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Today Is Honesty Day
Ordinary people tell about two lies every 10 minutes, with some people getting in as many as a dozen falsehoods in that period. … liars tend to be more popular than honest people. … A lot of research shows that serious lies are almost always told with the best of intentions. … Saxe found in one experiment that nearly 85 percent of college students had lied in the course of a romantic relationship, most often about another relationship. (These were lies that people voluntarily admitted to Saxe, which means the actual number of lies and liars was probably higher.) Nearly to a person, the liars said they were trying to protect the feelings of someone they cared about. …
DePaulo once conducted a study in which she asked people to recall the worst lie they had ever told and the worst lie ever told to them. … many young people reported that the worst lie ever told to them was by a parent who concealed news that someone they loved was sick or dying. By contrast, DePaulo found, parents never thought of such deceptions as particularly serious ethical breaches — in fact, they saw them as acts of love.
We lie to ourselves, telling ourselves that we lie to protect others, but those others are not nearly as grateful as we think.