If somebody asks you whether it was you who broke something, yeah, tell the truth regardless. That's one thing, but the "white lie" principle does indeed apply in other situations.

There are times when telling the unvarnished truth is senseless and destructive. For example, when new parents ask you if their baby is beautiful, yes, their baby is beautiful, however ugly it may be. Ugly babies are godawful rare in my experience, but it's been known to happen. When it does: You don't tell new parents that their baby is ugly.

This principle applies in lesser degree to almost all social situations. "Good manners" are mostly a matter of lubricating the interface between people with harmless bullshit. Your neighbors don't always need to know exactly what you think about them. It's much easier to get along well with most people if they and you don't know too much about each other. Where I work, every single one of the sales reps is in my opinion a hopeless gibbering idiot. Do they need to know that? No. I treat them with reasonable respect and consideration because they are co-workers, and that is how adults behave. They treat me the same way. What would be accomplished by my telling these people that I despise them? Nothing, absolutely nothing. We have enough real problems to deal with already. We don't need to invent new ones. Idiocy doesn't prevent sales reps from doing their jobs well; in fact, it seems to be an advantage. There is no problem there and I refuse to create one out of a misguided belief in radical honesty.

Radical honesty works only in cultures where people have so much spare time that they can afford to waste their entire lives sitting around "processing issues" and "getting in touch with their feelings" all day, every day. To me, that sounds like the very coldest circle of Hell. Fuck feelings, I've got work to do.