It is said that “Honesty is the best policy”. I wonder how much weight this saying holds in our lives. We are taught since childhood to be honest, we even preach our children the virtues of honesty and believe it or not, when asked what you value the most in your life, many people would say “Honesty”. Yet, we keep lying almost every day. We have an ambivalent relation with lying. Our mind is a hypocrite, we feel that lying is morally wrong but yet we do not have any qualms while lying as long as it serves our purpose.
We tell our lovers that they look gorgeous in the newly bought dress when they look grotesque. We compliment our wives for dinner when the food is barely edible. We lie about our age when we need to get a driver’s license at 15. We lie to our boss about health when we are simply lazy to go to work. Moreover, we even lie to ourselves when we want to soothe ourselves and feel less guilty for our wrong doings.
Surprisingly, I came across an article by University of Massachusetts which mentioned about a research on how the little lies can be useful for us. It said “we use lies to grease the wheels of social discourse”. That’s huge, even science believes that lying is not bad.
We walk across the streets, see people holding hands, see marriages that have lasted like forever and we assume that when two people manage to stay in a relation for so long then it has to be complete honesty and transparency between them. But, the truth is different. Most of the couples who have managed to stay in a relation for long are committed coz they have not shared everything with their partner. Sometimes it is a good idea to tell your partner what they want to hear. A fear always lingers in a relationship that if you tell everything, you might end up losing the person who means the world to you. After all, these relations are as delicate as a petal and can break with even the slightest breeze of mistrust.
The question that I always ask, do we need to know everything? When we hear that our partner has done something awful, broken our trust or cheated, how would we react? Are we capable of total and complete forgiveness if our partner did something terribly bad but still has the courage to tell the truth? If you for example, ran into your old school lover and kissed him, not coz you love him or you don’t love your spouse, but just for the old time’s sake, is there any point in telling your partner, if there is no way for him to find it out? Things that are in past or forgotten, is there any reason to bring them out in open and risk everything?
Some people would prefer to be honest especially women. But is it worth to lose the love of your life for a stupid kiss that didn’t even mean anything. Moreover, kissing you ex, is it even cheating if it was a momentary thing without any feelings attached? Some things are best forgotten and not telling in such cases would be the best solution. In a relationship at times, lying becomes a necessary evil. I’m not saying that you should lie always, but you should know when lying is ok and when it’s not.
But is it true that people lie just to avoid the hurt they would cause their partner? Not really. In any relationship, people often lie to please themselves. It is very common for our partner to say, “I lied coz I knew it was the best thing for you, I just wanted to save you from the pain of the bitter truth”. Usually we lie not coz we think good or bad about our partner, we just lie to avoid punishments, sorrows and to please ourselves. We lie to embellish our own credentials in order to make us feel better.
We always assume by default that people are saying the truth because we usually are not prepared to hear the truth. As long as we hear what we want to hear, we accept it, true or not. Truth sometimes has the capacity to be cruel and blow your world apart. Without these pretty white lies, we’d all be sitting in the dark with the curtains drawn.
I would say in the end, whether you lie or not, but always remember, true love is very hard to find, so be honest to a relation and never do things which you wouldn’t be able to handle yourself if you were on the other side.