You know when you lie… at first. But there seems to be no limit of things humans can convince themselves of:
I’ll start my diet tomorrow
The light was still yellow
He does love me
How do we distinguish little white lies from little seeds of destruction?
One time when I was walking into a store, I saw a couple coming up next to me. I knew they were talking, but as they approached, I couldn’t really hear their conversation. I didn’t think much of it until the girl smacked the guy completely out of the blue. I was a bit concerned until I heard the guy say ‘What? I was just being honest’. I had to keep from smiling, but I realized, there are certain lies I don’t really mind.
This surprised me, but I knew it was true. People like a certain amount of professional courtesy. Sometimes we want people to go, psh, what? You look great, or It’s no problem, I don’t mind helping you move. And, in return, we help, listen, and flatter even if we don’t feel or think it. It’s not all about us. Sometimes we tell little white lies in order to put others first. I don’t like these kinds of lies, but they just don’t seem that bad. What makes these lies different from ‘bad’ lies? From lies that deceive, hurt, and damage?
I believe the difference is intent. Why did they lie? For personal gain, for power, just to inflict pain? But people don’t admit why they lie, so it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. The resulting effects of their lie, is a good way to check. Is it like, aww, he lied and said the party was her idea so that she got all the credit (She’s out of my League). Or was it like, he lied about ‘accidentally’ tripping after running up next to Alexi, (My Best Friends Girl), and then pretended to like her, so that he could just mess her up later. He might have seemed sweet (which is what he was going for), but his intent was to cause the girl pain.
Lies with bad intentions just get bigger and worse with time. It always ends bad. Habitual liars are becoming all too common. They do it for the control. Changing behavior is difficult, but I know if people stopped believing them, it would be a step in the right direction. Lies hurt the liar too. Tank Turner basically thought he was evil by the end of the movie because he lied so much/played the part so well. He eventually lied in order to get the girl with (who he thought was) the good guy. He had good intentions, he shouldn’t have done it, but that type of lie was different.
So, next time your confronted with a lie, either from yourself or someone else, ask, what is the purpose of this lie? What will it accomplish? Who will it hurt? What’s the point? Why was it said? Who does it help? It doesn’t matter if the person says they had good intentions, or that they were sparing your feelings. These are not valid excuses. Work through the questions and you’ll find the right answer typically has nothing to do with their reasons. You just know what their motives were. That’s why that girl smacked the guy. She knew he wasn’t ‘just being honest’, he was just being mean.
Good luck out there