Friday, July 21, 2006

Lies of omission

I got some interesting responses to the blog entry about lying the other day, if you haven't seen them, check them out. I love Emily's second response especially, thanks chica!

There's another form of lying I do take great exception to, and that's lies of omission. Where we felt like we've been lied to, but no words were spoken.

When I worked at the investment banking firm in LA, every now and then I'd see this cute guy in the elevator. One time, in the morning on the way up, I was talking to a co-worker about our 3am work night the night before, and this cute guy turned to me and said, "You look too good to have been here until 3am." Our relationship warmed up after that.

Turned out he was an entertainment lawyer at the office down the hall. He flirted with me every time he saw me from then on, and my surreptitious glances at his hand showed he had no ring on. So I began casually suggesting we go to lunch. And eventually he took me up on it.

Lunch started off promising, he was clearly communicating interest. We talked about our kids and our life history, etc. Then I asked him, "So, how long have you been divorced?" And he said, "Oh, I'm still married."

Argh! Okay, I *felt* like I'd been lied to, but of course he'd never said he wasn't married. He told me the whole sob story about how they'd grown apart but were staying together for the kids. And suddenly I was counseling him on his marriage rather than having the date I wanted.

Very slick. We stayed "friends," more or less, although I always had to be on my guard because I had this vague feeling he was trying to talk me into something, although again, he never did so in so many words. Eventually our friendship ended when he said, "You have too many rules." Um, yeah, right, I don't date married men, sorry.

This experience was a huge lesson to me. Thankfully, it didn't make me paranoid, but it did put me more on my guard about men I met. It also taught me the value of being up front, of making your status clear so there's no misunderstanding. Keeping your status vague for your own benefit—to keep your options open, so to speak—is wrong because it can hurt people. Maybe not a huge spiritual lesson, but a definite moral one. I've learned a lot of moral lessons through trial-and-error.

Next week I'll tell a story about being protected when a prospective romance outright lied to me. (You may ask, where do I meet these guys?)

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 7/21/2006 01:28:00 PM, Blogger kindli said...

While @ college we used the "nude beach" test... one Saturday you go to a nude beach with your friends... the following morning someone asks where you were, do you tell them "oh, we went to the beach" (omitting the word nude) or do you tell them "we went to a nude beach"... is omitting nude a lie? You DID go to a beach... you just happened to be naked.

We decided it depended on who we were talking to, if it was a husband/boyfriend/SO then it would matter more than if it was someone random in the street.

I think it depends on why you are with holding information. If you're withholding information and simultaneously leading the person on (as what was clearly happening in your situation) then it’s totally wrong... if you’re just withholding information because the gossipy girl down the hall doesn’t need to know you went to a nude beach I think that’s another.


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