We asked a group of young professionals to determine what are the common “white lies” or “embellishments” we, or our peers, tell in our every day lives. The round table discussion turned humorous at times but we agreed on ten by the time it was through. In no particular order, here they are:
1. Your Lifestyle.
Myth: I don’t need a car in this city. I’d rather walk everywhere.
Reality: Your mortgage payments are so high you can barely afford your cab habit, let alone a car.
“My excuse to clients and dates is that a car would be an unnecessary expense. The reality is, that it is an unnecessary expense I simply can’t afford yet.”
– Alex, 27, Toronto
2. How Much You Made at Your Last Job.
Myth: The pay was really awesome but the job just was not stimulating enough.
Reality: You were barely scraping by and were conveniently “busy” during all those group dinners because you couldn’t afford to go.
“Matters of finances and who earns what are usually off of the table, but if they arise, people usually embellish.”
– Emma, 25, Toronto
3. Who You’re Friends With.
Myth: You’re friends with that successful entrepreneur, model, celebrity or prominent public figure.
Reality: You’ve met them socially a few times, however, you use the term “friend” extremely loosely when referring to him or her. Perhaps you’ve had someone refer to you as a friend, when you can’t even remember his or her name.
4. Who Broke Up With Who.
Myth: It was mutual. We both decided it was the right thing to do.
Reality: it was only “mutual” after you finally accepted it wasn’t going to work after weeks of trying to convince the other otherwise.
5. How Many People You’ve Slept With.
Myth: Just all of the girlfriends/boyfriends I have ever had; less than X (modest) number; I’ve never had a one-night stand.
Reality: There have been others outside of your past relationships – some more “shameful” than others. Even if your number is not high by typical standard, YPs are more likely to avoid the topic altogether or give a (very broad) ballpark range.
“Some of my friends can’t remember the names of those they have slept with.”
– Max, 30, Toronto
6. Why You didn’t Go Away/To That Party Last Weekend.
Myth: You had “so much work to do” and wanted to stay in the city/at home to ensure it all got done; you were sick with what felt like the plague.
Reality: You had nowhere to go and you weren’t invited.
“A lot of young professionals have fragile egos and they don’t want anyone to ever think they don’t have options.” – Jessica, 29, Toronto
7. The Frequency of Your Workouts and Your Diet.
Myth: I don’t work out as much as I could because of my “crazy” schedule. I am allergic to gluten.
Reality: You’re either too lazy or you work out every day but would rather people think you come so lean and chiseled naturally. You don’t eat gluten because you’re skinnier without it.
8. Why You Aren’t Doing/Didn’t Do a Masters.
Myth: You don’t really see the point in going back when you’ve already got a great job. The costs outweigh the benefits.
Reality: You scraped by doing the bare minimum in undergrad; you can’t get in.
9. Why You’re Single.
Myth: You’re so busy with work; you are just so picky.
Reality: Whether because you are difficult to handle, too picky or experiencing bad luck, or for no defined reason, you are yet to get it right in the romance department.
10. Why You Can’t Make It.
Myth: You have too much work to do; your parents/in-laws are in town; that new restaurant gave you food poisoning; you have to babysit your niece/nephew last minute.
Reality: You just don’t want to; you got a better offer; you’d rather cuddle on the couch with your significant other.