by The Editors of Men’s Health
Get this: You’re lied to between 10 and 200 times every single day, according to a study from the University of Southern California. And most people will lie three times within the first 10 minutes of meeting a new acquaintance, University of Massachusetts researchers report.
That doesn’t mean everything you hear is a sham—but you’re probably being fed the same fibs day after day. Here are 10 common little white lies you regularly encounter, and what they really mean.
1. “Everything’s great.”
All the diners sitting around you say this to their waiters as a brush-off—even though the soup is too salty. As a result, the chef never finds out he’s heavy-handed with his spices, and people stop coming to his restaurant. Also, you end up with the same too-salty soup everyone else was too bashful to send back. Break the cycle, and tell your waiter—politely—if something’s off.
2. “I’m fine.”
Reality check: No woman who says this to you is actually “fine.” Something’s wrong, and you need a strategy to figure out how to fix it. Most of the time, it’s as easy as asking her how she really feels.
3. “I love your new haircut.”
People reflexively compliment anything that catches their eye as new or different—no matter how ugly it may be. If your girlfriend has a different opinion on your new ‘do—or jacket, or shoes—than your chipper coworker, trust your girl’s take. The “I get so many compliments on this” defense doesn’t hold up.
4. “No thanks, I’ve got it.”
Guys feel guilty accepting assistance from others—even if they could really use it. If you have to ask, “Can I give you a hand with that?” you should already be helping—not offering to lend a hand.
5. “I couldn’t find time to look at that today.”
Whether you hear this from your boss or your client, rest assured that you’re being bluffed. You might be in danger of losing his support, interest, or money, so you need to come up with a new way to incentivize him.
6. “It’s so great to see you!”
Is it really great? Because your wife’s friend from college looks like she’s in a huge hurry, and you don’t really know her that well. This is a polite lie that really means, “I want to stop talking to you now.” Offer a quick smile and let her get on with her day.
7. “That’s interesting.”
People throw out this meaningless phrase so often it’s more a silence-filler than a lie. Instead, consider what you actually think before speaking, and come up with a more insightful adjective. (No, “That’s crazy!” doesn’t count.)
8. “Your email ended up in my spam filter.”
Of all the emails you’ve sent him, this one was mysteriously whisked to his junk folder? No need to call him out on it, but recognize his deception for what it is. And figure out a better way to grab his attention next time.
9. “I just saw your text.”
Your friends have no problem lying about being busy when they’re looking at sports scores. But when they actually have a lot on their plates, they become bashful admitting it. This text is a polite way of saying, “I was too busy to answer you right away.”
Admit it: Even you toss out apologies as readily as you would a losing lottery ticket. At least 95 percent of the time, you tell someone you’re sorry when you really mean, “That’s too bad.” Don’t apologize unless you mean it.
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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.