Little Lies

I don’t think you’re being wholly honest with me, are you?

And thank goodness you’re not. It only really struck me the other day that as human beings we spend so much of our time lying, and that’s how socialisation works. I think perhaps a lot of our lives as people is based on keeping up pretences just to make things easier. I think that’s the way it should be, not because I’m a repressed Brit, but because it’s simply more convenient for us all to pretend all manner of things as a sort of social short cut. Does that make sense?

I met my old tutor the other day, and we were perfectly nice to each other, even though I think she actually thinks I’m both not particularly bright, and mentally fragile as a doll, and I resent that she thinks that I am that pathetic and would rather not have to see her, but instead I smile brightly and am ever so nice to her, walking off at the end with a cheery wave and a ‘see you around’.

Perhaps you end up going to the pub quiz or a friend’s house for dinner, and quite by accident, the guest list is literally just you, two of your exes, and your newest boyfriend. And yet you all pretend that’s absolutely fine until at some point, hopefully, it is, at least for you; but even if you guess that at least one of your exes is finding this really difficult and probably still misses you, if you’re a decent human being and sensitive to that kind of thing the rules of the game are that you pretend you haven’t realised this, and he pretends that that isn’t how he feels, and neither of you lets on that you both know that each other almost certainly knows. And everyone else keeps up the pretence too even though perhaps only last night in the pub after one pint too many he had in fact been saying just how much he misses you.

Or you’re introduced to a friend’s new girlfriend or boyfriend and you have to immediately pretend to be, like, best friends or something, and actually, you barely know each other, and being a close friend of/partner of friend X is no guarantee that you will find much in common with each other, but you pretend you do anyway, and perhaps over time that friendship grows, but really, just for now it’s far easier to pretend to warm to one another far more quickly than you do.

So it’s easy to say you hate that sort of duplicity, but actually, if we didn’t lie like this an awful lot of time then an awful lot of our dealings with friends and relations, colleagues, teachers and all the rest of it would be fraught with serious awkwardness. There are times when we lie or put on an act because it’s in everyone’s best interests.

I think this probably makes me the most abject hypocrite, except that I think it’s probably OK. What I still cannot stand or condone is talking behind peoples’ backs about people. If I don’t have a problem with someone’s actions then I will not bitch about them like that; if I do, I will make sure that they know it. I’m not perfect, but I do try.

Sometimes it’s kind of complicated being a person, isn’t it. I still wish I was a cat.



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9 responses to “Little Lies

  1. Gah, we all pretend we’re ok when we’re not, be it mentally, physically or emotionally. We’ve all done the “I don’t need my ex” when secretly we’re more like “ummmm, so how do I live now then?”

    As for loving people you’ve just met, isn’t that the point of uni entirely?

    Finally, I’d like to conclude by saying I am a completely rational, sane human being and I really love the human species. People rock!

  2. P.S. yeah, we party like this: every night in _my_ flat, don’t-cha know?

  3. Jenny

    This isn’t a post about specific situations in my life, and I don’t think I’ve ever thought, of an ex, ‘so how do I live now?’ just because whatever I have thought of myself I have always tried never to define myself by whether or not I’m in a certain sort of relationship with another human being. After all, that was only one of three examples which also included Awkward New Friendships and Strange Relationships With Tutors (which is the only example drawn directly from my life in this entry, I’ll point out). This is merely a post about me realising that I am completely wrong to have ever thought ‘oh, I despise dishonesty’ before realising that actually, lying is the most deep-seated, blood-and-backbone-of-society social lubricant that we have (don’t take that the wrong way 😉 !!).

  4. Flix

    It’s not really lying so much as being polite? I mean, lying in terms of outwardly expressing your true feelings, perhaps, but not outright dishonesty. You’re not claiming that it’s the moist fun/comfortable experience you’ve ever had, or that you’re “simply would love to, dahhhhlin” you’re just dealing with the situation as it presents itself…?

  5. Adam

    “You’re not claiming that it’s the moist fun/comfortable experience you’ve ever had”

    I don’t think her blog is the best place to discuss Jenny’s moist experiences…

  6. Flix

    Freudian typo FTW! Incidentally, it was generic you, not Jenneric you 😛

  7. Jenny

    I am really revelling in the wordplay here, folks :). I wish I had something to add, but I’m just not that brilliant…


  8. Jenneric… flix, whoever you are, I love you.

    I wouldn’t quite put lying as the social lubricant of all time… It’s got a few other nasties of human nature to content with.

  9. Jenny

    What other nasties of human nature are as good as lying as a social lubricant?

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