How many lies do you think you tell in a day?

And what qualifies as a lie in your opinion? Little untruths in the course of pleasantries, untruths told to spare someone’s feelings, or great big whoppers with cheese used perhaps to avoid negative consequences?

Ordinarily, I don’t consider the first two as lies and I wonder how many times a day I tell those. I rarely tell a bald faced lie, just because I don’t feel like I should have to. I know the conseqences of my actions and accept them as they come. But, the little untruths to get through the day? No telling.

It’s 10:30 am and I haven’t lied, so far, today. That’s probably because I haven’t spoken to my boss or a customer, yet.

How many lies do you think you tell each day?

Without looking it up, essentially a lie is an untrue assertion with the intent to deceive. So, small lies are still lies.

How many per day? On average, less than one, almost none.

Oh yeah? How do I know you’re not lying? :stuck_out_tongue:

When someone asks “How are you?” and I say “Fine,” instead of “I’m tired and stuffed because I went to NYC yesterday and ate too much and saw two shows and didn’t get home till 2:00 and had to get up at 7:00 to come here” I am lying.

That is why I usually answer that question with “Ehh, I’m here.”

One million.

countless. I’m a huge fucking liar.

The normal pleasantries that are required to maintain a civilized society - “I’m fine”, “Wow, that’s too bad”, “How sad”, etc. don’t count in my opinion. Technically they are lies, but I’m grateful for them. I do consider hiding a truth to be about the same as lying - “Well, you never asked” isn’t a valid excuse if one knows (or should know) the information is important or wanted.

Deliberate untruths? Since I’m not in sales nor dating, not very many. One or two maybe. Usually to the boss, replying “watching this switch, it was erroring earlier” is only half-true, I’m actually posting here while letting the error log watch and I’ll check the thing in a few minutes.

I don’t believe you.

What’s that old joke, “Hey, I got scruples! I only lie when I have to.”

When I was getting sober, I figured that lying had been a big part of my life, so I tried an experiment. Could I go through an entire day without telling one lie? I wasn’t using this as an excuse to be an asshole (“No, I don’t want to go to your barbeque because you’re boring and your children are little demons”). I just wanted to see.

It was amazing how often in the day my first response was to tell a lie, generally to present myself in a better light or to prevent a confrontation.

“What did you do last night?”
“Read a couple of hundred pages of Proust, then did a little rock climbing.”
(No, I didn’t. I watched television for 6 hours while eating Cheetos).

What I found out was 1) I lied a hell of a lot about any damn thing, 2) Most people didn’t give a rat’s ass whether I was rock climbing or eating Cheetos the night before. My little experiment, which lasted about 6 months, was really put to the test when I had to tell a professor that my term paper was going to be late because I just hadn’t been able to get around to it. I’m not sure what terrible thing I expected to happen, but nothing did, in this case.

So, yeah, I still lie occasionally, but I’m more aware of it when I do.

So the answer to the OP is, I used to lie a whole bunch. Now, not so much.

I probably average less than one lie a day. I used to anal-retentive about never, ever lying, but sometimes I use half-truths.

I have a tendency to avoid social contact deliberately, so if I don’t get back to someone for a while, I might say, ‘‘Sorry it’s been so long, I’ve been really busy.’’ Which is true, but not necessarily honest. It would be more honest to say, ‘‘Sorry it’s been so long, I avoid human relationships like the plague.’’

They other instance in which I might stretch the truth is if I’m telling a story that’s meant to be entertaining. I will fudge on the details of these stories in order to make them funnier, but I view that as harmless. Whenever my husband corrects me, I turn to him and hiss in a stage whisper, ‘‘Stop ruining my stories with the truth!’’

But if someone were to ask me point blank, ‘‘Did it really happen that way?’’ I could not look them in the face and lie about it. I was raised in a household in which lying was completely unacceptable, to an unreasonable extreme. As a result, I tend to be compulsively honest.

You mean One million and one. :wink:

As many as necessary.

Zero, including this one.

I don’t tend to lie much at all, other than the reflexive “fine” when someone asks me how I am. Neither do I go pushing unpleasant truths on people unless they push me for them. I usually find a tactful, but truthful way to say something pleasant when pushed, but if I can’t, well, then I’ll tell the most tactful unpleasant truth I can find. “No, the dress doesn’t make you look FAT, exactly, but it’s also not the most flattering cut I’ve ever seen you wear” OR “but it doesn’t show off your figure as well as some of your others.”

Ten. No wait, make that eleven.

Every time I tell a customer “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Actually wait, that’s not true. I am sorry to hear it, not because I feel bad for them but because I’ve heard the same thing a million times before and I’m sorry that I have to hear it again.

I have no idea, but probably quite a bit. When someone asks “What are your plans for the weekend?”, I almost never tell them “I’m going to masturbate like a motherfuck then get blotto while watching reruns of The Pickup Artist.”



I don’t lie much. My habitual instinct is either to tell the truth or not to say anything at all. This is not so much because I’m Mr. Virtuous as that it simply doesn’t occur to me to say something that doesn’t correspond to Reality. The flip side of this is that, sometimes, it doesn’t occur to me that what someone else is telling me might possibly not be the truth. Nor does it occur to me, sometimes, that other people might suspect me of lying when I’m actually telling the truth.

I never even do this. As long as there’s a chance that people will believe me, I will not exaggerate, add details, or otherwise stretch the truth when relating personal experiences, whether to make myself look better or to make the story more interesting or funnier or more exciting or whatever. Part of that is, again, it just doesn’t occur to me to, and part of it is that I don’t want to mislead anyone. For example, if I were to exaggerate when telling a story of a bad experience I had with a dentist or auto mechanic or whatever, it could make people needlessly stressed and apprehensive about their own future appointment with their dentist or mechanic, maybe even to avoiding having needed work done.

If you were to search all my past posts here on the SDMB, or if you could somehow do the same thing with all my real-life conversations, you’d find I don’t tell all that many personal stories. But any that I have told, I stand behind every detail, except those obviously meant as a joke.