According to the Oxford Dictionary, the noun ‘lies’ means an ‘intentionally false statement that is used to reference a situation involving deception or founded on a mistaken impression.’
But why do we do it? The deception is often to serve our own purpose.
And, according to psychologists, we lie for three reasons: fear, manipulation or pride.
There are lots of reasons why we might lie but ultimately, white lies or not, it’s almost always better to tell the truth. OUr favourite quotes on lying include philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who eloquently stated, ‘I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.’
And American Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson who once said: ‘he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length it becomes habitual.’
Now, not all lies will necessarily have long-term consequences, I mean, how many of us have pulled a sickie when we weren’t actually sick or lied to get out of one of the many awkward office moments you’ve probably experienced? Or embellished the truth during a peer salary discussion to save face?
For those of you who have ever wondered what lies are the most common, OnePoll ran a survey which found out that 80% of British people are willing to tell a lie now and again. These are the UK’s most common…
Top 10 most popular white lies
‘I’m on my way!’ – More than 62% of people admitted to saying they were somewhere they weren’t.
‘I got stuck in traffic!’ – 53% of respondents used busy roads and transport as their excuse for being late.
‘I like your outfit!’ – Protecting feelings, or protecting themselves? Either was, 53% of people copped to telling this white lie.
‘It was on sale!’ – Although more popular amongst women, almost 45% of people told the occasional fib about how much they were spending.
‘I’m ill!’ – 44% of people said they’ll occasionally pull a sickie to get off work.
‘My phone ran out of battery!’ – 41% of respondents dodged a conversation by blaming their technology.
‘I only had one drink!’ – 36% of respondents said they’d understated how much they’d put away.
‘I didn’t have any signal!’ – 44% of people just didn’t want to pick up the phone.
35% of people said they had lied about spending time with loved ones.
32% of our respondents admitted to ‘boosting’ their CV a little bit.
Well, there you go.