Emotional Intelligence

6 Reasons For Not Telling The Truth

7 Mins read

We can all agree that telling the truth is sometimes the hardest thing to do. We often find it easy to lie and cheat rather than tell the facts, which is mostly a bad thing. However, in a few selected situations, not telling the truth is the best decision you might make. In this article I will talk about 6 of them.

The Burden of Telling The Truth

If you are half a decent person, then you have probably gotten that annoying regrettable feeling after not telling the truth to someone even though you knew that telling them the truth would hurt them. If you are this kind of person then I would recommend that you choose your lies carefully and that is why this article is meant for you.

And if you are not that much of a good guy then lying is like second nature to you, and am sorry that you have to be you. The problem with this kind of person is that he/she will get stuck in a pile of lie after lie, this will accumulate to a point where he/she won’t be able to differentiate between what the truth was and what the lie was. Which will make them a compulsive liar.

The thing about compulsive liars is that telling the truth becomes quite hard for them, this is because they tend to find themselves in circles of lies even in situations that they shouldn’t even lie about. By doing this, they deprive themselves of their sense of self awareness and eventually end up forgetting who they really are.

You need to watch your circles of lies so that you don’t turn yourself into a compulsive liar1 .

Therefore, if you have to lie, lie under the following circumstances and only these circumstances.

6 Reasons For Not Telling The Truth.

1. To protect those whom you love.

This is the first and most obvious.

In the seventh season of one of my favorite Tv shows, “How I Met Your Mother”, in short its HIMYM for the super fans like me, Robin ends up dating this guy called Kevin.

A little ways down the road, she finds herself in a compromising situation where she kisses Barney Stinson (who is gay in real life by the way, I know, was as surprised as you are). So, after the kiss she felt so guilty that she decided to go and tell Kevin.

Before she could even get to the point, Kevin sensed what she was about to say and stopped her midway by saying, “I have come to realize that just because something should be said, doesn’t mean that it should be heard.”

And with that, Robin lied that everything was fine and never told him, and they went on with their relationship (which later ended, sadly. But that was because of an unrelated reason).

As you can see, Kevin, whilst quoting Shardul Mandrupkar, employed the art of emotional intelligence by reading her non verbal ques, which told him what she was going to say, and then acted accordingly and maturely to handle the situation before it escalated. He did this because he knew that what happened wouldn’t change how he felt about her, and neither had it changed how she felt about him since she was willing to throw everything they had just to tell him the truth. Hence, the lie.

And that is the only reason why you should lie to protect those whom you love – that is, if the truth will hurt them but still not change anything.

2. To favor yourself and look better.

This is a lie that you are going to tell just so that you can appear to be better or just awesome when in reality you are not.

An example of this is lying about a certain skill in an interview so that you can get a job or promotion. Don’t get me wrong, am not telling you to lie in your resume or not tell the truth in your interviews, what am saying is that there is no harm in lying about something that you will learn sooner or later anyway.

If you know that you aren’t proficient in Japanese but you are taking the classes and are getting better at it, then, is it a lie to say that you are proficient in Japanese in your resume? Yes, but it is a lie you can get away with because you will get the skill anyway.

Another example is in dating. So take it that you like this girl who is so into camping and hiking. You like her but you are not into any of those things, maybe you are just a lazy guy who likes playing FiFa and eating junk food 24/7. So what do you do? You go online, learn the basics and make sure you try them out before going with her.

Therefore, is it lying if you tell her you are into camping and hiking? Of course, you are a lying little dush, but it is a lie you can get away with because you will learn how to do those things anyway. And if I were that girl then I would be flirted that you went through all the trouble of pretending to like what I like, so more power to you.

3. To handle a sensitive matter delicately.

When it comes to telling someone things of a sensitive nature you need to be carefully on how you handle it. Especially if the matter might affect the person mentally or physically.

In 2015, I lost my mother, may she rest in peace. It happened during the time when I was staying with my sister. I was with my little brother in her house when she got a call about an accident that my mom had been in. I didn’t hear a lot of the conversation but after the call she came and told me that our mom had been in a minor accident but it was nothing to worry about.

She told us to remain behind since it “wasn’t that much of a pressing matter” so that she can go and check up on her, so we did. The very next day, her husband came to pick us up so that we can go for a “family dinner” but that we had to stop by the hospital to pick my mom. As excited as we were we went, but on arriving at the hospital it became clear what was happening as my dad was there with a speech prepared.

So why am I telling you this story? Well, Its the perfect example of a situation where telling the truth wouldn’t help such a delicate matter. My sister and her husband knew that telling us about the situation before us being there as a family would be disastrous. They knew that my dad would have a better handle of the situation so they lied to us until we were together so that my dad would tell us in an emotionally mature way.

4. To get out of a bad situation by not telling the truth .

We have all been caught doing something we shouldn’t once or twice. Maybe you were sleeping when you should be working, maybe you were having a relationship in the work place when you shouldn’t or maybe you were caught by the police doing minor offences such as having sex in public (I hope that is a minor offence…)

Not telling the truth in this situations is part of the art of talking yourself out of anything.

I believe that not telling the truth is acceptable when you are trying to get out of a bad situation that doesn’t leave anyone or anything being violated. A little white lie you may call it.

5. To avoid embarrassment and gain social favor.

If you were ever bullied or looked down upon in high school or anywhere generally then am sure you will relate to this.

Not telling the truth so that you can fit in is not a crime. I have lied a few times about what I like, who I like and who I am so that people wouldn’t make fun of me or ridicule me.

We are all social creatures and fitting in is our primal desire since we all yearn to belong to something, which sometimes will mean not telling the truth about a few things here and there so that you can be part of the group you like.

The rule to doing this is to make sure that you never deceive yourself in the process. Don’t lie to the extent that you believe the lie too. That is psychotic.

6. To stop an argument or conflict by not telling the truth.

Part of being emotionally intelligent and mature is learning what fights are what fighting in and when to quit fighting. Our ego and pride sometimes doesn’t allow us to concede defeat which results in us going on and on in pointless arguments and conflicts whose only outcome will be to see who has bigger balls than the other.

Therefore, it is important to know how to stop an argument and conflicts which will mean not telling the truth once in a while so as to prevent a situation from escalating.

Bottom Line

Not telling the truth has been proven scientifically to be of help. Researchers have even proven that lying is good for the development and maturity of kids. So don’t be hard on your boy when he lies about eating the whole ice cream in the fridge.

The truth is bitter, but it will set you free, in all of my articles and work I urge all my readers to stay true to who they are and speak their truth at all times. You should always make it a habit of following the old wisdom2:

The Truth Will Set You Free.

John 8:31-32

But I also teach about you being aware of the nature of the world, seeing things for what they are and not for what you want them to be.

Hence, you will come to see that not telling the truth, telling white lies, is the to go option to help yourself and the people around you sometimes. The world is full of complexities and intricacies that require a high emotional intelligence. That is why the art of not telling the truth is a skill that should be mastered by you.

But only lie under the stated circumstances or else you risk hurting yourself and the people you love.


  1. Also called the pathological liar. Pathological liars tell compulsive lies without a clear motive. This type of lying is different than nonpathological lying, where the lie is often beneficial in some way. – What to know about pathological liars(2019) – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325982.php#diagnosis
  2. The Truth Will Set You Free

    31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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About author
I'm a psychology enthusiast and a fried chicken lover. I write bite sized articles unpacking the complexities of the human mind. The mission is to advocate for what's more important in life - the pursuit of the truth and the highest good one can do with that truth - for themselves, the people around them and the society as a whole.
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