Skepticism

Afternoon Inquisition 5.5.09

Strange things are afoot at the Real household.   Things got Springtimey and busy and wow-please-just-can’t-I-sleep-in-one-stinking-Saturday?-I-mean-really quite suddenly. And here we are already in May.

Consequently, I think a lot about the lies I can tell my neighbors and IRL friends that won’t make me a tool, but will give me some freetime.  But I’m the worst liar EVAH.  Plus I get all caught up in that white lie vs. indetermine race lie thing.

How much do you lie?  White lies?  Big lies?  Little lies?  (Of course, feel free to lie to me here, if you must.)

a.real.girl

A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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29 Comments

  1. I only outright lie when women ask me “does this (garment) make me look fat?” or “do you think she’s cute?”

    I don’t cover up my mistakes with lies which is probably why I’m still a manager and not a director or VP yet.

    I’ll maybe “exaggerate” to prove a point outside of work. Does that count?

  2. I love telling lies that everyone knows are lies. I think that’s a borderline area between joking and lying, but telling women I can lick my own eyebrows is a fun lie. The next two lines in the conversation are usually “Really?” “No.”

    But actually lying? I do when conversations get awkward, and people pry in to things I don’t think they should (or maybe I justify lying about it by thinking they shouldn’t have asked, more likely). I don’t mind telling a blatant one that won’t be believed, but they’ll be too polite to challenge me on (is it even a lie if you both know it’s not true? I suppose so). I try and be open and honest, but some times it’s just more work than it’s worth.

  3. It’s only a lie if the other person finds out ;-) (and if you somehow come to know that’s the case).

    The rest of the time, it’s Complementary and Alternative Truth :-D

    So, according to this rather pragmatic definition, I hardly ever lie. I’m also more fond of “selective reporting” than lying, lying involves too much creativity that I cannot afford nor sustain through time.

    But lying is a necessary social adaptation. No long-term coexistence is possible without lying, that seems a self-evident truth to me.

  4. Odd as it may seem, I do try never to lie, except when doing so for entertainment (e.g writing fiction).

    My wife has even come to understand that “does this dress make me look fat?” will get an honest answer – and that’s a good thing. (That way, when I say she looks good, she knows I’m not just saying so to be nice).

    I’ve been doing this for a little over a year, and have been surprised at how well it’s been received. Learning the art of tact is definitely the key: there’s a huge difference between “this pie is awful” and “I’m sorry, I just don’t care for this pie”.

    Unfortunately, the habit of the “little white lie” is pretty well ingrained, and I’ve caught myself lying so as not to cause a ruckus more than once. Interesting how society both decries and values the ability to lie convincingly. ;-)

  5. @Merkuto: Lie that everyone knows are lies… so much fun! It has only backfired once for me, when I accidentally spread the word that a friend was naming his second kid the same name as his first. That got back to him before it got back to me, and boy was I laughing.

    Lying is okay as long as it’s funny.

  6. Where is the boundary between lying and being polite? The art of conversation includes statements that are partially or completely untrue. Early in their lives, we introduce our children to the harmless “please” and “thank you,” but it isn’t long before we teach them how to make a compliment or how to show interest.

    We also teach them not to lie. Where is the boundary?

    And let’s not forget that the art of being polite is called politics.

  7. @Mully410: Ah, dishonesty in relationships -always a sign of a happy union!
    In all seriousness, though, if a woman thinks she might look unattractive in something and asks her partner his opinion, she should understand if his answer is not exactly what she expected. I have never asked my husband if “this makes me look fat,” but I have asked “do I look okay in this?” and I firmly expect an honest answer. Because if I don’t, I certainly wouldn’t want to be seen in public in it!

    I lie to my parents all the time, mostly when we’re just too tired to deal with spending time with them. And I lie to some of the girls I know who are not interesting to me but I don’t want to hurt their feelings, so I “have to work” or “have to babysit the kids-in-law” or “am buried beneath laundry,” etc.
    The only time I lie to my husband is a lie of omission: when I don’t tell him I checked the results of a race or fight we taped on the internet because I couldn’t stand not knowing…

  8. @Elexina: That’s the way it should be but I haven’t witnessed things the way they should be. The 100% honesty policy towards women hasn’t worked for me, yet I see lying sacks of crap with women all the time. huh.

  9. I seldom lie, even to my own detriment. During one heated discussion with my wife concerning religion (She has a somewhat spiritual belief that there is a power/spirit/energy/something that interconnects people) , she challenged my statement that all religious beliefs were delusional.

    “So, you think I’m delusional to believe what I do?”

    “When it come to some mysterious, unmeasurable, unprovable energy that surrounds us, penetrates us and binds the galaxy together, yes. I think you are delusional.”

    That did not go over well.

  10. @Geis: Oh, no, I think in these cases you must use the “puzzle truth”, like:

    -Do you think I am delusional?
    -If you believe all that stuff, then it cannot count as lying if I make you believe you’re not delusional, so of course you’re not delusional, you’re just as equally open-minded to other people’s truths as to my truths.

    (Which is actually true.) Until the other person figures that out, you have a 1,500 lies credit.

  11. Times are hard,

    I’ve been keeping an exes stuff (limited to three large items) at my house while she finds a place to live.

    Soon, (called yesterday, thank the gods) she’ll come and get her stuff. She’ll thank me and I’ll say something like “glad I could help”.

    In reality, we both know I want this junk (and her problems) out of my space so bad I could scream. (Hey, it may be me someday and she’d do zero to help, so I don’t feel I’m so bad).

    However, I don’t rightly know it’s a lie. I don’t expect to be believed, and I won’t be.

    rod

  12. I have an uncle who is known for his BS tendencies. My mother once said “Uncle Dan is such a good liar!”

    And I thought.. no, no he isn’t because we all know he lies.

    But if say you are almost always believed because no one would ever think that you would lie.. and you are in fact lying… then you are a good liar.

    A good liar would never ever admit to being a liar and would never have the rep of being a liar.

    How do I fit in? I’ll leave that to you to figure out.

  13. I suspect that the so-called white lying is a kind of ‘social lubricant’ like good manners. I doubt we could survive without it.

    There is a fine line between lying as a way to keep society going without too much friction and lying that destroys a society because it undermines trust.

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