Most people can agree that lying is an absolute no-no when it comes to relationships. At worst, getting caught in a lie will win you a one-way ticket out the door and a permanent spot on the sh*t-talking list. At best, it causes tension. No matter how you spin it, lying usually ends badly. But new research proposes that lying can actually be an important factor in keeping your relationship strong. (Yeah, I know...)
According to a study published in the biological research journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B (opens in new tab), there are apparently some lies that can bring you closer with your friends or partner.
It went a little something like this: A group of researchers affiliated with the Aalto University School of Science in Finland explored the impacts of pro-social lies (white lies) and anti-social lies (deception) on relationships. Pro-social lies are ones told to protect another's feelings or help someone, while anti-social lies are told to cover up wrongdoing or gain an advantage.
In other words, lying about how much you like his new shirt is pro-social; lying about suspicious texts is anti-social.
While in general, society views lying as bad, most people would agree that fibbing is acceptable in certain situations. Using a mathematical model, the study proved this overarching theory to be more than correct. The research concluded that a balance between honesty and fibbing is crucial to maintaining a harmonious environment. Yep, honesty is *not* always the best policy. Knowing when to fib and when to come clean not only preserves—but strengthens—connections.
So next time he asks if you love that '90s metal band poster, you can feel less guilty when you respond, "of course, sweetie."
Simedar Jackson is an esthetician, content creator, and lover of sci-fi fiction living in Brooklyn, New York. She is passionate about creating space for Black and Brown people in the beauty and wellness industries by providing access to culturally nuanced education and services that meet their needs. You can find them doing their skincare routine, reminding friends to reapply SPF, and watching reruns of Love Island.
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