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March 26, 2004



what is lying? "did you take that $20.00 from the till?"--only one not lying answer, yes or no. "How can we improve this /situation/program/workgroup/?" Lots of answers, many or none of which may involve untruths.

This is a roundabout way of saying I am suspicious when someone says "I am just being honest" or "I cannot lie"

Marcia Lynx Qualey

It depends, sometimes, on where you live, what your situation is. I think, in the U.S., there is the luxury to be honest--most of the time, when it won't cost you your job.

Other places and times, I don't think it's always the best policy. For instance, a woman I know (from the poorer, more traditional part of Cairo) faked a nervous breakdown so her parents wouldn't pressure her old, 25-year-old self into a marriage she wasn't ready for. Was she wrong? I don't think so.

If she had the luxury to tell the truth and get what she wanted out of life, I think she'd do it. Of course, there are other places where the consequences of truth-telling can be much more dire. (Places of war, etc.) Picking battles becomes very important.


I always say that I am not actually intelligent enough to lie. I can't keep all those stories straight so I just tell the truth to keep it simple. I try to be tactful as to not hurt anyone's feelings but I make sure I tell the truth. Having said that I also help keep the myths going for Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and now I have turned into the Leprechaun who leaves chocolate gold coins in my daughter's shoes!!! Did I mention we are Jewish???? My husband is Catholic so Lillianna likes his traditions too.So I guess I am occasionally a big liar!Oh no!!

Eve P

I've been thinking about that with repect to my kids a lot the last couple days: do I tell them the dog across the the street bit one of the neighbors? Will it make them more afraid? Or is it just something they should hear?

Or do I take the easy road out and say we're out of ride tickets at the Zoo? Or do I say we're done because I say we're done.

It's a case by case thing, I think, and what ends up mattering most is that I'm comfortable with what I say: if I'm telling a lie to protect them from something they're too little to understand then I better well feel straight up fine with it or they're going to worry more...



All too often, it's a vice! I have the same problem and I'm afraid my honesty is keeping me from getting some of the jobs I'm going after.


A tough one for a Friday. I tell social "white" lies, but admit that I don't like to have the urchins hear me do it. Other than that, I try to tell the truth or keep quiet. Unfortunately I work for a boss who would fire me on the spot if I gave an honest opinion when he asks for one, which makes for some difficult situations.


As someone who was a casual liar for 20 years and then married a man who's utterly incapable of lying (even when I sometimes wish he would) -- honesty is far and away the better policy. Find a diplomatic way to say it -- casual cruelty ain't cool either -- but tell the truth. Nothing demolishes your credibility like being caught in a lie, and being caught is only a matter of time. Even lies of omission, which I used to live by, are not worth the damage done when you're found out.


Virtue, and bless you for having the courage to be honest.
That said, there are times when silence ~ may be the best policy.
We call it the "Thumper Theory"
"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".
In business situations, when you are asked your opinion, honesty with finness is the often difficult way to go.

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