A study in the UK found that men lie an average of 6 times a day, and women 3. This study reports that the most common “lie” told by both sexes was: “Nothing’s wrong. I’m fine.”
While some may protest that lying is wrong and can only cause problems, I actually think most people lie to avoid problems – and often with just cause. Indeed, I think there are many situations in which the full truth is not warranted.
When I was in the military, we were taught to give information only on a ‘need to know’ basis. I tend to use the same principles in my daily life. This means that if I’m feeling particularly negative, annoyed, grouchy, or whatever and someone ask how I am, like the British, I’ll likely say I’m okay.
In fact, I tend to think being honest about one’s feelings can be dangerous and often regrettable. Back my single days when I would meet someone new, I may have thought this person was wonderful and I would marry him in a heartbeat and bear him many children ... but to tell him this on the first date would likely not have been wise. Instead, I usually waited to see how he felt about me, and whether or not my feelings about him changed.
Similarly, the first time we hit a rough patch and in my despair I imagined we were ruined and I thought he was the most inconsiderate louse on the planet, I would not rush to express this. Again, I would try to assess how he felt and start a careful conversation, which would likely make no mention of my thoughts which likened him to lice.
So I know myself to be someone who is guarded and careful. I do not easily talk about how I feel. I am reluctant to show the cards in my hand. But am I dishonest?
I almost never tell an outright lie. But neither can I say that I always tell the truth.