in worrying the poor woman.

Responding, “Yeah, for sure,” is 100 percent appropriate because, let’s be honest, for a senior in college, the fact that you even remember to eat is commendable.


When your sibling asks if you think the upcoming family party will be a good time

You both know it probably won’t be fun (sorry, Aunt Sue, but your drunken antics just aren’t amusing anymore), but outwardly telling him or her it will be the worst five hours of the month will only worsen the mood about going.

So, in this situation, you probably should lie through your damn teeth and come up with something at least a little optimistic about the Saturday that lay in wait.


When an acquaintance asks if you had a good semester

Ah, such a dreaded, yet common question! Maybe you’d like to talk this person’s ear off, spewing details of all the hoops your college dean made you jump through, how you lost a grandparent the week before midterms, caught your significant other cheating with your roommate and then contracted a rare, yet severe allergy.

But, instead, you decide a white lie is so beyond necessary right now, so you muster up, “Good! How’s yours been?” This poor, unfortunate soul doesn’t have the time to hear your sob story, and realistically, he or she probably wouldn’t care if you shared the real answer to the question.


When someone who is already out asks you whether or not you like his or her outfit

“No, I freaking hate it. Are those tights or pants?” That’s what you’d like to say.

But, what would that answer do for someone who, very clearly, does not have the opportunity to change? Nothing! So, instead, “Yeah, great choice!” is probably better.


When your coworkers ask if you had fun at the work party last night

Uh oh, it’s a trap! No, I’m kidding, but this is definitely a question to answer a little falsely.

Sharing how you counted down the seconds until it was an appropriate time to rush home to your drunk food bed won’t make that night any more exciting for you, so responding with a not-so-honest answer is probably your best bet.


When your significant other wants to know if you like his or her new haircut

Tread lightly here because unlike friends, coworkers or even family, we all understand that the opinion of the person to whom you go home each day is just a little bit more important.

So, when he or she comes home with a botched haircut and asks your thoughts, say it looks totally great and change is fun!

Saying anything different won’t bring back the old luscious locks, so just choke down the hair jokes until it grows back a little.


When your roommate cooks dinner and insists you try a bite

You say you’ve already eaten and you normally don’t like seafood, but, ugh, the next thing you know, you’re a forkful in.

Even if it tastes like an old shoe marinated in stale milk, outwardly telling your clearly very proud roommate that you think the meal is yuck beyond belief won’t improve the situation in your mouth.

So, say it wasn’t your cup of tea but it was still flavored well and very tender because why not? Your roommate isn’t your personal chef, so a harsh critique wouldn’t do anything for you.


When someone — anyone — asks if you think he or she lost weight

This person is clearly coming from a place of “please tell me I look like I’ve lost weight, please tell me I look like I’ve lost weight,” but when no one offered the affirmation, the person resorted to asking.

Even if this person doesn’t look any different in your eyes, he or she must have changed his or her diet, started exercising or participating in some other weight loss regime. If not, the person wouldn’t be fishing for a compliment.

So, “Yeah, now that you mention it…” would be a great response that would send some good karma your way. Double win!

There are probably a million more times we have to say just a little bit of an untruth, and the above examples demonstrate just now necessary it is, every once in a while, to lie a little bit.

Just remember, white lies are the harmless kind and should never lead to lying of the more serious varieties, or overall fakeness and dishonesty.

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Haley Schluter

Contributor

Haley is a Broadcast and Digital journalism student at the Newhouse School of Public Communications out of Syracuse University. She is based in NY, and is a proud and informed feminist. Check out more of her work at haleyschluter.com
Haley is a Broadcast and Digital journalism student at the Newhouse School of Public Communications out of Syracuse University. She is based in NY, and is a proud and informed feminist. Check out more of her work at haleyschluter.com

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