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Do you think a lie by omission is as bad as a regular lie?

Does it matter what it was regarding?


Asked by butterflyblue19 at 1:36 PM on Nov. 27, 2013 in Relationships

Level 50 (383,297 Credits)
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Answers (14)
  • I guess it depends. I don't think all lies are created equal in the first place. If a lie by omission is intended to deceive someone maliciously, then heck yeah, it's just as bad as outright lying in words to deceive that person. Deception is deception. But some lies, whether lies told in words or lies told by omission, are meant to spare people pain, not to deceive them, and I don't think those are necessarily bad at all. And some truths are told to hurt people. Those truths are just as bad as lies to me, because their motives are evil, even though they are truths and not lies. If any of that makes sense. It's all in why you say the words you say, or why you choose not to speak, not so much in what comes out of your mouth. So there's my two bits worth of free philosophizing for the day.

    Answer by Ballad at 6:12 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • I need an example for this one...C'mon pour it out! LOL!

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 1:38 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • It depends on how it was omitted. If it was just something that never came up and there was no way to bring it up (you're grieving because your ____ died, and they couldn't very well say, "Oh, hey, btw, I'm heading off to Hawaii for a month long vacation!" while you're bawling your eyes out, for example), then I don't think it's that bad. If it's something they knew you would want to know, and had opportunities to tell you, and chose not to, then yes, to me it's as bad an outright lie.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 2:09 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Context and purpose are everything!

    "Does this make me look fat?" "The color is very flattering but I'm not a big fan of plaid." (Omission of answer on "fat" to be kind...I don't think is so bad.)

    "Were you married to daddy when you first had sex with him?" "If you have to ask, you're too young to know." (Omission of answer to an inappropriate question...again, I don't think is so bad.)

    "Where were you last night?" "I'm 18 my life is my business!" (Omission=suspicion! If you can't tell the truth about what you were doing...then you should NOT have been doing it in the first place. Bad)

    Omissions to protect identity, what a gift is going to be, surprise parties, to not offend...are all acceptable.

    Anything said, done or thought that you feel the need to hide/omit to avoid punishment or embarrassment...probably should not have been said, done or thought in the first place.

    It's all levels of ethics.

    Answer by vanillaorchida at 3:26 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Hmmm...sounds like a slap in the face since it's an important event! So, I'd say a lie.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 2:01 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • someone close to you is moving and did not mention?
    sounds fishie to me

    what do you think their reason is for not mentioning? do you know for sure they are moving in 3 days?

    Answer by fiatpax at 2:07 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Maybe they have a hard time saying Good-bye? Maybe they thought you'd enjoy the time together more if you didn't know the move was pushed up? Not sure for their reasons, but I don't know if I'd consider it a lie. Esp. if it was meant to spare your feelings.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 2:12 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • I think this is a real grey area where we have to be very careful. some lies by omission are so painful, and as hurtful, as spoken lies. but, in other cases they are very kind. When my dh asked me about past relationships, for example. I told him the truth about how many, etc but did I tell him details? No. That would just be hurtful, and it's in the past so it doesn't matter.

    But to your example, OP... I'd be really hurt if a friend moved and didn't tell me. I'd think if they were a good friend, they'd be able to tell me the circumstances and know I'd understand even if I was upset...

    Answer by Nimue930 at 3:31 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Now that I've read the rest of your (OP) context...

    Your "hundred different reasons" are what that person was avoiding by omitting? Or do they have their own reasons for being too chicken to be fully honest? Or did they just not want to ruin your day together?

    Have you seen the movie, "Fools Rush In"? The guy's whole life was one omission after another...including the Boss upping the move to NYC. Watch that and then see how you feel.

    Answer by vanillaorchida at 3:48 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Had to look that up.
    To me that is half truth. I didn't tell you everything.
    Example: Honey, I will be late coming home.
    He didn't put in the reason he will be late is because he is screwing her brother.

    Answer by louise2 at 1:50 PM on Nov. 27, 2013