Feel the Pulse of Women
Why Women Lie
We asked, you answered
-Julie Ryan Evans
We’d been talking a lot about lying amongst ourselves at BettyConfidential.com. We found that many of us were fibbing, stretching the truth–call it what you will– to our significant others, our children, even our bikini waxer. Our friends at U.S. News and World Report pondered why we lie, and our ASK REAL GUYS expert, Steven Gaffney, offered some tips for full disclosure.
But we wanted to take it even further. So we decided to go straight to YOU on the subject and find out what (if anything) you would admit to lying about–and admit you did. Here’s what you told us:
Based on the results of our Feel the Pulse of WomenTM survey, it seems women today are constantly comparing themselves to one another and often beating themselves up when they don’t measure up. Irrespective of all the educational attainment and economic prosperity we have achieved as women over the past several decades, many continue to struggle with their identities and lie to help come to terms with them.
Women told us that they lie to create the life they aspire to, and to make themselves feel better about their current life. They don’t feel successful enough or thin enough or happy enough in their relationship, so by telling people the way they wish it could be, they get to feel that for at least a little while.
Respondents said they lie about a multitude of things. Not so surprisingly it seems weight is the top topic women admit to fibbing about. When we asked how many revealed their real weight on their driver’s license, 68 percent said their driver’s license weight is NOT accurate! We have to admit we were surprised the number is that high on official documents!
Other areas in which women admitted bending the truth the most often included: their opinions, relationships, accomplishments and income. Women admitted to lying most often to strangers; in fact, 33 percent of respondents said they find it “perfectly acceptable” to lie to strangers. Also topping the list of people most often lied to by women were coworkers and/or employees and themselves. More than 70 percent said they believe it’s not acceptable to lie to their significant other.
Respondents said they feel it’s OK to lie when it’s for the betterment of a person or situation (38 percent) or when it saves another person’s feelings (36 percent). Thirteen percent admitted that they feel it’s OK to lie when “it keeps me out of trouble.” More than half (55 percent) said they don’t feel that withholding information is a lie.
When asked why they don’t lie more often, 71 percent of women said because it’s “the wrong thing to do.” Thirteen percent said because they’re “just too bad at it”; and 10 percent said “a fear of being perceived as a bad person” limited their lying. An overwhelming majority (91 percent) said the older they get the more comfortable they are with themselves and the less they lie.
“I may have been less truthful when I was younger about silly things so I would not get in trouble, but now I can’t lie about anything- for whatever reason I always feel like I have to tell the truth,” said one respondent.
What about Men?
Women reported being selective in what they feel it’s OK for men to lie about. For example, 61 percent said they feel it’s OK for a man to lie to her about how she looks. Forty-eight percent said it’s OK for a man to lie about his attraction to other women; and 39 percent said it’s OK for him to lie about her performance in bed.
Ninety-one percent of respondents said it’s not OK for men to lie about their feelings. In fact, lying about their feelings–particularly about love–was identified repeatedly as the worst lie a man could tell: “That he loves you and he doesn’t,” said one respondent. “I love you when he doesn’t mean it,” said another. Another said the worst lie a man could tell her is “That he loves me completely but at some point, I find out he has another family in another state and has been living two lives.”
Did They Lie to BettyConfidential.com?
More than two-thirds of respondents said in taking the survey they were completely honest.
Tell us: Are you surprised by the results of our lying survey? Do you lie about these things as well?