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White Lies and Pep-Talk -- Are They Good for Relationship?

Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.


When you love someone, or when someone is special to you, there are situations when little white lies are necessary.

-- Dahyun

A Formula for Harmony Within and Without

Everyone is bound to readily claim about themselves how they are a "truth-loving" person -- from a lover, parent, friend, preacher, shrink...all the way to politician.

And yet, as we are about to find out, none of the above would perform effectively in their role without applying a dose of white lies, which in mega doses would equal to a pep-talk.

How is that?

Those very same people to whom we are tied by trust completely would lose their significance in our lives if they started telling us exclusively the crude truth about ourselves, themselves, and the world we share.

But then, even if it would come to that, what would make us competent judges to accuse them of lying to us?

Look, a day doesn't pass without our feeding to ourselves a bunch of white lies upon which all our confidence, self-esteem, and the whole self-image are heavily based. For sake of sanity we simply have to think of ourselves as "good looking", "smart", "experienced", "skilled", etc.

How true it really is -- well, that's another story.

Let us call white lies and pep talk something like an innocent mental decorating of our reality.

Are we good human beings? Of course we are 00 what a silly question, right? And yet, in the relativity of everything (I love this phrase), many people of this world might not share our high opinion about ourselves, finding a flaw here, weakness there.

And if they cared to dig even a little deeper, who knows how much would be really left of that shiny front that we keep exhibiting to the world -- and to ourselves, for that matter.

That's why we are so elegantly selective about what is presentable and what is not about ourselves. If weren't, we might get depressed like hell, losing much of that hardly assembled zest for life, that optimism and enthusiasm, and what's the other word for a grand self-deception.

Hey, maybe some versions of depression are stemming exactly from such a neglect to feed ourselves those loving white lies, while going "too realistic" -- warts and everything -- about ourselves and our life.

It seems like with no white lies a cynic gets born in us to act as a demon whose job is to keep tormenting us with something like truth.


Little white lies are told by human all the time. Indeed, lying is often how we get through each day in a happy little bubble. We spend time and energy rationalizing our own behaviors, beliefs, and decision-making processes.

-- Bary Ritholtz

Tactfulness Equals White Lying

When our opinion about those we love is not "white" enough -- and hey, there are no racial undertones in any of this -- it's our sacred duty to paint it as white as possible. Just for an example, how would you have a heart to say to someone sick whom you love that they look like a ghost of their grandfather -- no matter how vividly correct it may appear.

Then, as your dear wifie the love of your life, is proudly trying on her new dress, and now is parading in it in front of the full size mirror like some movie diva -- would you remind her of the "fact" that no dress in the world could hide that "spare tire" in her midsection?

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Of course, you could try, quickly to regret, while being reminded how not much of a provider, money-wise or bed-wise you are. I am sure that the remark about that "spare tire" would make your dear wifie quite articulate about your own personal negative inventory.

Thus, paying for being truthful would only add up to what you already paid for that dress. Bad move, buddy. So, rather go creative a bit, and give her one of those looks that you normally reserve only for your neighbor's wife.

What makes all those white lies so attractive is the fact that over a time we start believing them. Remember the saying: "A lie repeated long enough becomes true."

Really, folks, we all seem to be so sensitive, if not also somewhat paranoid about that word "lie", as we may see even those white ones as bad as those malicious, deceiving, and mean ones are.

Maybe it's time for us to face that truism how without white lies functional relationship of any sort would be virtually impossible.

Now, we are not talking about those sincere, and fact-based, genuine expressions of closeness which don't need any white lies. Our theme is the constructive maintenance of a relationship within which certain expressions may come out sincere -- while others may need some of that interactional cosmetics". Maybe a lot of it, as the case may require.

We simply can't be sincere all the time, because that would not be healthy for the relationship -- including the one with ourselves. No one wants you to be "perfectly honest" with them, they need that dose of verbal pampering, which also gets to be called "emotional support in a relationship".

To make it a little paradoxical on its surface -- we do our white lying in the name of those sincere feelings and care.


A degree of lying -- you know, white lies -- seems to be inherent in all languages and all forms of communication.

-- Mathew Lesko

We Are No Robots Acting Upon Factual Information

A preacher's sweet-talking to you about your being a "lovable child of God" simply has to do it in order to be caller a preacher -- not falling on a level of a cynic who might analyze, either "what's so lovable about you", or "what's so wrong about God's taste".

So, is all that about white lies and pep-talk morally justifiable?

Well, our natural model of functioning would suggest so, because there would be no escape from it but straight into insanity -- since we just cannot function like biological robots being fed an input of dry facts.

Indeed, we have to give everything something like a "significance". Your mother-in-law may factually look like a cute, harmless old dame -- but to you she may be a manipulative predator doing everything in her power to make your life miserable.

And yet, whenever she visits -- all that "significance" gets magically removed with every white lie that you may come up with for the old bat -- of course, if something like peace at home sounds enough of a priority.

Imagine the global size catastrophe, if all world leaders started openly revealing what they think about each other -- and about us, the people.

Or even worse -- what if we would globally and collectively stick to the irrefutable truth about all politicians being basically just some careerists caring for their own status in political arena, while using a bunch of standardized lies to tranquilize our critical minds.

Indeed, there would be no elections, we would insist on having just some "officials doing government functions" , being paid their salaries and getting instantly fired the moment when they don't follow our the holy word of our constitution.

Can you imagine that disaster -- not having fun with election, not giving a complete trust to our political champion, not calling him/her the most powerful person on earth". And even worse, not having that favorite national pastime of bitching about the government for the next four years.

I know I may sound somewhat sarcastic here, but what else is sarcasm but an unpleasant form of truth.

So we need those lies from our leaders, and we need them badly, and we keep forgiving, not to allow that patriotic bubble to be brutally busted with some facts.

It's like, we, the people, would turn into a mass of lost puppies aimlessly wandering around, without the guidance of all those telling us what to live for, and to die for.


But little white lies here and there is human nature. Everybody does that.

-- Lucy Hale

Let Us Make Our Lies Helpful

Well, that's our nature, and we just can't help being so selective about what lie qualifies to be called "truth" -- our truth, that is.

Thus, there is nothing basically wrong about white lies and pep-talk, since it seems to be our default nature to do it. If it hadn't been so, we would have already evolved it out long time ago -- right?

When a motivational speaker, a life coach, a preacher, a hypnotherapist, or any other professional liar for that matter fills your heart and your guts with that new zest for life -- you've got to grateful for it.

When a reader of your article or poetry praises your work, you've got to appreciate it.

I don't, but then I am using my own system of lying to myself where I don't need anyone's validation. A smart ass I am, I love myself so much that others' loving comes just as a bonus in life -- not something needed badly.

When we give it a deep thought, our whole cultural paradigm, with all routine beliefs that nobody bothers challenging -- is heavily based on some lies, and we like loving them, and we love hating them.

From the perspective of modern science -- and also ancient spirituality -- everything is anyway a grand illusion, a "maya", as it's called in Hinduism, or call it "virtual reality, a simulation", where we are guided by deliberate truisms regionally different and depending on the national mentality.

Thus, whether we claim that "life sucks", or we prefer seeing it as a "fascinating journey" -- we are correct.

Because we don't live by absolutes, we live by our lies -- so why not make them useful for ourselves and for our coexistence on this beautiful planet. Why not choose those lies that are constructive, helpful -- well, white lies.

An entertaining aspect of white lies

© 2022 Val Karas

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