7 times it’s perfectly okay to lie to your best friend

Friendships are built on trust, which means that even thinking of lying to your best friend is nerve wracking. Are there any times that it’s OK to lie? We all go through life knowing that sometimes a little white lie doesn’t hurt anyone most times. Like when you’re eating dinner at your partner’s parents’ house and their mom asks if you like her vegan lasagna even though it’s awful. What do you do? You lie and eat it, obviously!

Sometimes lying is the best option, especially if it’s going to protect someone’s feelings.

Which is literally the only time you should lie — when no one will get super hurt. Or if it’s going to really save your butt in a pinch. According to research, women lie to other women more than any other group. Probably because women are socialized to be a little kinder, quieter, and keep the peace. That’s not always a good thing: sometimes instead of lying to skirt the issue, tackling it head on is the better way. Even if it means it’s a little painful sometimes.

Here are a few times you can totally lie to your best friend and no one will ever be the wiser.

1When you sort of hate their new buys.

Your style and your BFF’s might not always match up. But if your best friend just dropped a bunch of dough on a new haircut, expensive dress, or coffee table that you find hideous, you should be nice about it. Lie and say it looks great — especially if it’s a tattoo! Once they’ve dropped money and made the commitment, telling them that something sucks is just mean.

2When they’re hating on themselves.

Yes, the zit they’re obsessing over is huge. Or maybe they don’t look all that great in their engagement photos. LIE. Lie right through your shiny little teeth. People with low self-esteem or body issues are mean enough to themselves. You should support them, tell them that thing they’re going crazy over isn’t a big deal, and maybe give them a heads up that they’re being way rough on themselves.

3When their significant other sort of sucks.

You might not like their new partner. But unless they’re really awful or abusive or secretly stealing money from your bestie’s checking account, you might need to get over that stuff. If your friend is happy, safe, and feels good about her new relationship, try to learn to like this awful person…or at least try to learn to pretend to like them.

4When they ask the impossible.

When your friend is staring in the mirror in the bathroom at the bar and questioning their choice of dress or lipstick color, tell them it looks great even if it doesn’t. Like, what good is it going to do to make them more self conscious while the bartender is shaking up your cocktails? It’s not like they can go home right this minute and change or remove the mole on their neck that they hate ASAP. Lie and encourage them to love themselves a little more. And then next time, nix the outfit in the pre-party planning session.

5When they really mess up.

Sometimes your friend will make mistakes. Like, do something at work that puts them in a bad spot, or totally botch the improv comedy sketch they’re in, or even just send yet another barrage of ridiculous drunk texts to their ex. If the behavior is serial or hurting them, maybe you speak up. But maybe you also just have their back in the moments that no one else does. They’d do the same for you.

6When you hear a rumor.

As much as we all love a bunch of gossip, if you hear something about your friend, keep it to yourself until you can verify it. Once you find out that yes, their partner actually does have a side piece or that their roommate is secretly plotting to move out without notice, you can tell them. You should also tell them if the gossip turns out NOT to be true, just so they know who their enemies are. Tell them that you wanted to make sure what was what before getting them all antsy first.

7When she’s hanging on.

There are times when we have to speak the truth to our friends when things are getting out of hand. But if your friend is hung up on an ex or something, you might want to just be a good listener. They know that they made a jerk out of themselves when they were out drunk or that they need to stop secretly staring at their ex’s Instagram profile. Lie and make it feel better.

Don’t lie to your friend if it’s something that could be hurting them. But sometimes, you can make things easier with a little white lie and no one gets hurt.