Honesty is a crucial component of trust, and building trust should be a goal of those who are working on their relationships. However, honesty is a complex topic, and not all lies are created equal. Because of this, many people wonder how white lies can affect their relationships and hopefully not prematurely end them when discovered.
Here are a few ways to think about white lies and how you should view them in your relationships.
Bad White Lies
Some lies can damage trust over time. Claiming that you walked the dog when you did not, for example, can cause your partner to lose trust.
In addition, claiming you watched a baseball game with friends when you really went to a strip club can put strain on your relationship.
While these lies might seem minor at first, they can break down trust in your relationship; over time, this can cause your partner to lose faith in you and even possibly prompt her to leave you.
Try to avoid these types of lies if you are interested in improving your relationship.
Also something to think about: those who lie about minor events may be more likely to lie about serious events. Try not to fall into this trap with your current girlfriend if possible.
Ethical White Lies
Although it may seem surprising at first, ethicists agree that some lies are important for maintaining a relationship. If your partner asks if she looks good before heading out, it is almost always encouraged to say that she does!
Likewise, expressing optimism about certain activities, even if you are pessimistic, can lead to improved confidence and better outcomes. Even though the notion seems counterintuitive, some white lies serve a valuable function in relationships, and putting brutal honesty ahead of the welfare of your girlfriend or wife can lead to strain on your relationship.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes a “white lie”:
“White lies are minor lies which could be considered to be harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term. White lies are also considered to be used for greater good.
A common version of a white lie is to tell only part of the truth, therefore not be suspected of lying, yet also conceal something else, to avoid awkward questions. White lies are also often used to shield someone from a hurtful or emotionally damaging truth, especially when not knowing the truth is completely harmless.”
Which White Lies are Appropriate?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to know which category particular white lies fall into. As with many things in life, you will have to make judgments for yourself and choose what you believe is best. Before telling a white lie, consider the ramifications if the truth is uncovered.
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Similarly, before avoiding a white lie, determine if expressing the truth will cause significant emotional harm to your partner.
Trust is a cornerstone of all successful relationships, and some white lies can undermine this trust.
However, those who use white lies as means of helping their partners feel better may find them to be valuable tools to use on occasion.
Now go tell her she looks great in that “too small” pair of jeans she is barley fitting into.
article: Should White Lies be Taken Seriously in a Relationship?