5 typical white lies that can backfire

2017-09-14 10:19

As Walter Scott wrote in Marmion, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive”, lying can be a tricky thing. Keeping track of what you’ve said to whom can get complicated and cause you to be constantly worried and stressed of being caught out in the lie. Reese Witherspoon’s character, Madeline Mackenzie in Big Little Lies, the entire miniseries has just launched on Showmax, discovers that lies have a way of catching up with you no matter how far in the past you think they are.

Here are five little white lies that we often tell that have the potential of backfiring on us. Do you agree?

1. “I’m fine.”

Saying “I’m fine” has almost become a given when someone asks how you are, and especially when you are asked “what’s wrong?” The lie can backfire on you though, especially if those asking you take your answer as honest and disregard your feelings. Having to pretend that you are okay is sometimes worse than just saying what is wrong.

2. “I love your gift.”

We’ve all got that collection of horribly patterned shirts from our great-aunt that makes us looks at least 30 years older, but with great-aunt pushing 80 and any shock caused by your brutal honesty might be the end of her, you tell her you love it and start thinking of how you can re-gift it. How can this backfire? Your aunt might spot another family member wearing the gift she bought you; she might ask you to wear it and you no longer own it, and then you have delve even further into your bed of lies. Figure out a way to let her down gently, or keep the shirts and wear them for every great-aunt occasion with pride, because she bought them out of love for you. 

3.“Oh, I didn’t know that about you!”

It is okay, we all do it, when we are interested in someone’s life, we stalk them online to find out whatever we can. In minutes we can go from not knowing someone’s full name to knowing what high school their mother attended. But the problem lies when you actually get to know the person that you stalked and start letting your guard down in front of them. All of a sudden you are casually mentioning their trip to Italy in 2012 or asking them to wear the sweater that they wore to their sister’s graduation, and they start realising that they didn’t share that information with you…

4. “Sorry, I’m sick.”

There are times when the rest of the squad wants to go out and the only thing that sounds attractive to you is curling up in bed and binge-watching the latest series. The easiest option is to tell your friends that you are sick and that you can’t make it, but that might cause more complications – especially when you’ve made a miraculous recovery and the pictures of you hiking with bae make its way onto Instagram. The easiest option is to just tell them that you are not in the mood to go out. True friends will understand.

5. “I didn’t see your message.”

No matter what anyone says, texting is tiring, and some people are more tiring than others. So after the 20th message and a missed phone call of ‘did you get my message’, you need to make an excuse, right? And the obvious one is to say that they didn’t see that message. That works, if you aren’t on Whatsapp, and your read receipts aren’t on, and the person can’t see when you were last online … complicated. Stick with honesty or stay offline completely so that you really don’t get the message.   

Learn more about how even the littlest white lies can backfire by watching the award-winning, acclaimed miniseries Big Little Lies starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgård on Showmax, plus plenty of other excellent series and movies.

Sign up for Showmax today and you get a 14-day FREE trial. And if you’re a DStv Premium subscriber, get Showmax at no extra cost. Find out how here

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