Everything Will be Alright and Other Commonly Told Lies


Most of us avoid telling lies are far as possible. However, there are some situations in which almost all of us end up lying, even though we might not mean to. I’m referring to when something terrible happens to someone you know. Many of us have a tendency to tell people everything will be alright. Perhaps psychics and fortune tellers may have some authority on this, but the rest of us don’t really know if everything will be okay.

Why is it that so many of us do this? Surely it’s more productive to offer to help the person in some way. If someone lost their job you could perhaps say something like, “I have a friend who works at a recruitment agency.” Or, “Engineering is rather boring. I always thought you’d be better as a gardener.” (avoid saying this if your friend has a tendency to fling footwear)

Of course there are some situations in which there is no way you can really help. What do you say to a friend who has just told you he is in the final stage of cancer? This is a situation where you know for certain that everything will NOT be alright. I can’t say I’ve stumbled upon the right answer yet, but here are a few well-intentioned responses that are best avoided when talking to someone who is terminally ill.

“Everything will work out for the best”
“You just have to keep trying”
“It’s all part of God’s plan”
“Everything happens for a reason”
“Hang in there”