Someone asks an icebreaker question or they’re just trying to avoid awkward silence.
And then we clam up…
Because the question asked would produce an answer that is just way too complicated and involved to even get into…so you just tell a little fib so everyone can continue on with their day and you hope it won’t come up again.
People on AskReddit admitted what little white lies they tell people because the truth is too complicated.
Let’s see what they had to say.
“I tell them my mother is d**d…
Not a paranoid schizophrenic who kidnapped me at 8 m.o and left me in a drawer of a dresser in the closet of a hotel room alone for days. (who any time was in my state after that required me to have a police escort and spend lunch and recess in the principal office. )
It used to suck trying to lie about why I was in detention or why the police came to school for me.
The last time me and my mom spoke was years ago: she offered to take me to dinner. Drove me to the gas station dinner three blocks from my house, said she wasn’t hungry and had to leave soon then made me walk home before we could even order food. I hadn’t seen her in 8 years.
We spent less then 30 minutes together. I was 17. When I got home there was a message on the answering machine of her telling me what a loser I was.
So she’s dead if anyone asks.”
“That my dad d**d in his sleep.
In reality, he died of an overdose of sleeping pills while in a hotel with some random woman. I have heard conflicting stories all my life.
I was told by some it was suicide, some he was drinking, took pills, forgot he took them, then took another dose, some say it was actually heroin
I don’t think I will ever really know.”
“I tell them I left one of my jobs because they didn’t accommodate my school schedule.
In actuality, I quit because I got demoted when I reported my co worker of $40,000 worth of credit card fraud from our customers. The company was Samsung, American division.
They made my life a living hell because my manager was upset that I didn’t tell him about the fraud. (I told the security team anonymously and obviously they didn’t keep it anonymous!).
My manager would have gotten a bonus if I had told him about the fraud, so he took it as disloyalty and demoted me, and told everyone I was a snitch.
I quit because I put so much into that job but it got too stressful.
I was unemployed for a year after that. And then Covid hit.
I’ve been pretty unlucky these past few years.”
4. I live in the city.
“That I live in ___ city.
I really live in a suburb right outside of it, but nobody ever knows where it is because there aren’t many houses.”
5. Just keep it simple.
“”I don’t drink” is so much easier than explaining my complicated and unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
And also… If it turns into a discussion, you’ve sort of already “chosen sides”, and it’s much more of a hurdle to turn around and drink then.
If I am honest about being conflicted, you inevitably run into people who try to sway you to “their side”, and the bar for doing it will be much lower.”
6. Keep the nosey ones out of it.
““My brother is visiting me”
In truth, actually one of my closest friends from college is a guy and I’m a woman. He’s very close with my family and comes up to stay with me every couple months for a weekend.
It’s awesome, however I really don’t love my one nosey coworker asking me if I’m dating said friend every time we all discuss our weekends at lunch. it makes it a throwaway small talk line to say “oh my brother is visiting”.
My first name is Seven and people always ask about it. My mom never really gave me a straight answer so I like to have fun when people ask. A few of my most used replies are as follows.
I actually have 6 younger siblings
My mom’s a gambler and 7 is her lucky number
My mom really liked that Eddie Murphy movie
My mom is incredibly religious and believes 7 is a holy number.”
8. No shame in that.
“That I drive my older car because it’s paid off and I don’t want a car note. In all honesty it’s because I can’t afford a new car and my credit is totally f**ked.
I work for myself, dropped out and got my GED, have no college under my belt and on paper resume don’t qualify for a decent paying job. I’ve got a repo on my record from when I was knee deep in my addiction and drinking, recently hit my 6 month sobriety marker.
Trying to better myself, but it’s a baby step game, trying not to get discouraged but my credit is a dark cloud over my head at times. Restricts me from getting a better place to live, or a better car situation.”
9. No shame in it.
“”Oh, I just took some time off school”.
I was actually in psychiatric hospital for three months.”
“I work for a third party broker representing a national client (M&M’s candy) in retail stores. Some people have no idea what that means so I just tell them I work for M&M’s. And I still hear-
So you just hand out candy?
It must be tough working with kids.
How do you stay slim when you eat candy all day?”
11. You’re Russian.
“When I was 16, one of my lab partners at school (a guy I didn’t know very well) told me that I looked like I was Russian (and yes, I do look like it).
I’m half Polish, but when I tried to correct him, he cut me mid-sentence and started asking me questions about Russia, which I could not answer because the teacher came and told us to shut up.
Later that week, many people asked me about it (I went to a school where there was basically no one with slavic heritage), and soon the entire school was convinced I was from Russia. I couldn’t be bothered correcting everybody, so I just went along with it.
Don’t know if it qualifies as a white lie, but here it is.”
12. In pain.
“I often make it seem like I can only use a wheelchair to get around the place…
Rather than explain just how far I can walk before the pain gets too much…
Which is a horribly short distance BTW.”
13. A bad memory.
“My number of siblings.
No one wants to hear about a long-d**d sister.
It just makes people uncomfortable, and there’s no reason to do that.”
14. A curveball.
“I had to leave the Army because life threw me a curveball.
What I really mean is I was honorably discharged because I couldn’t provide a satisfactory family care plan on where my daughter would go if I had to go to the field for a few weeks of training or got another long deployment.
I became a single parent suddenly when my wife was k**led by a drunk driver after I returned from my second deployment to Iraq.
This explanation usually leaves an awkward silence because no one knows what to say.”
15. Just go with it.
“That I’m married.
My wife and I are separated but get on well enough to raise our daughter but not be together emotionally or s**ually. I still live in the house and we pool our money to give our daughter the best environment we can. Oddly we fight WAY less than we did before so the environment has improved massively.
We both just have FWB or f**k buddies that we see when time permits although we have an explicit rule about introducing people to our daughter AND no banging at home if there’s a chance the other/our daughter may come back home.”
16. Keep it movin’.
“”I have a boyfriend” instead of “We just started talking in a game and you’re asking me out. I don’t know you and now I’m creeped out”.”
17. Good plan.
““I don’t have a mic.”
Usually if I end up talking on video games and they realize I’m a girl, their conversation becomes uncomfortable or just annoying.”
18. This is my friend.
“I always just say “my friend” instead of saying “my daughter’s mom” or “my ex” because the latter two give off an awkward tone in conversations.
And whatever I’m bringing up usually isn’t related to the fact that she’s in the role that she’s in, so it’s not something that really needs to be specified anyway.”
19. Don’t get into it.
“That I am mildly allergic to garlic and onions. Technically I am Dimethyl Trisulfide and/or diallyl disulfide intolerant.
It is similar to lactose intolerance and is not an actual allergy, but that takes a fair amount of explaining.”
20. Nobody’s business.
““I can’t have kids”.
Easier than trying to explain the medical condition that necessitated removal of both of my Fallopian tubes. Technically I can still have kids, I’ll just never conceive them naturally.
Although if I’m having a particularly bad day, or someone won’t let it go (I’m looking at you “it’ll happen when you least expect it” lady from last week) I’ll give them my whole medical history.. usually makes people very uncomfortable, which serves them right IMO.
Stop asking people you barely know about their reproductive plans! Maybe they’ve experienced recurrent miscarriage, maybe they have been trying for years, maybe they have genetic conditions they don’t want to pass along. Or maybe they just don’t want them! In any case they don’t owe you an explanation.”
21. Don’t touch.
“That I don’t like to shake hands.
In reality, I’m totally fine with it. However, I have a condition known as hyperhidrosis, which means that my sweat glands are hyperactive. I sweat A LOT and pretty much constantly.
For me, I sweat the most from my hands and feet, but others also sweat heavily from their underarms. It’s not something I can control or manage easily. People who have shaken hands with me are grossed out and actively try to avoid me touching them.
So rather than tell people this and open myself up to “Ew, that’s so GROSS,” and stuff like that, I just say I don’t like physical contact.”
22. I can’t hear you.
“I moved from the West Coast to Upstate NY.
I started a new job at a hospital and couldn’t understand what anybody said. Everyone spoke so fast. I told all coworkers and patients that I was deaf in one ear and to speak more slowly, please. And they did! Everyone was so nice and so sorry for me.
Also when people ask me how many kids do I have, I say 2. I actually have 3. My daughter d**d from cancer and I just don’t feel that I have to explain this to strangers. The important people in my life know and they’re the ones who count.”
23. Can’t deal with it.
“That’s I’m allergic to shrimp.
Nothing else seafood related, just shrimp.
I have an irrational fear of them, which people always question me about. It’s just…the…way…they…curl…”
24. Too much background.
“I tell folks I’m from Texas, or if I’m in Texas, that I’m from California.
I usually say those white lies because they’re technically true, but actually I’m a refugee from a country that broke up in a civil war.
No, I don’t want to talk about that experience. And no, I don’t want to explain how old I was and all that other stuff.
Like, other folks don’t have to tell their entire life story to a salesman in Men’s Warehouse.”
25. No drinks for us.
“That we dont drink because we don’t really like it.
My husband is a recovering al**holic and is nailing recovery like a bada**, but it just makes things awkward!”
26. It’s easier this way.
“I dont have a sense of smell.
It’s easier to say that then explain what smells I can actually smell, or the fact that I cant identify smells correctly.
Example: My parents and I were looking for a new house. We walked in and I was pleasantly greeted with the strong smell of lemon pledge. My parents and boyfriend were complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea.
I just thought it was too strong for them to handle. My mom then informed me that what I was actually smelling was cat pee.
Other examples would be things like…
Stir fry smells like spaghetti
Cinnamon smells like that generic flowery smell in women’s products
Meat loaf smells like cookies (which is extra disappointing because I’m vegetarian).”
Do you ever do this?
If so, tell us all about it in the comments.
Thanks in advance!