In a world where people are constantly connected, how do we manage our availability? Not interested in engaging in a conversation? Not in the mood to take a friend’s call? Don’t feel like responding to a lover’s text message?
In such situations, rather than tell the truth – “I don’t feel like dealing with you right now,” people often tell a “Butler Lie” – lies that are designed to convey a lack of availability (“My Lordship is not available right now.”)
In modern day life (for those without butlers), such lies often take the form of “Sorry, my phone was dead”, “Strange, I never got your message”, “Gotta run – let’s chat later.” Despite not having a personal butler, we are pretty good at mimicking their lies.
Here is the interesting twist: Butler Lies occur more frequently in text messages than other types of lies, but receivers tend to take such messages at face value.
Seems that we use excuses to avoid dealing with others, but we don’t assume that other people are trying to avoid talking to us. Strange indeed.