By Omitting Facts, Are You Lying?

08/07/18  |  Ally Bongard  |  485 views

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There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of people have been in at least one situation (if not more), where they feel the need to omit facts in order to avoid either confrontation, or a general argument.  

Ladies and gentlemen, I know what you’re probably thinking…                             

“What’s wrong with a little white lie”, you may ask?

Well, the answer is… a lot. 

Although your “little white lie” may appear “harmless” in the moment, the likelihood that it will blow up in your face once the respective party finds your hidden truth, is significantly high. If the truth does eventually come out, they are definitely going to consider what you initially told them to be a blatant, outrageous, straight up, and probably unnecessary…lie. Let me be the one to tell you that if you are forthcoming from the start, you will likely save yourself a lot of needless havoc.   

I truly believe that not many situations can be categorized as either black or white, and there are often many grey areas. Many tend to believe that by omitting a fact or multiple facts for that matter, they will bring upon less damage than the truth. 

I SWEAR TO TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME GOD.

It is important for us to understand that if one feels the need to omit important information in the first place, they have probably done so for a specific reason. The act of omitting information is typically committed in order to avoid the other individual from having their feelings hurt, or as mentioned earlier, an attempt to avoid a heated discussion. By omitting information, your answer is no longer truthful, and ultimately, becomes less credible. Your answer (or story) has been altered in some way, shape or form in order to receive the kind of reaction you would like to receive from the opposite party.

In all fairness, you do not owe everyone your entire life story. However, if you do choose to withhold important information that may be considered relevant to the other party, then you are indeed, lying. At the end of the day, you have intentionally hidden something from that person, and if you weren’t trying to hide something, then you probably wouldn’t have omitted facts from the beginning. Ultimately, you have altered your story to have it appear more appealing than it probably is.

THE TRUTH IS BEING HIDDEN, MY FRIENDS.

Do you want to hear the funniest part about all of this though? 

The vast majority of times, the other person probably would have appreciated you telling them the truth, even if it is not what they wanted to hear. It becomes much more problematic when caught in a lie a week, a month, or a year down the road. Finding something out that much later can only make a situation worse, especially because they now know you’ve been withholding information for x amount of time. Instead, you’ve manipulated that person into believing what you wanted them to believe, when they probably deserved the utmost truth. By choosing not to disclose important information you are causing harm to the other person, and unfortunately, there are times when this can be detrimental to a friendship, or relationship.

Let me play devil’s advocate for ONE second and express my understanding for someone trying to hide a portion of the truth. I can understand that this is often done in order to avoid an argument or most importantly, avoid hurting someone you deeply care about. However, once you lose that transparency, to me... there is no going back. I do believe that a lot of the time, the act of omitting facts is not intended to be harmful, and that the individual is not attempting to be spiteful. At the end of the day though, it will most likely have a negative impact on your relationship, even though the damage may not appear to be immediate.

 “I DIDN’T LIE, I JUST DIDN’T TELL YOU THE TRUTH”.

Ever heard that before? That one is my personal favorite. On a daily basis, millions of pieces of information are left out of conversations, and we only get “half the story”, which can come back to haunt us later. Ultimately, it damages your credibility and probably isn't worth the destruction of your character that you've worked so hard to positively establish. 

WHY DO WE DO IT?

  1. Fear
    1. Fear that the respective party will be angry
    2. Fear that the respective party will feel hurt
    3. Fear of the consequences
  2. Guilt
    1. Guilt over what has been done that caused one to lie from the start
  3. Shame
    1. Shameful over how others will react if they know the truth

BUT THE TRUTH ALWAYS COMES OUT.

Many people do believe that if their partner is willingly choosing to omit facts, it is considered lying. For me personally, I do characterize it as lying. If someone I truly care about chooses to leave out even one detail that may appear minuscule to them, but is important to me, I am going to take that as deceit, and it will certainly adjust the way I feel about you. Be honest with yourself and the other person from the beginning and recognize the importance of telling the truth because...

THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. 

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