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Sweet little lies

Updated on April 1, 2010

Now would you call me a liar if I say an elephant stepped in front of my car?

Read my book on relationships

Find out how Fenella escapes from her lying husband

How do you escape from a stalker?

Why do we tell lies?

 Most people lie.  No, let me change that.  All people lie.  I know George Washington bragged that he never told a lie, but I think he’s lying.  We lie like a flat fish every day of our lives.  Some are sweet little white lies, others are giant whoppers.  There are many reasons why we lie.  For some people, these are untruths, not lies.  In their eyes, it makes it sound better.  So, why do we lie?  We lie to avoid conflict, protect someone’s feelings, to try and avoid the consequences of our actions, to procrastinate and put off doing a task we don’t really want to do, to hide something we did wrong or forgot to do, to avoid facing rejection, to manipulate others and take control, to avoid making a fool of yourself, to make yourself appear better than you really are, you can’t help yourself it’s a disease you have and lastly, some of us lie for the hell of it.  It’s a game, pulling the wool over other’s eyes, it makes us feel good.  Seriously, there are some strange people in the world.  Pathological liars are the most dangerous, as they believe their own lies and often struggle to distinguish between fantasy and reality.  In a way, they create their own reality.  A lying spouse is cause for grief, and an indicator of serious relationship problems looming ahead.

Sometimes we think someone is lying and they aren’t.  They might just have a muscle spasm in their cheek that appears to look like a nervous tic.  But by and large, people give off non-verbal clues when they’re lying.  If you look out for them, you’ll soon know when they are lying.  If you suspect someone of lying, ask them questions to clarify matters.  There’s a good chance that their responses will be lies, but if you watch them carefully, you’ll see when they’re lying.  I reckon that nine times out of ten, your gut instinct will step in and identify a lie.  Trust your gut.

Tell-tale Signs of Lying

  • Ears go red
  • Unable to maintain eye contact
  • Stroke their chin
  • Play with their hair
  • Become defensive and even start to attack you
  • Volunteer too much information
  • Keeps crossing and uncrossing arms and legs
  • Break out in a sweat
  • Keeps contradicting themselves
  • Fidgety
  • Rubbing nose with finger
  • Use lots of pauses, eg. Um
  • Voice changes pitch

For an honest relationship, you need to confront your partner when you catch them out lying.  However, in an abusive relationship, it’s best to bite your tongue and not say anything.  Pick your moment carefully.  You don’t want to get hurt.

Top FIVE lies women tell

·         I don’t have any problem with you going out on the town with the boys.

·         I’m not mad at you.

·         You’re the best lover I’ve ever had

·         Don’t worry, I’ll pay tonight as you always pay.

·         I’ve just ended it with my last partner and don’t think a rebound relationship is fair on you.

Top FIVE lies men tell

·         I don’t believe in sex on the first date.

·         I’ll call you.

·         You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.

·         I need some space.

·         I’m not looking for a mother

Lies are hurtful and far too easy to say.  They just roll off your tongue without a thought as to how the other person might feel about being lied to.  But, self-preservation is a strong enough reason for people to lie.  Unfortunately, one sweet little lie leads to another and another, until you’ve built this whole huge fairy tale.  One small lie turns into a big lie.  You might think a lie is justified, but it’s still a lie.  Don’t call it a fib.  That sounds cute, but it’s still a lie.  How many lies have you told today?





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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      I did not see this and I am glad that I did and I voted up and interesting and shared it everywhere.

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      7 years ago from Cape Town

      Somethngblue, I think a lie can hurt you physically. Sometimes it can eat into and make you so stressed it actually makes you sick!

    • somethgblue profile image


      7 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      It's interesting that you would relate lying to one on one relationships, as some of the biggest lies known to mankind have been told on a grand scale over a very long period of time.

      I ask you, can a lie hurt you physically? When information is withheld intentionally is that not also a lie of omission?

      For instance if information I know could save your life is it my responsibility as a human to tell you?

      When one government lies to another we call that disinformation and can lead to War and the death of millions?

      Since all of history is just one interpretation of the truth is it the truth or a Lie?

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      DM, well at the end of the day you need to be number one in your life and if that woman doesn't want your help and tries to make trouble for you, she's best out of your life!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well, she was my best friend before she was my sister-in-law. Ive known her for 17 years now. I love her like a sister, and always will. But you can't help a person who won't be helped, ya know? Most recently she made up a lot of stuff about me, and called the state to report me, as well as convinced her sister and mother it was all true. I've been busy cleaning up that mess, and unfortuantely have had to cut her out of my life completely.

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      DM, it's hard to tell when someone lies for the sake of lying or actually believes their own lies. Someone once told me that we create our own reality and I guess pathological liars do just that. What are you going to do to help your sister-in-law? It must make it hard to believe anything she says!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I heard somewhere another common "tell" when someone lies is they will look down and to the left.

      My sister in law has been diagnosed as bipolar, and refuses to take medication or seek counseling or even admit that this is true. In addition to that, I think she might truly be a pathological liar, she makes up the most absurd things and either she is desperate to never admit shes wrong, or she truly thinks it happened. I dont know for sure, but I can tell you this, its nearly impossable to be in any kind of a relationshisp with such a person. I despise lies. Of course I have lied in my life, but do try my hardest to be honest yet tactful. Great hub!!

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      My kids try and lie to me but I've indoctrinated them into believing that I have pseudo-psychic powers that tell me when they lie and I say things like, "Look your ears are going red." Even when they're not, and then they come clean and now their ears really do go red when they lie.

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      8 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      What? I'm not the most beautiful woman you've ever met? Dang it. Actually, I am quite gullible, and a horrible liar. It was many years before I realized that even my children lie to me. And I always thought they were telling the truth.


    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Now CC, are you saying writers are just fabricators?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You just destroyed my image of Washington. LOL What was that elephant doing when it did that anyway? I'm now afraid to say anything, you'll think it is a lie. He he The best liars are all writers you know? haha

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Beata, have you seen that movie the Invention of Lying? It's hilarious!

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      8 years ago from Western Australia

      What would we do without 'white lies'? All the best to you and to your writing from Beata

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      BP Those ears are like beacons!

    • blondepoet profile image


      8 years ago from australia

      So cool Cindy. I never lie. Oopps why are my ears going red???? Aghhhhhhhh!!!!!

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      fashion Flame, I'll try and write some more interesting hubs lol

    • FashionFame profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Hey Cindy. Liked your hub very much and its not a lie as my ears are not going red and I am not rubbing my nose with finger. I swear. Haha. I liked your selection of topic. Looking forward for more of your interesting hub. Im joining your fan club and would like to join mine to stay connected.

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Shaz, whatever floats your boat!

    • shazwellyn profile image


      8 years ago from Great Britain

      Actually... I should lie more often.. telling the truth doesnt endear people - I tend to tell the truth and this can hurt :(

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      De Greek, chaste? So no sex then either?

      KoffeeKlatch Gals, yeah we should ask, "How many lies have you told today?" when we meet someone.

      Pam, I'm beginning to think if your honesty will hurt someone then it's best to remian silent.

      Embee, it is a fascinating topic and something I've been wondering about for a while.

    • embee77 profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh, I agree with all of you! Yes, it's true. I do, to some degree. But lying is a problem and thank you for bringing it to our attention. It interferes with relationships of all types. Who's going to trust you when they find out you've manufactured some fact? Or you've failed to correct an inaccurate assumption? Many of us who consider ourselves Honest "lie" by what we FAIL to say. Personally, I can't debate politics (or anything) well, so I tend to say nothing when people express opinions I disagree with. It's dishonest. And then there's the tendency of those with learning disabilities to expand the truth. This phenomenon has an actual label, which I forgot. (But it's TRUE.) Is it imagination? Wishful thinking? I don't know. This topic is fascinating.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Good topic. I try to keep it as honest as possible but sometimes you lie to not hurt someone's feelings also. Sometimes I just don't say what is on my mind because I don't like to argue. This hub makes you take an assessment.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I agree. Everyone tells a little lie at one time or another. Very entertaining hub.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      As one who has never told a lie, I find it difficult to understand this hub, as I live in chaste purity :-))

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Ethel, he probably lies to you about little things as well. The fact is, we live in a dishonest society. politicians lie to us all the time. Doctors lie to us when they prescribe antibiotics for the flu. It just seems to be an expected thing.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I do not lie excessively. If someone asks me something I almost feel obliged to give an honest answer whether I want to or not.

      However, I constantly lie to my husband about the cost of clothes I buy. He thinks everything should still cost a couple of pounds and would die at the real price.

      The funny thing is though, he knows I do this lol.

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Shalini, I have to say, i think brutal honesty pays off in the long run, as people respect you for it.

      Ah Rajan, you are so funny!

      Ken, it is something we need to think about from time to time.

      Peter, yeah that is a frequent one, or my internet was down lol

      Samboiam, I also enjoyed Liar Liar

    • samboiam profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      Tis the reason I love the movie Liar Liar. Great hub. Honestly it is. No I am not lying.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 

      8 years ago from South East Asia

      Thank you. I enjoyed this hub. Like you say I am a liar and we all are. I have never lied about love though but frequently lied not to offend or hurt people.

      Oddly enough I read in the paper today (and this is not a lie) that the most frequently used lie in Britain today is "I could not get a signal" (as in mobile phone). I believe that. I have used it several times.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Interesting & thought-provoking. Thank you.

    • C.V.Rajan profile image


      8 years ago from Kerala, India

      Today, I will tell you just one lie: This article is hopeless!

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Cindy - your hub gave me a lot to think about so I had to come back. Of course I tell those little white lies - but my husband never does - he can be brutally honest. Doesn't endear him to all but I know his word is always respected. I tell myself we do it so as not to hurt people but a lie is a lie, never mind what excuses we make. Thank you again for that wake-up call!

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Sheila, the prob is, is that those okay lies, like the sweater looks good when it doesn't, is still being dishonest, and yep, we do tend to lie a lot not to hurt other's feelings. But then, that poor person will go out in public wearing that hideous sweater that you said looked good.

      Sandyspider, lies are always interesting, amazing how creative some people get. Like that CSI episode I watched where the guy had tow families in the same town and each one thought he was a travelling salesman.

      Hello Hello, there's an art to being a good liar.

      Paradise, unfortunately there are some people who've got away with lying for so many years, they've mastered the art of getting away with it.

      Drbj, hahaha and this is not a lie, I actually forgot about April Fools until it was nearly over.

      FP, white lies count as they in turn often lead to bigger lies.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      8 years ago

      Do little white lies count? The type that don't really harm anyone but might just ease a situation somewhat?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Cindyvine - You picked a very interesting date to release this Hub on lying - April Fools Day - when so many folks tell some kind of whopper to try and fool someone else.

      Wondering - was that calculated?

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      No lies today that I can think of...I do understand that lying can be a defense mechanism for some; a lot of the time, the truth isn't so bad as to be caught out in a lie.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Very good point. I myself, if tried I was straightaway found out because I just couldn't pull the face to go with it.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Interesting hub.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      When I was a child, I discovered it was too much work to lie. As Mom asked more questions, I had to come up with more answers, and then I had to remember all of those was too much for me to handle. So I'm the odd duck who says I forgot to do a task or I was the one who made that mistake. But I am guilty of saying "That's a nice sweater" to someone in their new Christmas gift. I choose to lie when I think the truth would hurt, in those simple social situations. In fact, I think I'd be wrong to tell the truth.

    • cindyvine profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Vine 

      8 years ago from Cape Town

      Now Shalini, if I said I did, I'd be lying, wouldn't I? Lol

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Oh what a tangled web we weave.... I agree Cindy - it's so much easier and honest to tell the truth - but how many of us do?


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