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This Is Why Lying Is Good for You

A little fib never hurt anyone—in fact, lying may be good for you.

From a young age, we're taught to believe that lying is a cardinal sin, one that can easily lose us friends, opportunities, and instantly make us seem untrustworthy if we're find out. However, in spite of how often we're told that no good can come from lying, that's not always true. In some cases, lying's benefits actually far outweigh those you'd get from telling the truth.

In fact, lying is more than just a means of getting out of awkward situations or making ourselves important: research suggests learning to lie is actually an important developmental milestone. So, before you decide that honesty is the best policy across the board, discover why lying is good for you. And when you do want tangible ways to improve your life, start with the 40 Best Ways to Keep New Habits!

Lying Can Make You More Productive

challenging yourself can make you instantly happy

A few white lies around the office aren't the end of the world. In fact, they may even boost your productivity. Telling an overbearing boss that you're doing a project on his or her exact schedule, when, in fact, you're working on a timeline that works better for you, can help you appease the powers that be while allowing you to prioritize your own skills and needs. And when you want to get more productive, check out the 15 Ways to Double Your Productivity in Half the Time!

Lying Can Make You a Better Friend

women talking at coffee shop

Lying isn't just telling tall tales. Lies of omission can actually improve your friendships. If your friend has been hard at work on a diet for a year but you can't see the results, telling them they look great will still make them feel good. Sometimes, being kind is better than being completely honest. And when you want to expand your social circle, this is The Best Way to Make New Friends!

Lying Can Boost Your Mood

Woman at work

While it may seem like lying would make you feel bad, the opposite may be true. In fact, research suggests that depressed people may be more realistic than their non-depressed counterparts because of their overly-realistic worldview. It turns out the cure for the blues may be a little self-delusion. Want to feel better in no time? Start with the 25 Best Instant Mood Boosters!

Lying Can Smooth Out Parenting Stresses

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Ask any parent and they'll tell you: taking care of kids is no easy feat. The good news? A few white lies about whether or not you've got enough cash in your wallet for that toy or the hours of your local ice cream shop can help keep things peaceful, no harm done.

Lying Can Improve Your Relationship

Couple Holding Hands on Couch Romance

While outright lies about fidelity, money, or other big issues can be relationship deal breakers, a few lies of omission may actually improve your relationship in the long run. Keeping details of previous relationships private or maintaining a little mystery will help keep your relationship from becoming stagnant. And for more great relationship advice, here are 13 Secrets You Should Always Keep from Your Partner.

Lying Can Help Keep You on Track Toward Your Goals

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It's easy to feel defeated when you're working toward a goal but feel like you're falling short. Fortunately, a little self-delusion, whether you're telling yourself that your 10 minutes at the gym was a great effort or that starting to save tomorrow instead of ten years ago is just as good, can help keep you on track instead of making you feel like there's no choice but giving up. And for more on the lies we tell, here are 40 Lies Kids Say That Parents Always Fall For.

Lying Makes You a More Effective Boss

Career, leadership, raise

Honesty isn't always the best policy if you're an employer. Telling an employee or co-worker, "You're not as smart as you seemed in your interview" isn't going to do a lot of good when you're trying to improve their performance. A few white lies can be a great motivational tool, after all. And when you want to get your work life on track in no time, start with the 40 Best Ways to Jumpstart Your Career!

Lying Can Boost Your Negotiation Skills

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Want to pay below sticker price on a new car or negotiate a raise? Lying will definitely come in handy. Lying about a better offer or saying you're ready to walk out the door when you're not getting your way can help you get what you want, and is pretty much expected, anyway. And when you want to land that promotion, This Is Exactly How to Ask for a Raise.

Lying Can Help You Confront Your Fears

Bungee Jumping

Telling yourself a few small lies can help you overcome those fears in a hurry. If you're worried about leaving a bad relationship or quitting your job for a new opportunity, telling yourself that everything will be okay, even when there's no evidence to back it up, can help give you the push you need to move forward.

Lying Can Improve Our Self-Esteem

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You may not see a supermodel in the mirror looking back at you, but that doesn't mean it's not worth telling yourself a few white lies to that effect, anyway. Telling yourself a few small lies can boost your self-confidence, and may even be a self-fulfilling prophecy: when you feel more confident, you might just work that much harder because of it. And when you want to feel better about yourself every day, start with the 70 Genius Tricks to Get Instantly Happy!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more