According to a new poll, some 65 percent of Americans feel it is OK to lie.
According to The Associated Press:
It can be hard to get people to face the truth sometimes. Especially about lying. You don’t want your kids to eat too much, so you say all the cookies are gone. You don’t feel like going out, so you tell your date something important came up. You’re overloaded with errands, so you call in sick.
Lies, all of them Ã¢â‚¬â€ but we don’t really like calling them that. In a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll, over half of respondents said lying was never justified. Yet in the same poll, up to two-thirds said it was OK to lie in certain situations, like protecting someone’s feelings.
Apparently white lies are an acceptable, even necessary, part of many lives Ã¢â‚¬â€ even though we dislike the idea of lying.
Rebecca Campbell knew exactly what she was doing when she recently told her 4-year-old son that there were no more cartoons on TV. And she didn’t like it. “One day, he’ll probably figure it out,” she says. “There are cartoons on all the time!”
But, says the 25-year-old mother from Quincy, Ill., “We couldn’t have the TV on all day.” Deep in her heart, she knew that telling him the truth would have been better, though more time-consuming, as discipline often is. “It’s the easy trap of a lie,” she says ruefully. “It’s easier than telling the truth.”
Which is, of course, why new haircuts receive so many compliments, notes Teresa Velin, a mother in Palm Desert, Calif.
Velin says it was just too darned hot and she didn’t feel up to getting dressed and leaving home for a recent movie date. So she told a friend she was busy. “I’m not always as busy as I appear to be,” says Velin, 27. “But I don’t want to ruin a friendship over a broken movie date.”
Nearly two-thirds of Americans agree. In the AP-Ipsos poll, 65 percent of those questioned said it was sometimes OK to lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, even though 52 percent said lying, overall, was never justified.