According to an article in Psychology Today, there are two kinds of lies: the lies that we tell with good intentions and the lies we tell for self interest.
We resort to the latter to make ourselves look better, or to protect ourselves from shame, punishment or getting hurt. We resort to the first kind of lies to make others feel good or to save them from shame, punishment or getting hurt. These are called white lies.
The research of Dr. Bella DePaulo shows that women tell more white lies. Honesty is, of course, important in every relationship, including friendships, but there are some situations where the only option is lying. For example: