White lies – for good or for bad

White lie – a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Or so they say.

Is hiding the truth or covering up really protecting the other party? Could it end up causing more hurt instead?

Lie – an intentionally false statement.

Intentionally. Suggesting that it was carefully thought out. Planned for. But it does not necessary mean that it has any ill intention.

So why is everyone so uptight and against the whole idea of telling a lie? I guess it boils down to a breach of trust. Truthfulness. And perhaps. Reflects badly on a person’s core values and upbringing.

But when it comes to white lies. The answer no long so clear cut. Direct. Why. Because there is an intention to protect.

What is protection. Who to protect. What to be protected from. Why bother protecting.

Correct me if I am wrong. But most of the time. We tell white lies to prevent unhappiness. Hurt. Misunderstandings. And perhaps. Strain in relationships. The reason we do it is because we think that it will be for the better. It is our own personal judgement and conclusion. But is it necessarily better? Who are you to determine what is best for someone else. Then again. Are you telling a white lie to save yourself? Doing what is best for yourself.

Say. Take having an affair outside of your marriage as an example. Will you tell your spouse the truth? Of course not. Why. Because you are afraid he or she will get hurt. Or because you do not want to get into trouble. Perhaps this is a bad example. Considering how dire the consequences can be. Let me think of another example.

Forget it. Cannot come out with a better example. It is so hard to differentiate a lie and a white lie simply because a lie is a lie. You are not telling the truth.

I find it amusing. How man conveniently came up with the word “white lie” to justify their actions. Just so they can brush off all responsibility and claim that they were protecting someone or something. Just so that we can convince ourselves that we did not do anything wrong. Have a clear conscience. I guess it is not all that surprising considering how it is in our nature to justify our actions so as to get what we want.

Does telling a white lie really bring about less harm?

I think. It is a matter of when the hurt is felt. Now. Or later on. Say if you tell the truth. Without doubt. Someone is going to get hurt. No one likes to be told the awful truth right in their face.

But what if you keep mum and the person eventually finds out. Would the pain not be worse? Having to find out that someone close to you was not telling or hiding the truth. And feeling so foolish because you were kept in the dark for so long.

So which is worse? I have yet to come to a conclusion. I guess that explains my dilemma. Temporary hurt. Or prolonged secrecy and eventual hurt.

Sigh. Why is it so hard.


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