White Lies

Nikki - posted on 12/21/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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This debate is stemming from all the anti Santa and anti lying to your children posts which have recently popped up around CoM. I am interested to know how everyone feels about white lies. Will you teach your children that there are times in life where it is appropriate to tell a small white lie to spare other's feelings? Or will you not tolerate any form of lying?

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Krista - posted on 12/21/2010

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I disagree that lying is ALWAYS bad. Obviously, we should aim to be as honest as possible. However, if telling the truth serves no purpose other than to hurt someone's feelings, then sometimes it is better to fib.

For example, your beloved grandma, who you rarely see, spends the entire year knitting you a wool sweater. You're allergic to wool, and the colour makes you look like you've been inexpertly embalmed. You know you will never, ever wear it.

Grandma asks if you like the sweater.

I think it would be incredibly rude and churlish to decide that the truth is more important at that point, and break your poor, sweet grandmother's heart.

Sometimes good manners require a little bit of pretense.

Nikki - posted on 12/21/2010

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I respect other's views to teach their children the way they see fit, however for me I don't believe that very small white lies are harmful. For example You open a Christmas present only to find a enormous pair of size 20 undies when you are a size 10, I think it is polite to lie to a certain degree and say "thank you that's great etc" Or a friend has just had their hair done and they are feeling really good about themselves, even if I didn't like it I can see they feel good about it so I am not going to burst their bubble and tell them they look horrible if they directly ask me what I think. I just know from my life experiences there have been times where I have lied to spare other's feelings, they were not harmful lies and there were no negative consequences.

Nikki - posted on 12/21/2010

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Do you think? I mean there is but... let's use the hair example again. Just say you got your hair done and your feeling really happy and confident with how it turned out, you feel great about yourself. You ask a friend what they think, if they are remotely negative about it; it could effect how you feel. Who am I to make someone feel bad about themselves when they think they look hot. What I think doesn't really matter anyway, what matters is how they feel, so I would rather lie.

Mrs. - posted on 12/21/2010

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Hey, I'm for being honest, in a time and place that may not be in front of that person and where they'll never hear tell of it. Like if you get that sweater you are allergic to from your Grandma, tell her you love it and then if you want tell your spouse the truth out of ear shot with a promise never to tell...if you absolutely HAVE to tell the truth.

I think it's a lie to tell your children that they should never ever lie. It's not true. We all have to tell white lies now and then. Besides who says your "truth" is even all that applicable or important in every given moment. You gotta give your kid that skill. If not, when their future boss asks them if they think they look good in those pants, they will not be losing their job because their truth was so important to tell.

Stifler's - posted on 12/21/2010

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I think "white lies" are more politeness. I lie all the time to be polite.

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[deleted account]

I tell my children not to lie! But as they get older they will learn when it may be appropriate to say things in a nice way even if its not being 100% honest. My parents taught me not to lie but they also taught me to be polite and to treat people how I want to be treated and they taught me 2 wrongs don't make a right. So basically I figured it out without my parent having to tell me when it is or isn't appropriate to guard someones feelings and sometimes that involves a little lie.

Krista - posted on 12/21/2010

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That's true, Rebecca. I'm sure we've all met people in life who are rude assholes, and when called upon it, protest "I'm just being honest!!!"

Mrs. - posted on 12/21/2010

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I plan on teaching my child tact. If you have to lie to have tact and spare someone's feelings-this is a skill that you need to get through life without being a douche. I don't want my kid to be a douche.

[deleted account]

I Like what Jodi said. I used to be so honest that i never had many friends. Now i have learnt that fine art of finding the good in the bad and never being as rude as i used to be.
I will teach my children that lies that you tell to save your own arse are bad But that sometimes it's ok to white lie as it might spare a friend or relatives feelings.

[deleted account]

I defnately agree that there are times when bending the truth is necessary, sometimes it is just not appropriate to respond with a 'you look like a boy' when your female friend asks if you like her new hair, unfortunately I did make that exact response when I was 13 because it was wrong to lie, looking back I should have said something like 'it's short' because that is not lying but not being downright offensive. I have since learnt some tact I hasten to add...

I don't see telling stories like santa to your children as lying to them.

[deleted account]

LOL jodi that was what i meant by you can spare peoples feelings without lying.





nikki, i got my hair done not too long ago, and my MIL said "Oh its gotta go, you look like a dirty homeless person" hahaha i just brushed it off.

Jodi - posted on 12/21/2010

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I will teach my daughter the trick that my mother taught me to avoid lying, but to spare feelings at the same time! Say for instance someone asks how their new perm is, and you don't like it. Pick something inane about it, like, "Oh, they did a really good job getting the curls nice and tight (or perfect waves or whatever.)." That way, you aren't saying you hate it, you aren't saying you like it, you're just saying the stylist did a commendable job on performing a perm. Grandma gives you an ugly sweater, "Oh Grandma, the beadwork is so intricate!" Something like that. My mother always taught me to find something good in everything! That being said, if my sister asked how her perm was and it was horrifying, I would let her know because some people really are looking for an honest opinion (usually because they know it's horible to begin with!) and deserve it.

Nikkole - posted on 12/21/2010

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Yea i have a friend who takes me clohtes shopping for her and she ALWAYS picks out the smallest size and she try's to squeeze into it and she asks does this make me look fat (and she is soo self conscious) So i say no but i dont like tight stuff lol i cant hurt her feelings!

*Lisa* - posted on 12/21/2010

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Me too. I think that makes me spineless at times, but I care more about how people feel rather than having my say.

*Lisa* - posted on 12/21/2010

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I agree with you Nikki. I don't know if I will teach my kids that white lies are ok or not, I think it's kind of case by case. I'm also still undecided on whether to even mention santa... he takes all the credit for my awesome present buying!

Meghan - posted on 12/21/2010

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you're right, those things aren't harmful. But there is a way to tactfully tell the truth- actually maybe that's why people don't ask my opinion on things like that lol

Meghan - posted on 12/21/2010

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A lie is a lie is a lie. If it is something that gets you out of trouble, takes heat off you, distracts someone etc. it is naughty I wont be tolerated. Take your spankings....hypothetically of course.
I don't consider Santa a lie...it doesn't do harm. Maybe a child will feel upset for a bit, but the intention of parents being santa isn't to harm their children. Its to bring a little bit of magic and fun into their lives.
I dunno. Maybe I am a big ass hypocrite.

[deleted account]

I'm going to teach my child to tell it how it is. The way i do....i have no problem saying exactly how i feel or think. I will always teach her there is a time and a place, plus there are ways to spare peoples feelings, without lying.

Lying=bad, in any way

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