A new study has revealed that Brits are partial to a white lie, but how often do they tell a porky and what does the nation frequently lie about?
On average one in five Brits tell a white lie at least once a day and shockingly 10% of Brits are lying up to 10 times a day.
A third of Belfast lie once a day
Research from Lenstore, specialist in contact lenses has revealed those from Belfast are most likely to tell a fib, with a third telling a lie at least once a day. Manchester and London are also cities that are prone to a lie, with 26% of Mancs telling one lie a day compared to 24% of Londoners.
Those aged over 65 rate themselves as the most honest, with over one in five (22%) saying they never lie. Millennials (aged 25-34), meanwhile, are the biggest fibbers with a third (33%) lying at least once a day.
Millennials are also the generation most likely to have told particularly taboo lies about a family emergency, death, or funeral.
Saying you are busy to avoid something is the most common lie
There are a variety of white lies we are prone to telling, here are the most common lies brits tell:
- Saying you’re busy to avoid doing something / seeing someone (38% have done this)
- Saying you’ve not seen messages / emails when you actually have (30%)
- Saying you’re OK / well when you aren’t (27%)
- Saying you’re sick when you’re not (24%)
- Saying you like a gift you don’t actually like (23%)
A white lie can take place in all types of scenarios whether it is at work, to your partner or to a stranger. A quarter of people lie most to a stranger, while 19% of people lie most to their work colleagues.
There are kind lies that we tell, with women much more likely than men to tell a nice lie. Nearly a quarter of people (23%) pretend they like a present, while 15% of people say they enjoy a meal that someone has made for them even if they don’t.
Eye experts give hints on how you know someone is lying
With lies both big and small so prevalent in Brits’ professional and personal relationships, Dr Georgina Barnett, Counselling Psychologist at Psychology and Lifestyle, has provided five tips on how you can determine whether a person is being dishonest by their eye movements and other body language cues:
- They hold eye contact for too long.
- They squint.
- They cover or block their eyes for a few seconds.
- Their eyes dart around.
- They avoid eye contact all together.
Barnett further stated: “People squint when they are uncomfortable, rub their foreheads and necks, their eyelids may flutter significantly, and a further sign is the eye block – covering their eyes for a second or closing them which is something we all do in moments of stress to block the experience for a moment. You may also see increased perspiration and flushing in the face.”
Commenting on the study, Lenstore Business Director Alex Matthews said:
“Our research suggests Brits are frequently telling little white lies – lying three times a week on average – most frequently at work, but also to partners and other close relationships.
“Some of the lies we tell are innocuous, like pretending to like a gift to be polite. But one in 12 Brits have lied to their partner about being unfaithful, and more have included lies on their CV, so it’s important to know the tell-tale signs someone is being dishonest.
“Luckily, there are signals you can pick up from a person’s eyes or other facial cues to help determine if they’re being truthful or