post written by: Marc Chernoff

The 15 Most Common White Lies and Why

White LiesEveryone tells a white lie on occasion, it’s just a question of why.  Some white lies save relationships, some ease a hectic situation, and others buy us time.  The list could go on forever.  Stretching the truth is a natural component of human instinct because it’s the easy way out.  We all do it, so there is no reason to deny it.  Honestly, I think the world is probably a better place because of our white lies.

As long as we aren’t hurting others or breaking the law, these innocent lies can make life more pleasant.  They can absorb potential friction between our varying personalities and vacillating moods as we nudge into one another on the quest through our daily routine.  Most of these white lies only stretch an interpretation of what the truth actually is anyways.  Given our rigid optimism to each lead a tailored ideal life, white lies simply cushion us from ourselves.

Here’s my list of the 15 most common white lies and why we tell them:

  1. It wasn’t me! – Because some things just aren’t worth taking credit for.
  2. The table will be ready in 5 minutes. – Because it sounds a lot better than 15 minutes.
  3. Oh, yeah.  That makes sense. – Because option B involves admitting that I am clueless.
  4. Thank you so much!  I just love it! – Because telling someone that their gift sucked would make me look like an insensitive jerk.
  5. Yeah, you look great in that dress. – Because it’s better than being slapped.
  6. Oh, things would have been different if I was there! – Because I’m Superman and I can always make a difference… or at least that’s how I want others to perceive of me.
  7. No, officer… I have no idea how fast I was going. – Because claiming ignorance is sometimes better than admitting to insubordination.
  8. I’m 29. – Because 29 is like 20 years younger than 30.
  9. Yeah, I’ll start working on that ASAP! – Because telling you I have 10 things to do first would just irritate you.
  10. Yes, John was with me last night. – Because that’s what friends do… we agree and ask questions later.
  11. My resume is 5 pages long for a good reason. – Because I’m darn good at bullshittin’!
  12. Man, that sucker was 10 feet long! – Because anything less would be boring.
  13. Yeah, I was a badass on my high school football team! – Because I want to be seen by others in an even stronger light than I see myself.
  14. I’m 21, 6’5, with a muscular build. – Because you can’t see me in this online chat room… ha ha!
  15. I thought I already sent that email out.  I’m sure I did. – Because telling you that it was a low priority and I forgot would probably hurt our relationship.

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  • pretty funny and I can actually identify with a few of these not all ;)

  • […] Some examples are: Yeah, you look great in that dress, I’m 29, and No, officer… I have no idea how fast I was going. [link] […]

  • “Yeah, I was a badass on my high school football team”
    Isn’t a white lie. It’s the other kind.

  • This is a great list. One of my biggest pet peeves are these white lies!

  • […] Marc and Angel explain The 15 Most Common White Lies and Why. […]

  • Love ‘em. I am also famous for saying “Hey, I was just about to call you.”


  • I don’t really think that all of these lies are white lies.

  • @Heeyun:

    Definition of White Lie:

    White lie, a euphemism for such lies as one finds it convenient to tell, and excuses himself for telling.

    I guess you could analyze and argue it either way… but I think these 15 lies fit the bill of a white lie. Do you have better examples?

  • The 15 Most Common White Lies and Why |…

    \r\nHeres my list of the 15 most common white lies and why we tell them.\r\n[&#8…

  • Nice post, although this seems to be worded like those played out ‘demotivational posters’. Mainly the use of ‘Because…’ after every “white lie”. Still, hilarious. Stumbled!

  • I have one. Someone gives you a new food you have never tasted. You taste it for the first time and you hate it. If they ask you how it tastes you can say, “It’s out of this world!”

  • […] a blog post on “Marc and Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips for Productive Living,” Marc explains “The 15 […]

  • well i love saying white lies

  • hahahahaha these are too funny! i think another one is…oh i never got your email! (because telling the person you got it, but didn’t read it because it sounded long and tedious, and hence didn’t bother to reply would probably not go over too well)

  • Most of that stuff is okay, but I would much,much prefer to be told the wait will be 15 minutes, if the wait will be 15 minutes. If I know what to expect, I can deal with it. The uncertainty and wonder is annoying. Another one I hate is for someone to tell me that they will do something asap and have absolutely no intention of doing it. If you’re not going to do it, please just say so and I’ll do it myself. And, p.s., you’re fired.

  • Sounds like 15 lies to me, a white lie is half the truth. say you order food to be delivered your really hungery and you call and ask if it is going to be there soon and the guy says “Yes your food is on its way” (but the whole truth is) our delivery guy will have your food to you soon he has two deliveries before yours.. thats a white lie.. like yes i went to school today mom ( but then ditched after lunch) there are less harmfull lies and there are lies and then there are white lies… they are all counter productive either to you or the person you give them to.

  • janie
    why couldnt you just say yes i got the email but no i have not yet taken the time to read it (or not yet taken the time to reply……. that would just be too hard to do huh… maybe if we learned from telling the truth we might not have as many problems with bank needing to be bought out or oil disasters ruining fisheries, or etc.

  • you forgot the “Be there in 5 minutes”
    or the “I’m not a virgin” lmao

  • white lies are just lies. how hard is it to tell your feelings politely. so what if a dress isnt someones favorite, or if the food was just ok. if you tell white lies people wont trust your opinion. or maybe not trust your word at all. poor communication. if you really belive in honesty - just be honest. its an admiralable quality.

  • Steve Lawrence
    May 5th, 2011 at 5:48 am

    “Because claiming ignorance is sometimes better than admitting to insubordination.”

    Insubordination implies a superior / inferior relationship. Police are our peers. They are paid by us to keep order. We are not obligated to be polite; it’s just a nice thing to do. This word “insubordination” is almost as annoying to me as a police officer calling non-police “civilians.” Sorry, the word is…citizen. Just like you, Mister Officer. :)

  • LOL…

    I am soooo guilty of these white lies..


  • My fav: it’s not you, it’s me

  • To be on the safe side, just be honest in what ever you do.

  • Great list. Lies are often perceived as unpleasant things but they can also be saviors of some situations and might even be necessary like these examples show.

  • I don’t think there’s a so -called good lies because it will always be accompanied with bad impression when someone does it… so a lie will always be something undesirable what ever reasons you have.

  • I love this read.

    My resume is 5 pages long for a good reason. – Because I’m darn good at BSing! LOVE IT LOVE IT. lol.

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