Do you tell sweet little lies?

Lying is so common, there is even a hit show called, "Pretty  Little Liars"“White” lies are often considered inoffensive, yet to me they are dingy and grey, and stain your soul. 

But now an epidemic of white lies is spreading, and women are both the victims and the culprits. They tell falsehoods to feel better when they are with friends who make them feel fat, stupid, or poor.
 
Recently, iVillage polled its members and found that 97 percent of women surveyed admitted to telling the so-called ‘white’ lies. Some women even “lie” to the treadmills in their gyms; they enter low, phony numbers for their weight into the machines’ calorie computers.
 
Lying to create the ideal fantasy life
According to a similar poll in the online magazine Betty Confidential, women lie “to create their ideal life.” They confessed to lying about weight, age, and education.
 
Darlings, just think of what these women could accomplish if they worked towards who they wanted to be. How sweet could their life be, if they took pride in the women they are now? They are not unlike shopoholics, who often spend to compensate for feelings of inadequacy.
 
Delta Burke (seen here) as a young beautiful woman always thought she was too fatActress Delta Burke wasted her youth wanting to be thinner
Actress and designer Delta Burke — who is best-known for the comedy Designing Women — has battled her weight publicly. The former beauty queen once said that when she was in her twenties, she worried so much about it she couldn’t enjoy how lovely she really looked. She later realized she had been a goddess. Still, she gained a lot of weight while appearing on the TV show. Now, she has been married for many years to actor Gerald McRaney. She says of her husband and her full figure: “Actually, I think it’s interesting that when I put the weight on, I was already with him. I don’t know, maybe I felt safe. And he likes me like this. He likes me whatever size I am.”
 
It’s a shame that so many women have such a hard time separating their self-worth from their weight, bank balance, or other “status” symbols. People are quick to blame the media and its "cult of celebrity" for the pressure women feel to be thin and glamorous. I am sure that plays a part in it. But if you constantly feel so bad about yourself you tell white lies or “spin” your life and accomplishments, take a good look at your friends and family.
 
Do you live with emotional vampires?
Some people feel better only when they dominate others. They may be crude about it, or appear sweet and helpful, as they make cutting, hurtful comments. If you need to make yourself look or feel better around certain so-called friends, ask yourself why?
 
Friends who constantly offer unsolicited suggestion as to how you can improve your figure, love life, or career may not be friends at all. They may really be emotional vampires who are need to feel better about their lives.
 
A stunningly beautiful friend of mine struggles with her weight. When she first gained and then lost about 40 pounds, she confided in me that her family has been very cruel about her weight gain. When she was thin again, they were full of compliments. It was as if nothing else she was or did as person mattered much. She was struck and saddened by this reaction. Ironically, many of her family members also struggle with weight.
 
Don’t feel obliged to analyze your relationship with people who make you feel bad about yourself. Stop seeing them, or at least avoid them as much has possible. If you can’t avoid them – say, they’re a relative or a boss — learn to tune out their negativity. Get professional help to do this, if you need to.
 
You may be surprised at how your self-esteem improves once you decide to stop indulging white lies and focus on your own goals and self-worth.
 
Just because they ask
According to the iVillage poll, women lie to avoid conflict. I think that much of this so-called conflict is a result of today’s bad manners. I am constantly taken aback by things people I barely know ask me. Darlings, you don’t have to reply just because they ask. If some asks you something you’d rather not answer — don’t. Deflect them politely with: “It’s an interesting question, but I am more interested in …” and change the subject. As a last resort you can say, “I can’t answer that, but I can tell you …” Nosey parkers know they are out of line and will respond to a show of firmness.
 
Just say no
Directness also works best on those who try to pressure you into volunteering or doing things that don’t interest you. Be pleasant, but direct and say no. Don’t say, “maybe next time” if you mean no. Say instead, “I have to say no right now, but thanks for thinking of me, it is a great cause.” Or say “I already work for…” Don’t feel obligated to say more. We all have to pick our own causes to support. It is nice to offer a donation, and it can be small, to support a friend’s cause. But it is never obligatory.
 
Avoiding unwanted social activates can be trickier. Unless you are shirking your fair share of work, no one has a right to be angry at you for how you choose to spend your leisure time. No casual acquaintance or friend has the right to quiz you about it. A young woman recently told me I changed her life when I told her that she could refer to any appointment as a “meeting”. It solved many problems for her when dealing people who try to control her time as a freelance teacher. I explained she did not owe anyone an explanation of her whereabouts. If she was teaching, lunching, or at the hair-dresser, she could simply say that she was teaching or having a meeting.
 
Stop over-sharing
The same thing goes for the current vogue for over-sharing. If a conversation takes a turn that is too intimate for your taste, don’t feel obliged to join in. No one can oblige you to share your personal information or views about sex, money, politics, religion, or the Easter Bunny. In the interest of civility, be pleasant about it, and refrain from being offended, superior, or snippy. I find humour works best for me. I state the simple truth with a smile; I have nothing scintillating to add the conversation.
 
The truth about white lies
The simple truth is you always have to something else to do if you don’t want to go somewhere or answer an intrusive question. Say so nicely. Learn that an appointment to stay home and read or clean your closet is a valid date. Keep it and don’t apologize.
 
As for lying to yourself, darlings, you only hurt yourself in the long run. So, relish your own unique beauty and accomplishments. Set goals if you want to lose weight, get a second degree, or a promotion.
 
You can do amazing things in this life, if you focus and believe in yourself. Surround yourself with friends who lift you up and encourage you. Dump the saboteurs on the side of the road.
 
If you have been telling sweet little lies, knock it off. The truth really will set you free.
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