Tuesday, January 28, 2014

White lies

Just like anybody else I hate being lied to. I probably dislike it more than the usual person, simply because I've had so many bad experiences with it. In some sense lying destroyed my family but that's a story for another night. Today at lunch me and some friends talked about the use of lies and when they're okay or not. According to my sister and her friend, Egyptians lie all the time, whether they have to or not. Apparently most of these lies can be regarded as white lies. What even is a white lie? The internet gave me this: "An often trivial, diplomatic and well-intentioned untruth." Surely, with a little effort, that definition can be extended on every lie. You can always argue a lie was well-intentioned, or for everybody's good, just like you can always find something good in a bad thing. A white lie, for me, is therefore some serious BS. And I can prove it...

My ex-boyfriend used to sleep until 3pm. He was also unemployed and broke. I told him to get up early and start handing out some CVs. He was going to call me when he was up. At 3pm he called and said he wasn't able to call me earlier because his flatmate had been very upset and he took him on a little joyride to cheer him up. Unfortunately for my ex-boyfriend his flatmate had been sitting next to me in the library all morning. Busted! Obviously the lie was just intended to protect him from me being annoyed at him being lazy but you could argue it was also better for me not to know. A very trivial, diplomatic and well-intentioned untruth that was protecting us from fighting, me including. So by definition it was a white lie which shouldn't cause a break up like it did (one of four, so I guess it could be worse!). If he lied about when he got up how could I trust him? Coincidentally, this was only the beginning of this guy's lie parade so I suppose I was right in expecting more to come than a lie about his sleeping patterns.

Another good one is also connected to a guy. I'm sure I've had girls lie to me but it doesn't stick as much as when a guy lies to you that you have some kind of romantic connection with because you care less. When I first met him through some friends he had mentioned how popular he is with the chicks therefore making me think that it's not worth pursuing anything serious with him. Quickly he had changed his mind, saying how he had said all that sarcastically. Apparently he did so because he felt I didn't want anything serious so it was a white lie in order for us to have an easier time getting together. Because in reality I was special and he wasn't the lothario he made out to be. So then I had to be careful because a guy like that you don't want to lead on. When that approach didn't work either he changed the deck again. By that time all was lost already, too much lying. He had clearly shown that not lying isn't a value to him. I'm sure he could have been anything I wanted him to be. In a web of lies and deceit we could have had a great time. Even I would have benefited from that. A white lie by definition, a crucial, blown-out-the water untruth in reality.

A white lie should not lead to destruction in any case. It seems too easy to make any kind of lie a white one. "I cheated on you but didn't tell you because you'd leave me!" Classic! The problem is that even a white lie can cause for trust to be broken. Even the most trivial lie shows that the person is willing to lie. And if that person lies about trivial things it's apparent that more drastic lies would not be withheld either. It's true that some things get easier with a little bit of made up help but whatever happened to really being truthful and working with what's actually happening? There is no need for white lies, at least not in my life. Someone who lies to me about what time they got up will lie to me about what they did with my money or where they were last night. And the other way around I don't see why I should lie to someone either. The truth is the truth and whether it's a friend or a partner you're talking to they should be able to handle the it. Otherwise bye-bye! Honesty is very important to me but there's many people who'd prefer to be in the dark. For these people I have no understanding...

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