We believe everything Carol Graham says. She would let you know you have spinach in your teeth and would never lie about your new haircut. Honestly, we love her and think you should visit her on her blog, Battered Hope, and those are no little white lies.
How do you feel about people who lie to you? I don’t mean the big lies, just those tiny ones that don’t really seem to matter. Or do they? Saying things we really do not mean is often more of a habit than an intention to hurt someone.
These are a few of my least favorite little white lies:
“I’ll be in touch.”
If I tell someone I am going to stay in contact with them, I make a note of it right then and there. Sometimes it means sending them a quick email to see when we can get together or to see what’s new in their lives. Making the friendly gesture is only the first step. Keeping in touch is quite another.
I have heard those words so often and then wonder why they never call. Did they forget? Do they not care? It reminds me of the phrase after a first date “I’ll call you.” You know they don’t have the slightest intention of calling so WHY waste their breath by saying they will? Is it to appease the listener at the moment? It is just as easy to say goodbye as it is to say you will be in touch.
“Call me if you need me.”
For most of us, it is not easy to ask for help. But if you need it, it is nice to know there is someone you can call. If they don’t return the call, you can try again and if that fails, believe me, it is quite safe to assume that person is avoiding you. Let it go.
“You look great!”
Didn’t wash my hair in a couple days, ran to the grocery store sans makeup. Come on, are you blind? Wouldn’t it better to say nothing? Allow me to wonder if you noticed how bad I really looked.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
When this is genuine, it is sincerely appreciated, But how often is that? If someone bears their soul to me, they need to know I will follow through and encourage them. I will make every effort to call them, stay in touch, or do whatever it takes to make them realize they are not alone and I really did mean those words.
“Love your outfit.”
You are really thinking it makes her look fat or old or both. You wonder why a store would sell that and why your friend would even consider buying it. This is an especially tough one if she ASKS what you think of her new outfit. You could risk being honest and upset your friend. You could say something lame like “It’s a good color on you.” Or you could fake a coughing frenzy and motion that you need water – NOW!
“Don’t worry, be happy.”
This one makes my skin crawl. It is something I cannot bring myself to say to anyone. It is so empty and insinuates that if I am worrying, I can’t be happy. I know many people, including myself, who have gone through unbelievable circumstances with their heads held high. My attitude is a choice and I can choose to put on a happy front and meet challenges head on — but deep down I may be worried out of my skull. I am fully aware that worry accomplishes little to nothing and that 95% of what we worry about never happens. But it is like a slap in the face for anyone to tell me to be happy when I may be in the middle of a crisis. That does not mean I have to be miserable while I am processing whatever is going on but I need TIME. This is the image I prefer to portray — no one needs to know I am worrying.
Have I become calloused or am I not as naive anymore? I was taught and also taught my children to be a person of their word. If I say I am going to do something, then I had better do it. If for some reason I can’t, then I let that person know – I face it. Much easier in the long run.