According to studies, "prosocial" lies—falsehoods designed to help others—can actually develop trust between individuals. Just keep in mind that lies are most beneficial when they are not selfish. It's one thing to tell your spouse he or she looks beautiful before a date to bolster his or her self-esteem, according to Schweitzer. It's another thing to tell your child she is protected by the police while you go on a crime spree.
Lying is also used as a form of protest. For example, someone who is protesting a cause could lie for the purpose of getting attention away from it. Or, he or she could do it to make themselves feel better about something else. Lying is also used as a form of revenge. If you know someone is going to judge you because of what happened, but don't want to suffer through it yourself, you could lie and say otherwise.
At its core, lying is a form of deceit. And deceit can be used to strengthen relationships. If you tell someone he or she looks good, he or she will likely feel appreciated and valued. This means more positive interactions with you later on down the road. Also, since lying is based off of false beliefs, it can help people understand one another better. If you tell a person he or she is beautiful, he or she may believe you, and this could lead to him or her trusting you with other secrets down the road.
People are much more concerned with if you have good intentions than they are with whether the individual is being honest in general. Just keep in mind that falsehoods are most effective when they are not selfish. It's another thing to say this to your spouse after going out for dinner and a movie and wanting to look attractive for your partner next time.
The same goes for lies told to children. If you want to build their trust later on, then don't lie about why you didn't let them play outside yesterday or why you sent them to their room when they argued with you. Tell them you were afraid they would get hurt or that you wanted to talk to them about something important, says Hensley.
Lying is only bad when you need to improve as a person. If you're already a great liar, there's no need to change anything about yourself.
Lies Have the Power to Ruin a Good Thing... According to Durvasula, people lie in relationships to preserve face, prevent confrontation, defend their egos, maintain their image, and simply to avoid hurting their partner's feelings. Making a practice of lying, on the other hand, isn't beneficial for your relationship in general. "It has the potential to destroy it," Durvasula warns.
Building a relationship on lies will eventually tear it down. Once you begin to tell lies to each other, it's not easy to stop. Your partner will eventually find out, which will probably cause him or her pain. At that point, you have two options: either end the relationship or continue telling lies. It's obvious which option we recommend.
Lying erodes trust. When there is no trust, an individual may not listen or pay attention to what the other person says. When a partner lies, the spouse who is deceived may feel saddened and detached. The offended individual may then shut down or refuse to trust the deceiver's explanations. Lying is also harmful because it can damage relationships with others.
What are the dangers in a person being honest? An honest person will often be misunderstood by those who do not understand them. This can lead to isolation for the honest person. It is also dangerous because it can hurt others' feelings. An honest person will usually know when they are wrong and will make amends for their mistakes. However, sometimes this is not enough for some people, who may not accept the honest person's explanation.
Not being honest can cause problems within relationships. If someone believes you're telling them something that you aren't, it can cause resentment and distrust. Also, not being honest can lead others to do things you don't want them to do. For example, if someone thinks you've kept a secret from them, they might tell you about it themselves. Or, they might go around saying things they know you won't like. Finally, not being honest can damage relationships with friends because people have a right to know what you're thinking.