According to Psychology Today, there are two kinds of lies out there: kind-hearted lies and self-serving lies.
Self-serving lies are "the ones people tell to make themselves look better or to spare themselves from embarrassment, punishment, or blame, or from getting their feelings hurt." Kind-hearted lies are the ones that "are told with the intent of making another person look better or feel better, or to spare them from embarrassment, punishment, or blame, or from getting their feelings hurt." Aka, white lies.
Simply put: We tell self-serving lies to save ourselves from looking like assh*les, but we tell kind-hearted lies to save our friends from feeling like assh*les. The study, posted by Dr. Bella DePaulo, suggests that kind-hearted lies are the ones most likely to be exchanged between women. As a woman, I'm surprised. I obviously can't speak for all women, but I personally spend most of my days trying my best not to hurt anybody's feelings.
I am hyperaware of how my words and actions will affect the feelings of the people around me -- especially those of other women. I'm not even really sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. It's just something I do.
I'm all about being honest when necessary. But, at the end of the day, there are some things you just have to lie about to your best friends. Sometimes telling the truth isn’t worth the pain it would cause.
What are those things? Read on.
1. When she gets a bad haircut.
I don’t care if your friend just got back from the hair salon with a hair cut that looks like Billy Ray Cyrus and Carrot Top just had a hair baby. You do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT tell her that her hair looks bad. What the f*ck is she supposed to do? Go back to the salon and have them uncut it?
2. When she’s settling for an average guy.
There are times when your friend will date a douchebag who makes her upset and causes her way more harm than good. Those are times when you need to get involved and tell her the truth about this douche.
But sometimes, she’s going to go out with an average guy who may not be your cup of tea, but who makes her happy. You may feel that average guy is not good enough for her, but as long as he is NICE to her, there is not one point in you telling her so. Keep it to yourself.
3. When she's gained a little weight.
If she’s not worried about it, you shouldn't be either. And even if she has put on a few pounds and isn’t feeling like her best self, you DO NOT confirm her suspicions when she asks you about it. Leave her alone. Let her live.
4. When she asks if the zit on her chin is really “that bad.”
Your job in this moment is to make her feel better about the zit. Your job is to convince her that no, it’s not that bad. (She knows it’s bad.) Don’t make it worse.
5. When she asks what you think of that ugly picture of her.
My personal least favorite thing when I show my friends a HEINOUS picture of myself is when they respond by saying: “What? That’s what you always look like.” WTF?! If that’s what I always look like, just lie. Please. For my own well-being.
6. When she asks if her outfit is OK once you’re already out.
Let's say she met you out for dinner with your conservative parents in a less-than-conservative outfit. She sits down and asks you if her deep V-neck mini-dress is OK. WHAT IS THE POINT IN TELLING HER NOW THAT YOUR PARENTS WILL DEFINITELY THINK SHE LOOKS LIKE A CALL GIRL? She can’t go home to change. The deed has been done. Don’t make her feel like sh*t about it.
7. When she’s venting about her crazy family.
This is a cardinal rule of friendship. Your friend can call her mom a crazy b*tch. You can’t call her mom a crazy b*tch. Even if she asks you, “She’s being a crazy b*tch, right?” You DO NOT agree. Because that is her mom.
8. When she asks what kind of a mom you think she’ll be.
My cousin once told me in the fourth grade that I would be a mean mom, and I didn’t speak to her for two weeks. Don’t tell her she’s going to be a bad mom. And while we’re on that note, don’t tell her she IS a bad mom if you don’t agree with her parenting style. It's really hard to come back from that one.
9. When you hear a rumor that might affect her.
You hear from an unreliable source that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. What’s your next move? Look into it further and, if you don’t find anything else, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. Don’t sacrifice her sanity over a stupid rumor that may or may not be true.
10. When she’s venting about someone doing something that doesn't sound that bad.
OK so maybe you didn’t find that story where her stupid evil b*tch of a co-worker left the microwave a TOTAL MESS to be that bad. But this is your friend. You are on HER side and if that b*tch leaving a mess in the microwave ruined her day, it damn well ruined yours as well.
11. When you attend her big creative performance...
…and she bombs. I don’t care if not one member of that audience is smiling at her pitiful stand-up routine, you better be ROLLING ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING. You are her friend. You have her back. Even if it means faking a laugh.
12. When she changes her profile picture to something less-than-favorable.
You don’t have to actually like it, but you have to shoot her a “like.”
13. When she’s still not over her ex.
It’s been three years since he slashed her heart into a million pieces and she still finds herself crying about it time and time again. She knows this is sad. She knows this is pathetic. She knows she needs to get over it. Don’t remind her.
14. When you just don’t really feel like hanging out.
This varies from friend to friend. Sometimes making an excuse ("I've got food poisoning") is just what you’ve gotta do to spare some feelings.
15. When she asks about her behavior from last night.
She puked on her crush, took her top off and started dancing on the table, then finally called her ex to cry about how much she misses him. Not her finest moment. And, in all honesty, it really was THAT bad. But you know who knows how bad it was already? Her. Unless this is something that happens regularly, don’t make it worse for her. Help her make light of the situation at hand.
Tell us: What little white lies do you tell to spare the feelings of those you love?