Posted by: Dennie | October 31, 2013

Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Truth lies

Truth lies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


After years of gullibility, I’m finally beginning to suspect when someone is lying to me.

Shifty eyes. Avoiding eye contact. Sniffling…these make me question the validity and nature of someone’s truth.

The variety of lies is interesting.

There’s the “little white lie.”

The “embellishment.”

The “minimization.” The “omission.” The “invention.” The “error.” And…”The denial.”

While little white lies are generally harmless, they are still, in fact lies. Example:

Husband: “How much was that face stuff you bought today?”

Wife: ” Twenty dollars.”

Husband: “For that little jar?!  Ridiculous.”

Wife chooses not to tell husband that jar was in fact twice the price, even though husband does not care what wife spends. So what’s the big deal? Why does she feel the need to lie? These are questions which could be addressed in a therapy session.

Embellishing is generally a harmless lie, too. My guess is that it’s used as a tool to make a story more impressive.  Such as, “I rode my bike 65 miles today”, when the actual distance was only 35.


Opposite of embellishment is minimization. ” I only had one piece of cake.”

Yeaaah, but it was one piece of HALF THE ENTIRE CAKE.

Lies of omission as in “forgetting” to include important little details might cause a few problems.

“Honey, you said you stopped at Home Depot last night.”

“I did, dear.”

“Well Delores told me today that you had a drink with Henry at Hooligans.”

“Oh? Yeah. Well, I forgot to tell you that I stopped there before Home Depot.”

With lies of invention, things can get dicey. I was scheduled to  work  an eight-hour shift at MacDonald’s one gorgeous spring Saturday when I was still in high school. My parents would be gone all day and I decided  that an invented illness would allow a much-needed day off to go to the lake. But my father had left his sunglasses in the car I was supposed to have driven to work, and stopped by the restaurant to get them. How they figured out I was at the lake is still a mystery to me. But I paid dearly for those few hours of relaxation.

Lying by error doesn’t count in my book. An error is an error–if it’s truthfully an error…

Cadbury eggs

When my son was 3 or 4, we stopped to pick up some milk. It was around Easter time and the store had a box of Cadbury chocolate eggs on display.  He asked if he could have one. I told him no. He continued to ask, and I continued to deny his request until we left the store.

When we arrived home, he headed straight up to his room, still wearing his jacket. It struck me as odd, because he’d always left his coat downstairs, but I ignored my mommy voice, and soon discovered his little boy strategy.

A few minutes later he came down, jacket in hand and lie smeared all over his little face in  Cadbury chocolate. He’d  slipped  the egg past  me and into his pocket. My response must have made an impact because  twenty-one years later, he still remembers bringing his piggy bank back to the store and shaking out the money to pay for his dirty deed.  I’d like to think that was the end of his thieving, but only he knows.

Why do people lie?

Self-preservation?  To save face?  To enjoy a Cadbury chocolate egg?  We’re human.  It’s part of the human condition.

I lie. Sometimes. Usually to protect myself. Or avoid confrontation.

I embellish. I minimize. I omit.

I used to lie to myself about my drinking, now  it’s about other things.  I tell myself I”ll go to the gym in the morning when the truth is I know I won’t get up.  I lie to myself  about eating.  Like killing half a bag of Fun Size Three Musketeers, but not counting how many I actually ate. Keeping the actual number from myself somehow doesn’t make it so bad. I had “a few.” But I can justify it. Because “a few” Three Musketeers is infinitely better than “a few” scotches.  Any day.


  1. Awesome post and clarity on the subject!

    • Thanks, Kim….

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