Wednesday, May 7, 2008

5-7-08: White Lies

Have you ever been in one of those really awkward situations where you had to lie to a friend or family member about something to avoid worsening the situation? I'm not talking about anything major, though, just a weird little "white lie" situation? Aren't those a bitch? I hate 'em.

Well, I was thinking while gassing up today about something, which I have since completely forgotten about, but it was probably about whether or not it's the job of a true friend to lie about the little things. Not necessarily the entire job; just part of it. Is it really the right thing to do as a friend?

Part of my reason for asking is this: who else would tell you the honest truth? You might say "a perfect stranger wouldn't be afraid to tell you," but I would contest that the complete opposite is more likely to occur. When is the last time some one you had never met before gave you a straight and honest answer? Sure, they might be more likely to insult you or something, but how is even that the truth? People are more likely to avoid the situation, seeing as how they are complete strangers, and just pass off with a white lie. But... that's the issue. Where can you find the honest truth?

What I'm trying to do is to teach you about one of my peculiar personality traits. Some have called it a flaw, but they're idiots. There I go again. Sorry.

What I like to do, and this is only with good friends, is be honest with them at inopportune moments. No, I don't seek to embarrass them; I just give them the honest truth in a way in which they will remember, or at least pay attention to, more easily. Take, for example, last Friday. I was at a pretty good bar in South Norwalk with a few high school buddies, one of whom happened to be the girl I dated my senior year of high school. We were having a fun time, then this band came on and played incredibly loudly right in front of us (since we were at the bar right in front of the small stage). After a while I grew tired of the music. When asked by the girl I used to date if I was bored, I replied: "Yes. Yes I am."

I wasn't really bored. I just didn't want to get any more deaf listening to cover songs of bands I don't like. So, it was a white lie told to gain a non-white-lie result. Is that really a white lie? I guess by definition... it isn't.

I refer to this as Tactical Semi-Selfish Truth Telling, or TSSTT for you acronym fans. I just made that up, actually, but I'm sure it will make its way on to any day now. I've found that, if used sparingly, TSSTT can be quite useful. It's best to be used only in situations where offending some one is not an issue, which is usually up to your own conscience or aptitude for feeling guilty. I've told people they were self-centered out of the blue in order for them to stop talking. It does the trick, but they're usually too shocked, and in denial, to do anything constructive. Mission accomplished.

I see this as more of a bullshit-avoidance method, too. People may say they hate bullshit, but most of the time, that itself is bullshit. Everybody hates it, otherwise it would probably have a better nickname. If it was cool, maybe it would be golden-goose shit or something along those lines. Bulls are incredibly disliked creatures. Why else would they have entire sports derived around humiliating them?

Anyway, the point is that I don't think every one should use only white lies to help out their friends. Sometimes they just need a good dose of truth. They may hate you, but you're being a true friend to them. But don't be a jerk about it. That's one more thing, along with bullshit, that the world could do without.

By the way, congratulations again on making nationals, Scotty.

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