The Most Common Lies We Tell

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readAug 20, 2021

Which ones have you said?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“The truth is always an insult or a joke, lies are generally tastier. We love them. The nature of lies is to please. Truth has no concern for anyone’s comfort” ― Katherine Dunn

People lie. All the time.

They lie when they are trying to appear likable and cool. They lie when they are trying to appear competent or impressive. And sometimes people lie simply because they are deceitful jerks.

If we are going to be honest, lying is a significant part of our daily lives. One study from the Journal of Basic and Applied Psychology reported the average American lies three times in the span of a ten-minute conversation.


Even if we’re not career politicians, running profitable Ponzi schemes, or having affairs, subtle untruths shoot out of our mouths like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Sometimes it’s out of kindness, sometimes it’s out of convenience, and sometimes it is to avoid punishment or consequences.

But no matter what, they are lies. And that’s the truth.

Here are some of the common fibs we tell. If you see any that you have said, understand that our lies show a little bit of the truth about ourselves. We shouldn’t flinch at that reality or deny that truth exists. We need to learn to understand it better with the hope that we can all become more honest in the long run.

“Your wife/husband/significant other is great!”

We tell this lie to not rock the boat and upset a friend or loved one about their choice of partner. Yet many folks will later be the first to claim, “I knew they were no good,” when the relationship falls apart.

“I need X to be happy.”

Happiness rarely hinges on obtaining one thing. All we need is our permission to accept the joy we currently have in our lives. But it is easy to procrastinate on being happy when we say this lie.

“Everything is fine” or “Nothing’s wrong.”



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·