Okay to lie?

Is it okay to lie when female friend/ family member asks if they look okay in what they are wearing? When I ask this question I want honesty, but I am finding that most women just want justification to have confidence in themselves. Is it okay to say they look great if they are wearing something unusual/ugly? I usually give them an honest answer, but I am starting to think its not the best idea…

In general lying is not good. With that said, have you tried commenting on certain things you like and dislike? It would seem to me that would be both honest with the inclusion of positivity.

It is never ok to lie.

One might at times need to find ways to say things …but no one does not lie.

“Gee, Mary, I think you look beautiful!”

Not a lie; (not a direct answer); and something to give confidence. Win, win, and win! :slight_smile:

Dont lie, but it is better to tell her indirectly that it actually doesnt fit by saying,“it is a nice dress, but i do think that the other one fits you much better.” Something like this. In this way, it is less offending.

This, but with one caveat: only if she can easily change clothes, that is she hasn’t left the house yet. Beyond that, Gorgias’ answer is perfect.

“Gee dear, does this dress make me look fat?”

Honest answer: “NO, its not the dress dear, you ARE fat.”

Less honest but still not a lie: “No”.

Sometimes it’s good to make a comment and follow up with another question that focuses the conversation on something safe and/or specific.

“I really love those shoes. Where did you find them?”

“I could never wear flared jeans without stepping all over the hems. Do you like them?”

“I’ve seen those scrunchy shirts at the mall but I was never brave enough to buy one. Do they launder okay?”

“That’s such a unique color. It’s very striking. Did you already have things that went with it, or was it hard to find good accessories?”

Yes.

It all depends on why they are asking. If they want genuine feedback and can change their outfit, then by all means provide it (politely). If they can’t really do anything about it and just want some reassurance, then give it, in a manner that avoids hurting their feelings and avoids lying.

If they can change (or not buy) the outfit, but still just want some reassurance…well, you’ll just have to make a judgement call on that situation.

When a friend asked me if her outfit looked okay the other day, I didn’t know what to say because it was very noticeably mismatched. I tried to beat around the bush and not be too blunt, but she ended up getting offended anyway… I feel like there is no winning scenario here.

My husband says there is no good answer to that question. He always says yes. Sometimes I say, “ok, do I look good in this outfit and tell me like my mother would tell me.” LOL

Hi Kateri92,

That’s kind of like saying “great” when someone asks how you are doing. You might not feel great, but the person isn’t really asking that, they’re just saying hello. So in much the same way, it’s a cultural norm, not exactly a straightforward question.

Hope that helps!

As a general rule, if someone asks how they look they aren’t looking for a critique of their outfit (unless they’re trying stuff on at home or at a store). They’re looking for assurance. This is not the time for brutal honesty but for kindness. Keep a couple of key phrases in mind for times like this so you can reassure without lying.
You look beautiful.
That’s a good colour on you (if you like the colour)
That’s a great outfit (if you really do like the outfit, even if you don’t think it looks great on her)

Midori had some other good examples in her post.

The funny thing is that she was getting ready to go out and seemed like she wanted real feedback on how her outfit looked. I wish I didn’t have to answer.

If she was just getting ready and I thought her outfit was mismatched I would have said so. Probably something like Hmm, maybe another top would work better.

Another question along the same lines: Has anyone seen the movie “Life Is Beautiful”? Did the father sin (venially) by cleverly lying to his young son to shield him from the horrors of Auschwitz? The story is fiction, so you’re not judging a real person by answering the question. I honestly don’t know the answer.

Another question along the same lines: Has anyone seen the movie “Life Is Beautiful”? Did the father sin (venially) by cleverly lying to his young son to shield him from the horrors of Auschwitz? The story is fiction, so you’re not judging a real person by answering the question. I honestly don’t know the answer.

Another aspect of this point (lie) is “Are we bound to always tell the truth?” E.g., I’m sheltering the wife of an abusive husband who will surely hurt her. He comes by and asks if she’s in my house or if I’ve seen her. I tell him “No.” He’s satisfied that I’ve told the truth when I haven’t. Have I committed a sin by not telling the truth? Do the principles of “A greater good” or “Not entitled to know” apply here? I need the source of themoral information.

I think “Not entitled to know” applies here. I read in a Catholic book somewhere (a long time ago, so I don’t remember the reference) that “No” in this case means “She’s not home to see you.” If a drunk beggar asks for money and you say, “I have no money,” it’s understood to mean, “I have no money to give you.” Also I read in a Catholic book somewhere that it’s no sin to tell children about Santa Claus, but I don’t think they gave the reason (although that certainly agrees with common sense).

Slothful me. I could’ve found the answer to my questions in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under Article 8, The Eighth Commandment, IV. Respect For The Truth, #2488-2492. THX for your trouble.

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