8 Times When It’s Okay to Embellish Your Story With a Little Lie

We’re lied to 10 to 200 times a day and, naturally, we lie to ourselves too. As kids, we were taught that lying was bad, but that’s not always true. There are times when your only way out of a dangerous situation is to lie, or maybe you don’t want to reveal something personal to a person who’s prying into your life.

We at Bright Side think there are situations when it’s okay to tell a little lie. And here’s what they are.

1. When your safety is at stake

Your safety should always come first. So don’t feel bad if you need to lie to someone who makes you feel uncomfortable to make sure you’re not in danger. Maybe you give someone a wrong number or tell them you’re waiting for someone when you’re not — these lies are acceptable because they’ll keep you safe.

2. When you’re giving constructive criticism

Constructive criticism should be honest, but you can also cushion it with a little lie so that you don’t sound too mean or aggressive. For example, if someone at work has been performing badly, you can start by saying something encouraging and tell them that they’re doing a good job, but then mention what improvements you’d like to see.

3. If you want someone to have a good time

Sometimes it’s better to not tell the truth right away and wait for the right moment to do it. If someone’s having a good time, or if there’s an important event happening, you can wait to share the news until the person is done celebrating. It’s okay to withhold information or tell a little lie in these cases because if you tell them right away, it’ll only distract them and they won’t be able to enjoy their special occasion.

4. If you’re not close with the person

If you don’t know someone very well, you don’t owe it to them to be totally frank with them. Moreover, it might even be damaging to your relationship with them if you honestly say what’s on your mind right away. That’s because, when you’re not close with someone, you don’t know each other well enough yet, and they might interpret your honesty as something offensive and ill-intentioned.

5. When you want to cancel plans

There’s nothing wrong with deciding to stay home instead of going out with your friends. And it’s also understandable why we make up excuses to get out of socializing because a lot of us might feel pressured to do it as if it is wrong to say no and stay at home. You can look at it as a more polite version of saying you’ve changed your mind.

6. When someone asks you how you’re doing

Whether the person asking is just trying to be nice or really means it — you don’t have to share with them what’s going on in your life if you don’t want to. If you’re not in the mood to talk about it, or if you’re not ready to open up to someone, you can lie and say that you’re doing fine, even if you’re going through hard times. Because if you’re not ready for that talk yet, you might not be able to benefit from it.

7. When asked a personal question

Some people don’t understand personal boundaries, so sometimes they might ask questions that you don’t want to answer. Some feel like you owe them the truth, and others are just oblivious to the fact that they’ve overstepped. So if you know that a simple, “I won’t answer that” won’t work, it’s okay to lie to protect your private life.

8. When you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings

We’ve all probably received a gift that we didn’t like at least once in our life. And it’s okay not to tell the person who gave it to you that you didn’t like it. After all, it won’t change anything if you do, but it’ll probably make that person feel bad. Or if someone asks you if they look good with their new haircut or in a new outfit, you can also say they look great even if you don’t think so. What’s important is that they like it, so there’s no reason to ruin their mood.

What’s your opinion on lying? Do you think it’s ever okay to do it? In what cases?

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