From a young age we are taught not to lie. Perhaps you too once thought that if you told a fib, your nose would grow like Pinocchio’s. It’s actually quite ironic (and humorous) that we tell a tall tale to our kids to encourage them not to lie. Ironic- but not surprising- because in fact, we lie quite a bit. Some studies suggest that 60% of us can’t even converse for 10 minutes without stretching the truth two or three times, and at the very least, most of us lie once a day.
The majority of our offenses are considered white lies, or “well-intentioned untruths.” This type of lying generally serves a pro-social purpose; when asked how we’re doing, we reply “I’m great, how are you?” because to list the unfortunate series of events that actually unfolded earlier would just be grim and unappealing. We offer a “let’s keep in touch” farewell to an acquaintance in the checkout line to be polite. And we tell our kids that the Mother’s Day pancakes they attempted to make were delicious to protect their feelings.
Because white lies are usually well-intentioned, they are generally accepted as harmless. But, when it comes to romantic relationships, are they really benign? Dr. Susan Orenstein addresses this question in a PsychCentral article, “Are White Lies OK in Romantic Relationships?” Find out if the white lies you tend to tell your partner are building your relationship or chipping away at it.