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In some situations one might feel like there’s no other option but to lie; for example, when your mother-in-law serves her famous stew you don’t like that much, but say how much you enjoy it every time nevertheless. (As a matter of fact, people reportedly tell an average of 1.08 lies per day.)

However, sometimes, the white lie is completely uncalled for or unnecessary, especially when a person tries to prove just how much they enjoy an activity, even if they don’t (and there’s no mother-in-law to impress). People on Reddit recently discussed such situations after one of them asked netizens what activities many people only pretend to like. Reddit users covered all sorts of scenarios, from talking about kids to social media use, so if you’re curious about what else was there, wait no longer and scroll down to find out.

Below you will find not only the netizens’ answers but thoughts shared by the OP themselves as well as by the Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, Richard Wiseman, who was kind enough to answer a few of Bored Panda’s questions about why people pretend to like certain things.

#1

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Happy birthday song at a restaurant.

TomboySkirt , Le Salama Marrakech / Unsplash Report

#2

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Networking and making sure you know people that know people. Job politics etc.

Can I just get a job based off experience and not who I know ?

Delightful_Dratini , Christina Morillo / Pexels Report

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Data1001
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Unfortunately, that's very difficult. Based on my own personal experiences, my best jobs came from personal connections.

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In a recent interview with Bored Panda, the OP shared that they decided to pose this specific question because they were curious about what people actually think of the things we do in society. “Plus I wanted to see if it wasn’t just me that thought some things were just things we pretend to like,” they added.

“I wasn’t exactly surprised by the redditors’ responses because all of them were things that I think most of us were in silent agreement that we didn’t like but just put up with because of social pressure or desire to keep the peace.”

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#4

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Watching NASCAR. I don't know how anyone can sit there and watch those cars go around and around for hours.

leg00b , Alfred GF / Pexels Report

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Zara VP
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

NASCAR is actually very enjoyable to watch- if you know how it works and what is going on. If you are unaware of the rules and technical aspect (high speed driving, pit stops and everything else) then I can see how it appears boring. I felt that same way until I learned.

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#5

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Smoking cigarettes. 


Pretty much every smoker I've ever known wants to stop doing it and would prefer to never have started in the first place.

Necro_Badger , Jaroslav Devia / Unsplash Report

The curious redditor shared that if they themselves had to pinpoint a thing that most people only pretend to like, it would be going to clubs. “I don’t think people enjoy getting drunk and dancing around a bunch of strangers for no reason at all. It usually doesn’t end well and I think it’s just a desperate attempt at immediate social interaction,” they said, adding that in their opinion, people pretend to like things “either out of social pressure or to follow traditions in our society that they don’t want to challenge out of fear of ostracism.”

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#7

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Golf.

I would literally rather s**t in my hands and clap than walk around in the sun hitting a ball.

Now, everyone I've said that to in RL says 'but U drink heaps of beer!" Well I tell them I can drink beer at home where it's cheaper and doesn't require driving a buggy and walking around.

Dexember69 , Steve Momot / Pexels Report

#8

Going to hot, overly crowded bars, paying $12 for a beer with the music too loud on s****y speakers.

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Anna Ekberg
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why do people insist on going to bad, overpriced bars that plays s****y music? I've been to plenty of bars that were really nice.

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Discussing the reasons why people pretend they like something in front of others, Dr. Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, compared everyday life to going to the theater: “Offstage the actors have a certain personality and onstage they pretend to be someone else. In everyday life, there is the way that we really think and feel, and the image that we give to other people.

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“We often do this in order to give the impression that we are especially tolerant, or cultured, or happy, and so on. In social psychology this is sometimes referred to as impression management, and nearly everyone does it most of the time as a way of connecting with others and projecting a certain identity.”

#9

Attenting baby showers… and gender reveal parties.

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Emma S
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Another American tradition that Brits have adopted, along with school proms and Black Friday. 🙄

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#10

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Hearing about people’s kids.

Apsylioin , Trung Thanh / Unsplash Report

While in some people’s eyes pretending to like something you actually don’t is equal to lying, Dr. Wiseman suggested that it could be considered more of a part of the human psyche than lying. “I guess that some people are more honest and have a more ’take it or leave it’ approach, and others are more concerned about making a good impression.

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“There might be lots of psychological factors at play,” he continued. “For instance, the former group might be happy to have a small group of friends that value their authentic self, whilst the latter group might want to know lots more people and so are more motivated to project a sense of self that appeals to more people.”

#12

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Twitter. The site is full of bots and rageaholics. The UI is frustrating at best. Having a "discussion" in tweet form is tedious as hell. How many hot takes do you really need to satisfy yourself before it's overkill?

soingee , Brett Jordan / Unsplash Report

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Sanne
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Twitter was nice, but X is an abomination. It's rampant with racists, NAZIs, etc. Someone can tell you in detail to go kill yourself for being a Jew, but X says "there's no violation of our rules" and leaves it up. But if you say Musk might not be a good CEO or that God is not real, you get banned for live. It's a s**t show.

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#13

Going to church.

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Michael Largey
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"God is everywhere." Except on Sunday mornings, where He can apparently only be found in certain select locations.

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#14

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Cruises.

You spend how much money to be cooped on a boat with 3,000 strangers, for how long?

CoffeeAndBrass , Matthew Barra / Pexels Report

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L H
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've only done a couple, but I like the fact you wake up in a new place every day without the effort of travelling. We never had any issues finding quiet spaces to ourselves.

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In Dr. Wiseman’s opinion, pretending to like something you don’t can be both detrimental and beneficial, as it all depends on the context. “In general, I think it is good for people to take into account the concerns and thoughts of others, and to find ways of connecting with those people. That is going to require some flexibility in terms of how you project yourself. However, if that becomes too extreme then it will be difficult for people to develop deeper, and more lasting, relationships because these won’t be built on a sense of authenticity,” he said.

#15

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To I do not understand runners, especially people that run marathons, 5ks, etc. purely for “fun”.

CatherineConstance , Miguel A Amutio / Unsplash Report

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Tams21
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like running through a town or the countryside an awful lot more than staring at the same four walls in a gym.

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#16

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Those people that claim to be able to taste things in wine like sea air and a hint of lemons from a specific tree. P**s off with that s**te.

ZeeZeeNei , Douglas Lopez / Unsplash Report

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troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you're a smoker chances are your taste buds do not work as well. I'm no expert but I've been to wine tastings and although I can't taste everything, some things are really distinct.

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#17

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To LinkedIn.

tmpkn , Souvik Banerjee / Unsplash Report

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James016
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

LinkedIn is basically an online asylum for the extra pretentious these days.

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#18

Sex on the beach--way too sandy. Sex in the shower or underwater. Never enough natural lube!

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#19

Strip clubs. F*****g gross, man.

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Pork Chop
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a man, I never understood the appeal. I've gone about 3-4 times, mostly as part of a bachelor party. The only thing that it was good for was to help you identify the real creeps in your group of friends.

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#20

Anywhere with deafening loud music. I don’t get the appeal of concerts and clubs. Can’t even chat a person up.

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Ace
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Clubs, I grant you, but concerts are things you go to to listen to the music, not to chat with your mates.

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#21

Exercising. I f*****g despise it. Feeling hot, sweaty, aching, nauseous. Oh yeah, let’s do this every day!

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Alexandra
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you're aching and feeling nauseous you're doing something wrong....

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#22

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Watching the 10 million videos someone posts on Snapchat from a concert.

Bright-Yak747 , Alejandro Ortiz / Unsplash Report

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BewilderedBanana
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pretty sure not even the people who record these actually watch them. So they don't enjoy the concert fully coz they're too busy recording, and then not watch the recordings coz they're probably taking photos of their food or something :)

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#23

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Going to a parade.  Just standing there looking at mostly-uninteresting stuff walk by, and your feet hurt and there's nowhere to pee.  I hate them.

derberter , Beth Macdonald / Unsplash Report

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Firstname Lastname
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Depends on the parade. If people put time into floats, silly costumes and fun routines, then yeah, I'll go and pretend not to feel snubbed when they only throw candy at the kids, but if it's just a bunch of nobodys taking a stroll, then my interest is lost.

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#25

Chit chat about polite nothings with ppl you barely know.

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#26

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Hanging out with the parents of your child's friend.

despenser412 , Kelsey Chance / Unsplash Report

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Kaspar Kristiansen
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's actually one of the ways to make new friends when you're an adult with smaller kids. Might be akward at first, but if you invest, you might find chemistry to get new friends.

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#27

"Golf": 30 People Share Things They Don't Believe Anyone Genuinely Likes, They Just Pretend To Nightclubbing, especially the idiotic dancing.

anon , DJVIBE / STUDIOX / Unsplash Report

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Jack Burton
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What ? You mean people pretend to like dancing ? Or like partying ?

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#29

Work.

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SBocker78
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I miss working so much. I loved my job and it was devastating to have to quit for health reasons. I'd give anything to be back at it.

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#30

Church, it's miserable and boring. Make it 30 mins or less and I might still be going.

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Michael Largey
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If it's miserable and boring, you shouldn't be there no matter how long or short it is.

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Note: this post originally had 55 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

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