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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

"Your butt has never looked bigger."

"That color makes you look like a cadaver."

"Your cellulite is forming an organic polka dot pattern on the flimsy fabric."

This is what I would like to say to my friend as she models her new outfit for me. But she had already cut off the tags and I was left with no choice.

"What a great outfit. You look fabulous!"

My kind words are less of an issue where my kids are concerned. I suppose I care more about my family dressing appropriately and the impressions they make on the outside world than I do about other people. But the older I get, the more sensitive I have become about verbalizing my opinions.

My family already knows my true judgmental self, so I have no need to orchestrate a new persona.

You pick and choose your friends because of how nice you think they are, and how they make you feel about yourself. I want people to like me and think of me as a kind person. I want to make everyone feel good and I want everyone to want me to be their friend.

My family already knows my true judgmental self, so I have no need to orchestrate a new persona. They have no choice but to accept me for who I am. But this is not the case with my friends and acquaintances; and this is what compromises my honesty.

My friend Beth is the yang to my yin. She completely disagrees with my thinking. Whenever she is asked for her opinion, she is nothing but completely honest. She believes there is no other way to be.

"Why sugarcoat the situation?" she says. "If someone asks me, they deserve an honest answer. They are asking. It's not like I am offering it up unsolicited. That would be a different story. That would make me mean and rude."

I feel better handing out my little white lies. They hurt really no one, and they make me feel like a "nice" person.

Beth is the person that I will always ask an opinion of, because I know I will get an honest answer. I find this kind of honesty to be refreshing. Why can't I be more like Beth? I think it must stem from a deep-rooted need to be liked and well thought of. And the notion of possibly hurting someone's feelings makes me extremely uncomfortable and sad. People feel bad enough about themselves in general without me adding to it. I feel better handing out my little white lies. They hurt really no one, and they make me feel like a "nice" person. I can't imagine that I am the only one who does this? Am I?

So call me a liar. But I do it with the best of intentions—to not hurt anyone's feelings. It's the only time I ever lie ... honest.

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