Liar, liar, pants on fire

Most people would agree, lying isn’t nice. But, is that entirely true? And is withholding and lying the same thing?

I think this is a complex issue. My boyfriend is withholding from me just what my Christmas present is this year. Is that bad? Parents let their children believe Santa is real. Is that so horrible? What about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy?

What if someone entrusts you with a secret, say a surprise bday party for a mutual friend? Shouldn’t you “play stupid” if your soon-to-be-aging friend starts to catch on?

Or, your girlfriend loves loves loves these shoes she wears. No one has the heart to say that they make her walk funny. Do you lie, or tell the truth?

What if your friend is dating someone that you think is less-than-great—and you have a good reason for your opinion?

Where is the line between little white lies, and serious lying that isn’t so nice?  When is withholding your opinion considerate, and when does it do more harm than good? How much of lying could be avoided by tactful honesty? When is lying justifiable because telling what you know would mean “butting your nose in?”  When is lying acceptable and when is it downright wrong?

When honesty is the best policy, how do we navigate being good people in a world innundated with little white lies and big fat lies?

Any thoughts?

 

© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.

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