The Ways We Lie

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In America, one thing everybody has in common is lying; it is a natural humanistic behavior. Author Stephanie Ericsson describes some of the average every day lies in her essay “The Ways We Lie”. She describes the white lie as the liar assuming that the truth will cause more damage than the simple, harmless untruth; and an out-and-out lie she describes as the bald-faced lie. A lot of people lie without realizing it. Through personal experience, white lies and out-and-out lies have come across my path a lot in my lifetime.

The white lie is one of the most popular lies. It can be used by anybody, kids to parents, friends to friends, students to teachers, boyfriends to girlfriends and so on. Telling the truth, but leaving out one or two main facts, genius. An example of one from an ex-boyfriend is “I had to stay at work late”, which was partially true, but he forgot to add the part when he stopped somewhere to see another girl. A personal favorite that has been used a good bit is “There was a lot of traffic” or “The truck over-heated”. White lies are a good way to keep ones-self from getting into trouble.

The out-and-out lie is just coming up with something out of the blue. Children are believed to use this one most. When mysterious drawings showed up on my brother’s wall and my mom asked him who did it “The red eyes did it mom”. When kids do something they know was wrong, they never seem to take the blame. It’s always the monsters or some imaginary friend who does the wrong doing. Kids have one big, creative mind to come up with as many excuses they can.

Neither the white lie nor the out-and-out lie is lies anybody wants to be told. People expect to be told truth. The white lie is more manipulative and deceiving. Half the truth is told and half isn’t. If somebody wanted to check to see if the other was telling the truth, most of it would come back right. Where with the out-and-out lie, it’s a little less deceiving. Someone can usually...
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