The Two Most Common Lies We Tell

What was the last lie you told your mother or your spouse?

If you're like most others, you lied about one of two things: your spending/purchases and/or your sexual experience.

These are the two most common lies we tell, according to a Harris Poll of 2,097 U.S. adults. While we are most likely to lie to our parents and our spouse/significant other, we are least likely to lie to a sibling.

To whom are we lying?

  • Parents: 43 percent
  • Spouse/significant other: 41 percent
  • Doctor: 38 percent
  • Best friend: 36 percent
  • Sibling: 32 percent

What lies do we tell our parents?

  • Spending/purchases: 15 percent
  • Sexual experience: 14 percent
  • Alcohol use: 12 percent
  • Illegal substance abuse: 12 percent
  • Physical health: 11 percent
  • Cigarette use: 10 percent

What lies do we tell our spouse/significant other?

  • Spending/purchases: 21 percent
  • Sexual experience: 14 percent
  • Eating habits: 12 percent
  • Physical health: 10 percent
  • Alcohol use: 8 percent
  • Exercise habits: 8 percent

What lies do we tell our doctors?

  • Exercise: 15 percent
  • Eating habits: 14 percent
  • Physical health: 10 percent

What lies do we tell our best friends?

  • Sexual experience: 12 percent
  • Income/salary: 8 percent
  • Political opinions: 8 percent
  • Religious beliefs: 7 percent

What lies do we tell our siblings?

  • Spending/purchases: 9 percent
  • Sexual experience: 7 percent
  • Income/salary: 7 percent

From overdoing it while out with friends last night to not wanting to run into a certain someone at a cocktail party, there are plenty of reasons we might want to get out of a variety of engagements. Of course, often the truth is not the most diplomatic approach.

Percentage of U.S. adults who have lied to get out of...

  • Work: 37 percent
  • Social event: 32 percent
  • School: 26 percent
  • Family gathering: 23 percent
  • Date: 14 percent
  • Religious event: 10 percent
  • Doctor's appointment: 10 percent
  • Speeding ticket: 7 percent
  • Jury duty: 6 percent

--From the Editors at Netscape

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