Lying means being dishonest or not telling the truth. There are many examples of lying that occur every day. Some lies are harmless lies considered "white lies," while others can be very hurtful and harmful.
Some of the most common examples of lying occur when people tell a lie in order to be nice or to spare someone's feelings. These are called "white lies," because the lies are told out of kindness rather than to deceive or to be malicious.
Some examples of white lies include:
- Telling your mother that her meatloaf is delicious when you really hate the meatloaf.
- Telling your friend that she doesn't look fat in her dress when she asks because you don't want to tell her that she's gained a lot of weight and looks heavy.
- Telling your husband that his new haircut looks really good because you don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him that you hate the haircut.
- Telling your friend that you really like her new house when you actually think it is very small and cramped because you don't want to dampen her excitement.
- Telling your boss that you are happy to work over the weekend when you are really feeling very resentful because you don't want to upset the boss.
- Telling your sister that her new baby is really cute when the baby actually isn't very cute at all.
- Telling your brother that you love the gift that he got you for Christmas because you know that he put a lot of thought into picking it out for you, even though you actually really hate the gift.
These lies are all pretty harmless and they are told in order to spare the feelings of someone that you care about. While there are some people who argue that you should never lie under any circumstances, the world would not necessarily be a very nice or very happy place if people told the truth all the time.
Unfortunately, there are also some other lies that are much more harmful than little white lies. These are lies intended to be malicious, to deceive or to get somethingto which you are not entitled.
Some examples of these types of lies include the following:
- Telling your spouse that you did not have an affair when you have actually been seeing someone else outside of the marriage for a long time.
- Stealing your friend's iPod and then telling him you haven't seen it and have no idea where it is.
- Taking credit for the work done by someone else in order to make yourself look good, lying to your boss and claiming the work for yourself.
- Refusing to admit that you shoplifted an item and instead lying and instead saying that you watched someone else take it.
- Lying about your financial assets in a divorce, saying you actually have much less money than you do, in order to avoid giving your spouse his or her share of the marital assets that you both own.
- Telling lies as a politician in order to gain votes when you have no actual intent of doing what you promised the people that you were going to do.
These types of lies can all be very harmful. A famous story illustrates the danger of lying. The story is of the little boy who cried wolf. The boy, over and over, sent the alert that a wolf was coming. Eventually, when a wolf really did come, no one believed him because he had lied too many times before.