When Is It Okay to Tell a Little White Lie?

When Is It Okay to Tell a Little White Lie? ©iStock/PeopleImages

Your parents probably taught you when you were a kid that lying is bad. You should always tell the truth, no matter what. But as you got older you started to realize that sometimes telling the full truth ends up being a lot worse than telling a little lie. There are some situations where lying, or just telling a half-truth is better for everyone involved. Whether it’s to spare someone’s feelings, or keep an important secret, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with telling a little white lie. Just don’t make it a habit.

  1. When you hate your friend’s new haircut. Maybe you think her face is too round for hair that short. Maybe it actually makes her look like Justin Bieber circa 2009. Or maybe pixie cuts just aren’t your thing. Whatever it may be, she can’t exactly glue her hair back onto her head, so keep your opinion to yourself.
  2. Your cousin chose an awful name for her new baby. Little Princess Sapphire Rose Petal is an adorable baby, but she’ll probably grow up to hate her parents for naming her something so ridiculous. That angry teenager will be enough punishment, though – your cousin doesn’t need your judgement on top of it.
  3. Your co-worker says she’s been working out, but she looks no different to you. If you know she’s been working hard, there’s no harm in telling her it’s really starting to show. Everyone holds weight differently, and as long as she’s trying, that’s a good start. No need to discourage her.
  4. You’ve had better pumpkin pie than your boyfriend’s mom’s secret recipe. You want her to like you, right? Ask for seconds. That’s all there is to it.
  5. You don’t like the scarf your Grandma made you. She knitted it with her bare, arthritic hands. You can’t exactly say that orange isn’t your color.
  6. You are totally NOT over your ex you just ran into. He’s looking great, and he seems to be completely fine without you. Your pride absolutely requires that you don’t break down into a fit of sobs and beg him to take you back, even if that’s what your entire being wants you to do right now. Grin, bear it, then go home and cry into a pint of ice cream.
  7. Your boyfriend’s penis is definitely not the biggest one you’ve been with. He doesn’t want to know about the guy from college that could have been a sex star. He just wants to know he’s able to satisfy you. You don’t need to say he’s the biggest, but definitely let him know he’s the best.
  8. Your friend asks if you think her new boyfriend is hot. If you think he’s smokin’, downplay it. If you think he’s hideous, go the “he’s not my type, but I totally see why you’re attracted to him” route.
  9. You promised your sister you wouldn’t tell anyone she’s pregnant. It’s not really your place to go blabbing the exciting (or terrifying?) news. Besides, you know how people have a tendency to kill the messenger? It’s better if you’re just as oblivious as everyone else.
  10. Your niece asks you if Santa Claus really exists. You don’t have to be the one to break the news to her, that’s the other kids on the playground’s job. She’ll figure it out on her own eventually.
  11. You went out of your way to help your crush with something. You don’t need to tell him it was actually a huge hassle for you to take three different trains to get to his place to feed his cat while he was out of town. All he needs to know for now is that he can count on you in a pinch.
  12. You just want a stupid fight with your boyfriend to end. Sometimes you have to back down and say the only two words he wants to hear — “You’re right”. Whether you actually mean it or not doesn’t really matter. If it’s just a little disagreement, there’s no harm in letting him have this one, just for the sake of your sanity.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.