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Monday, 24 April 2017 18:15

The important questions: When is it okay to lie?

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We tell lies on a daily basis, sometimes without even realizing it, whether it’s saying we love our friend’s new bangs even though we never have and we never will, or that dinner tasted great even when the soup boasted the flavour profile of the Dead Sea.

These lies are no great crimes, but it’s when you dig yourself a little bit deeper that sticky webs of deceit begin to form. Which is why, if you’re thinking of getting yourself out of a messy situation or profiting off an untruth or two, it may be wise to first examine the variety of lies in your arsenal.

 

Most everyone is familiar with a harmless little white lie, expressly told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. White lies are often the cleanest because they’re the easiest, operating from that lovely place of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” You just have to say a few words, and the rest is history. But anything bigger and it can be a little more difficult.

And therein lies the problem. White lies are often a gateway to something darker. Black lies are far more insidious, and are only beneficial to the liar, while harmful to the receiver. While spinning a narrative to further a black lie, even one spawned from a white lie, the liar has to work hard to conceal the truth, leading into grey waters – or maybe blue waters.

Blue lies are where things become a little more blurred.

According to University of Toronto psychologist Kang Lee, via Scientific American, blue lies fall somewhere in the middle of white and black: “You can tell a blue lie against another group. For example, you can lie about your team’s cheating in a game, which is antisocial, but helps your team.”

 

These are the lies you tell when you are looking out for your own group’s best interest – while fully aware that you are harming an opposing group. In fact, these lies are dubbed “blue” because there’s a common belief that police officers often lie to protect each other. Blue lies matter, indeed.

Source : news.nationalpost.com

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