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Six Phrases People Use When They’re About to Lie To You

Igor Stevanovic/iStock
Igor Stevanovic/iStock

Nobody wants to admit it, but sometimes people lie to you so they don’t hurt your feelings.  You should know it happens: because you do it too.  I do it, you do it, it’s not great.  But it happens.

There was an article recently published by The Wall Street Journal about our habits when we lie.  And well, I figure if there’s anything we could all use, it would be a clue or two to suss out when someone’s fibbin’.  Of course that might mean you’ll have to be more careful if you decide to tell one.

Anyway, here are the six phrases people use when they’re about to lie to you or say something harsh.  According to psychology experts, we use them because we feel like they distance us a little bit from the lie, which makes us feel better about it.

1. “I want you to know.”  Example:  “I want you to know your new Miley Cyrus haircut looks great.”

2. “As far as I know.”  Example:  “As far as I know, everyone’s excited about your destination wedding in Outer Mongolia.”

3. “I’m just saying.”  Example:  “I’m just saying, we don’t HAVE to follow the herd and do something special on Valentine’s Day.”

4. “I hate to be the one to tell you.”  Example:  “I hate to be the one to tell you, but people are saying your PT Cruiser isn’t the pimpmobile you think it is.”

5. “Don’t take this the wrong way.”  Example:  “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not sure you’re the right person to give advice on body odor.”

6. “To be perfectly honest with you.”  Example:  “To be perfectly honest with you, I’d give you any organ in my body.  But not, uh, until my schedule calms down.”

So maybe you’d better think twice next time you’re talking… or maybe when you’re listening to someone.  Have you told any white lies recently?  Think someone’s told you something not true just to be nice?  Tell me all about it in the comments!

Honestly yours,


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