What are Blue Lies and Why do We Believe Them?

May 15, 2019
Results showed that children became more inclined to endorse lying in the name of the collective good and to tell lies for their group themselves if they were older. 

During our daily routine, we encounter and are actively involved in many types of lies. White lies are used to try to do something for the good of other people without hurting them and are considered morally acceptable. Further, there are black lies, the ones rooted in self-interest. With these, we try to achieve a personal benefit at the expense of others.

The latter are considered socially negative and usually frowned upon. In this article, we will deal with another type of lesser-known lies, the so-called: blue lies.

Blue lies are those that we say because of a lack of confidence when it comes to wanting to be in a group. With the blue lies, we seek acceptance and a feeling of safety that comes from being a member of a group.

So, we agree to lie for fear of being expelled from it when the rest of the members find out that we don’t share their beliefs.

Blue lies and the way we ignore reality

While white lies are said for the sake of another person, to protect them, while blue lies are commonly used to benefit a group. This type of lies occurs when we try to explain the lack of rationality that can surround us at any given time. In short, the application of blue lies is related to playing dumb.

man with an expression of anxiety

There are many people around us who subscribe to completely absurd ideas. Have you heard about the recently widespread belief that the Earth is flat? That the scientific community is part of a plot, along with politicians and media to make the world believe that the Earth is round? Then there are the ones who follow some rather peculiar beliefs such as Scientology and other forms of mythology.

As per the words of George Carlin:

“Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But he loves you. He loves you, and he needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!”

All such behaviors are merely signs of irrational loyalty and the people who follow them convince themselves, through blue lies, of the positive aspects of belonging in these groups.

Blue lies and uncomfortable beliefs

Over the years, scientific and social advances have gathered plenty of evidence that religious beliefs don’t hold up. For this reason, many religions are trying to adapt to new times and modernize. However, it’s precisely these cults that are most rapidly losing adherents. While others, such as the aforementioned, continue to grow in spite of their absurd ideas.

The reason for this rooting may be the strength of said blue lies. People who resort to them try to convince themselves of the benefits of following these ideas. They gather, unconsciously, that the main attraction of these beliefs is how difficult they’re to follow.

Therefore, the content of the rules in itself doesn’t really matter. Instead, what matters is the challenge and conquering it leads to reinforcement.

a person making a blue lie to another one

Socialist communes

In relation to what we said above, we can cite the example of the socialist communes. These administrative groups tried to organize self-government. Further, they became quite popular throughout the nineteenth century in the US. Such organizations followed the ideas of thinkers such as Charles Fourier, who was originally from France, and Robert Owen, of Scotland.

The internal problems these communes had, as well as their difficulties to understand one another; to establish alliances between them. It’s precisely what led to their dissolution after just a couple of decades since their formation. However, communes that had a religious foundation remained on their feet for much longer.

Why? You might ask. Well, this is due to the fact that these kinds of religious organizations imposed much more demanding requirements on their members. Tougher requirements than those that were in the secular groups, that is.

So, it was the mandate for celibacy. Or the limitations to communicate with the outside world, what made the members of these communes establish stronger bonds. Consequently, religious-based organizations lasted a lot longer.

In short, blue lies make an individual try, in an unconscious way, to avoid those irrational facts that surround him. All to avoid the temptation to get away from a group or to be shunned by them. Being a part of a collective organization is a way to stay safe, even if their beliefs or behaviors can be negative, harmful, and even absurd.