Honesty is the best policy. Not only morally best, but also best for our health and relationships. Think about how you feel when you tell a lie--no matter how small. Try to remember how hurt you were when finding out someone had lied to you. Do you tend to avoid those who lie on a regular basis? I do.
A new study from the University of Notre Dame revealed that the average American lies 11 times each week. Think about that. It's an average, meaning some tell fewer, and others more . . . possibly many more. If you were to track your lies, where would you fall? Would the answer make you feel uncomfortable? How many lies each week would be acceptable to you?
The researchers had adults and college students track their weekly lies, and discovered that telling fewer lies can improve our health.
Those who reduced their "white" lies by 3 per week had better physical and mental health. This was also true for "major" lies. This puts to rest the saying that "white" lies are harmless.
Study participants who told fewer lies also reported better personal relationships and smoother interactions with others. These improved connections may account for the enhanced relationships.
The good news is that we can all do this. Those in the study made conscious decisions not to exaggerate or make false excuses for incomplete tasks. Others responded to awkward questions by asking another question as a distraction.
Whether you're motivated by better health or doing it for your friends and family, it's the right thing to do. Let's all give it a shot. I'm going to start right now.