The Truth Behind Why Women Lie Compared To Men

“I’m fine.” “That dress looks great on you.” “Everything is going great.”  

As women, we lie all the time — sometimes to other people, but more often to ourselves. It’s not that we’re shady or bad people; it’s more complicated than that. We often don’t even know that we’re lying, it’s just a part of our personality.

Why do women lie?

Men usually lie to get something they want (such as sex or career advancement), but women usually lie to hide the truth.

Sometimes, women don’t tell the truth to protect someone else’s feelings (AKA the little white lie or compassionate lies). We try to rationalize these lies and rename them as fibs, saying they aren’t hurting anyone and that it’s the kind thing to do.

Susan Shapiro Barash, a relationship expert and the author of Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie, said, “Women still feel the need to lie as a coping or survival mechanism.”

Women lie so that don’t have to process their own negative feelings, such as the woman with an abusive husband who lies to herself when he touches her so harshly that there are bruises: He didn’t mean to hurt me — he’s not a violent person.

“Sometimes these internal lies are even subconscious because the truth is just too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves,” added Barash.

Another type of lie is the betterment lie or the bread and butter of female lies. This is used to “better” things — or, as Barash clarified, “It typically involves women doing what they feel they simply have to do for the people they love.”

Barash also speaks about the survival lie (or the soap opera lie), which women to keep a secret that’s too big for honesty. These lies usually protect a woman’s current living situation. They may include hiding the real reason they were fired from a job or why a baby was conceived when their partner was out-of-town.

In an article in The Science of RelationshipsDawn Maslar, M.S., author of From Heartbreak to Heart’s Desire: Developing a Healthy GPS (Guy Picking System), said that all women lie and that they don’t even know it.

Maslar recounted an exchange she had with her audience at one of her talks:

“I then asked, ‘How many of you would like to date a nice, sweet, kind man?’ Hands started going up. I then said, ‘Let me put it another way. How many of you would like to date an arrogant, flashy guy?’ The hands went down. In fact, not a single woman raised her hand. I pointed this out, stating, ‘Not one of you raised your hand and that’s why you lie.'”

A study from the University of British Columbia found a wide gap between what a woman will admit to wanting in a partner, and the type she actually picks. She might say she wants someone who makes her laugh and will then get involved with the bad boy down the street.

Is she lying to herself? Or does she not want to admit the type she really likes?

Lies can protect us, but the truth can empower us and make us stronger.  On the other hand, there’s no reason not to practice kindness, both on yourself and on other people.

If you like that dress and it makes you feel good, then go ahead and wear it.

Origially Published on YourTango

Photo by Vicky Hladynets on Unsplash


  1. The claimed reasons for why men and women lie are missing a few things. Men lie to get themselves out of trouble – women lie to get themselves out of doing things. When I was a young guy and beginning to socialise with both sexes, I formed the opinion that women must be delicate little petals, subject to all types of sudden illnesses and ailments.

    Picture this scenario and I’m sure most men can: You’re about to go to a party / barbeque and suddenly your wife puts both hands over her stomach and says, “I don’t feel well. I think I’m going to throw up!”
    So you both stay home. Being trusting idiots, we men don’t even notice that as soon as that decision is made, she makes a miraculous recovery and settles herself down in front of the TV with numerous snacks and drinks and with all signs of “throwing up” now completely gone.

    So what’s going on here? Well, if the party/barbeque was at the house of one of the man’s friends, there is a very good chance that the wife secretly doesn’t like his friend(s), so instead of being forthright and honest about it, she pretends ( lies ) to like them. Then when the awkward social situation arises that means having to deal with someone she doesn’t like, she suddenly gets ill! And the reason for her disliking this person is often no more than jealousy and possessiveness. She will believe that now she has a man in her life, he should spend all of his time and energy concentrating on her. Gradually, over time, she will move all of his friends right out of their, well, actually her sphere.

    When I first began to think about the possibility of women being so ruthless and duplicitous, I didn’t like myself much for having such thoughts. At the time, I worked with a crew of about 65 – 70 people. So, to prove myself wrong, over a period of time, I began to strike up casual conversations with young men who I knew had been married for about 5 to 10 years. I would work the convo around to their wedding day and find out who their best man was and who the groomsmen were.
    The answers were usually similar; childhood friends, team mates from a sporting team etc. then I would ask if they still saw them anymore and only a couple still did. Of the ones who didn’t see their friends anymore, it wasn’t because there had been a falling out or they had moved away or, even worse, died. They had simply lost contact. As I left these young men after having that conversation with them, almost every one of them would be sitting, looking off into space with a puzzled look on their faces. Somehow, they had lost their friends and didn’t know why!

    I do though, because I have an ex-wife who did this to me, ensuring that the only friends I ever had, had all been carefully vetted by her. All of my real friends had been slowly and stealthily moved aside. Mostly accompanied by these four little words: “I Don’t Feel Well!”

  2. well i know my mom warn me about trusting Wamon said there lying Scandalis bitches and Watch her do the most shadiest cheating lying to my dad. just to blow his money when he died took mine to.


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