Lying is the best policy

August 4, 2010 · 18 comments

Let’s face it. We are all liars. We sometimes say things we don’t mean for the sake of saving face. I was always told honesty is the best policy, but I’m afraid that simply isn’t true. Sometimes ya gotta lie. And here are a few situations where I have..

Babies:

Am I the only person in the world that thinks 95% of newborns are gross looking? I mean a squished head, splotchy skin, awkward hair, and random fat deposits don’t come to mind when I think of the word “cute”. But for some reason, we are forced to pretend like our friends babies are. Don’t get me wrong. I have a friend (who reads this blog) whose daughter is legitimately a beautiful baby, but I also have a friend (who doesn’t read this blog) whose child is….how should I put this nicely…weird looking. Would I ever tell them that? Heck no. I may think “Good lord what is that thing”, but out my mouth comes “Ah, she’s so precious.”

People that make dumb choices:

This is a tough one to communicate without sounding like a judgmental jerk face, but I’m gonna do my best. I’m talking about the person that just bought a new car, but two weeks earlier was complaining about how broke they were. Or the person that has $100K in undergrad loans, but decides to get a masters in some random field, only because they don’t want to work, not because they actually want to use their graduate education. These people frustrate, but I am rarely in a position where I can call them out on their stupidity. This old blog post is a perfect example of how I felt obligated to pretend I was excited for a friend that bought a new car, when really I thought she was crazy!

Job Interviews:

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I walk in to an interview and just make up random skills and life experiences, but I’m not saying I don’t ;) Seriously though, a job interview is your one chance to sell yourself to your future employer. Is a little withholding of the truth so bad? What about embellishing a tad to make yourself look better than you actually are? Don’t act like you haven’t done it before. I guarantee you have. Take for example the infamous interview question “What’s your biggest weakness?” Did you really tell them it’s that you are quasi-lazy and surf the internet and read PF blogs during the day (Yeah, I’m talking to you). Or did you make up some mumbo jumbo about “Well, my biggest weakness is that I am a guilty of being such a hard worker I sometimes don’t know when to say no.” Well buddy, I ain’t buying it. Welcome to the Liars Club, pull up a chair.

I’m hoping some of you will humble yourselves and share a few areas of your life where you feel like telling a fib every now and again is actually the RIGHT thing to do. Under what circumstances will you lie?

{ 18 comments }

1 Brian

I’ve been lying to my kids for years about the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Clause. I think a job interview is one of those place you might stretch the truth a bit, but don’t just flat out make stuff up because it might come back to bit you in the end. Employers do all sort of back ground checks, education checks etc these days.

2 Everyday Tips

Personally, I think most babies are cute! However, your post did remind me of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine’s friend had a really ugly baby.

Where do I lie, hmmm…. I have told a white lie to get out of a commitment. (It was to go to an expensive auction that I had no interest in.) I have done the usual ‘that looks nice’. I don’t know – usually if I can’t tell the truth, I just avoid the topic altogether or change the subject.

3 tom

Newborns are pretty dang ugly. I’ve never seen a cute newborn so I completely agree.

4 Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

I also lie about “cute” babies that look like alien hatchlings, “sweet” pets that are really evil ankle biters, and congratulate what I consider to be stupid expenses like new cars when that particular aquaintance is already broke. I also lie when aquaintances get bad haircuts.

Sadly for my friends and family, they get the no-holds-barred truth…sometimes I just dull the edge a bit (like “I don’t think that style works for you.”). Thankfully, my friends and family expect this of me. They know I am never mean to be mean, so they usually take another look at whatever and laugh at me or at themselves depending on who they decided was right. :-)

5 DS

LOL this made me laugh! I agree on all three levels!!

But trust me about the job interviews – everybody does it! Although the hard worker line is over done and people should be more creative such as making their weakness something that is not job related. For example, if you are in a management position interview with no sales and asked the question you should say ” I really do not like selling items, I am fantastic at selling ideas but I just hate asking people to buy things that do they need”. Just a tip! :P

6 the Dad, Climbing Out

I’m with Brian, Santa Claus, tooth fairy… yeah… lies I tell. Perhaps it’s more of a question of “When is the truth actually necessary”? Some people might argue “Always!”, but I disagree based on your post.

It is absolutely not necessary for happy new parents to know what I think of their alien lizard. :D

Cheers!

7 Angela

There is always a circumstance when people lie, situations hardly ever influence that fact!

8 Stephan

with you 100% on the babies haha. but on the interview aspect i do think that if you “stretch the truth”, on most things the employer will eventually catch on. I honestly believe that if you cant get the job without lying, you wont be good enough to keep the job anyways or at least perform up to a minimum standard.
Preferred Financial Services Blog

9 BRB

Well at interviews I used to say that I was too much of a perfectionist, but I’ve decided at my next one that I’m going to say that I’m usually to fast at my work. The unadded addendum to that is, so I don’t have anything to do then and am forced to read blogs ( Like you!) for the rest of my work day. So it isn’t lying and it does sound good, but the results are obvious later on.

10 Sandy L

I’m not a very good liar, but I do think alien cone headed babies are cute..especially if they’re your own.

11 PantsOnFire

“Yes Debt Ninja, it was the best I ever had”.

12 Ryan@TheFinancialStudent

LMAO

13 Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

HAHAHAHA!

14 PunchDebt

well played my friend, well played

15 PantsOnFire

I was talking about financial advice.

16 Joe Plemon

When a broke relative called me excitedly about her new car purchase, I replied with, “Well…that ought to be a good car.” But if I had told the unvarnished truth I would have screamed, “What were you thinking?!”

17 Donna Freedman

Miss Manners says that all babies and all brides are beautiful by definition. I have cheerfully lied about such things.
You can also be noncommittal, which is like lying without actually saying anything incriminating.
Relative who’s always broke: I just bought a new car!
Me: Really?
Friend who’s always broke: I just booked a cruise to Alaska!
Me: I hear that’s a lovely trip.
And usually that’s enough.
Incidentally, I have a friend whose baby was born after a long, arduous delivery — a posterior one, which means she was born face-down. Big owies for the mom, big bruises for the baby. When my friend saw her baby’s squashed face and misshapen head she blurted out, “She looks like ET!”
Honest.

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