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In Defense of Lying November 2, 2023

in defense of lying

Most of the time, I think we should tell the truth.  But not always.  And, if done correctly, I think you can lie a lot and still consider yourself an honest person.  Yeah, I’m doing it.  I’m writing an article In Defense of Lying.

If you disagree with me and say you don’t lie, well, you’re lying.  And if you’re not lying, you’re mean.  Sure, you may call it something else, but lies of omission are still lies.  If you’ve ever told a friend she looked pretty when you didn’t mean it, if you ever said you liked a haircut or a dress you thought was awful, you lied.  For that matter, if you subscribe to the ‘if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ school of thought, and just dodge questions like, “Does this dress make me look fat?”  you’re lying.  You’re not telling the truth.

And I’m here for it.

There are times, when to be a good friend you have to pull someone aside and do the difficult work of letting someone know that they are going to embarrass themselves.  But most times are not those times. 

Honestly, what would you rather hear: “I have to work late” or “Honestly, you’re not worth giving up any of my precious free time over, so I’m gonna go home and put on my pjs because that sounds better”?

How about: “Watching you dance makes my heart happy” vs “holy moly I can’t stop laughing at your total and complete lack of rhythm”?

How about: “I love that you’re dressing like Marge Simpson for Halloween” vs “It looks like a bird ate a whole lot of blueberries and then unloaded on your head”?

Even something more benign like, “I’m so sorry – your email got lost in my spam folder for some reason” vs “Yeah, I saw your email, but you were like priority number a million and I just didn’t get to it” is cause for lying. 

Even a misleading smile and nod is better than a “do you hear yourself?  You sound like you got that information from your tin foil hat.”

But, you counter, “the truth will set you free.”  Perhaps.  Or perhaps that confession will be the one last piece of evidence the prosecution needed to put you away.  Or sever a relationship.

I’m not saying you should be unreliable.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t call out harmful things.  Tell the truth most of the time.  Tell hate speech you’re on to it.  Just, be nice.  Be kind.  Consider how what you’re going to say is going to land.

And when I ask you if you like what I wrote?  Lie to me.  Tell me you love it.    

If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori on Twitter or on Facebook or read her award winning books.  You can order her novella, “Broken Things”, by clicking here.  The audiobook can be found on Audible or iTunes.  Look for her novel “Devil’s Defense” coming in August 2024 by She Writes Press.

In Defense of Lying


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In Defense of Lying


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Lori Duff

Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side.  Her latest book, "If You Did What I Asked in the First Place" was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.

In Defense of Lying November 2, 2023