Dripping Lies of Omission

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you”


No one believes a liar. Even when she’s telling the truth. Sara Shepard

“I didn’t lie; I just didn’t tell you”

Have you heard that line before? I bet you probably have!

And Yes! There is indeed a name for it, it’s called Lying by Omission.

Oh well, my research gives it even more life. Whether the lie is by omission or commission – which I would explain shortly, they are both an expression of deception!

Deception is a universal communication behavior across and within species and in human, the purpose of verbal deception or lying is to intentionally mislead, and this behaviour can intuitively be broken down into two unique categories based on the method used to mask the truth: Omission and Commission.

Lies of omission involve the intentional exclusion of important information and details, whereas lies of commission involve the intentional generation of false information.

If you ever wondered, “Is omitting considered lying?” then ask no further, the short answer is yes.

Because not all lies involve saying things that aren’t true!

Sometimes it could be hard to tell the whole truth in certain situation especially if you know it would change the outcome in a way you probably won’t like. But unfortunately even well-intentioned lies of omission can sabotage a relationship, job and business.

In some climes, lying is second nature to a lot of people and tons of relationships are based on well-concealed lies. Unimaginable lies that will spiral their partners into mental depression at the worst if they find out.

Hard truths can be dealt with, triumphed over, but lies will destroy the soul, relationships and businesses.

There are four types of lie according to another research;

Denial – when someone refuses to accept or acknowledge the truth. This could be purposeful or habitual and it often goes with another lie to counter the truth

Fabrication – when someone purposely fabricates a lie telling something objectively untrue. Here, the closer to the truth, the better the lie, and the truth itself, when it can be used, is the best lie.

Exaggeration – when someone exaggerates a truth, making it untrue and misleading

Lying by Omission/Omission of truth – when someone leaves out a fact, like a key details of a situation, or chooses not to correct a misunderstanding that works in their favor.

Folks, make no mistake, at some point in your careers, lives and relationships you will have either lied or being lied to by someone you trust or do business with.

It’s the blatant truth!

Lying by omission is not always intended to be harmful; it is often thought of as an action undertaken to spare the recipient pain or embarrassment. But it can still have a detrimental effect on a relationship.

Even if the damage isn‘t immediate, the information omitted will eventually surface. The fallout from this can cause more problems than it would have if the information had been shared immediately, and accountability had been taken by the person sharing it.

Why Do We Omit Critical Pieces Of Information? – Is it because we had a memory lapse?

There are usually three reasons for people lying by omission:

  • Fear (being on the receiving end of anger, reprisal, or punishment)
  • Guilt (for the activity that caused them to lie in the first place)
  • Shame (for their reputation being damaged, and how they will be perceived if the entire truth was known)

How Do People Lie By Omission?

It’s not just about leaving out a specific detail, lying by omission can take another form: manipulating your response to garner sympathy, or to protect self-interests. There are two sides to every story – are you only sharing yours? If you tailor your responses to leave out the harshness of what really happened, you’re not being genuine, and that’s lying.

You’re more concerned about how you will come off socially than you are about sharing the truth, and that colors how others will respond to you. What does that mean? For one, you’re not getting their honest opinions because you’re not giving them all the information – half truths provide half-baked answers.

Lying by omission can leave a bad taste in your mouth. In addition to the stress and sleep issues, it can make you feel inauthentic. You feel like a fake, and emotionally, that can take a toll on your self-esteem. Imagine the burden of keeping a secret.

While most people think that they are sparing the other party by omitting important details, they don‘t realize that they are also inadvertently damaging themselves.

Keeping secrets is stressful. It can cause loss of sleep, and increased anxiety. Why? Because you’re preoccupied with trying to keep the problem under wraps, and keeping your story straight, while also fearing what will happen if the secret ever gets out.

How about the fact that for every lie, you need even another one to keep your story true and the falsehood going. And not forgetting that you need to have a splendid memory of keep tabs on the lies you have sold to your partners, friends and colleagues.

Losing sleep, and being stressed, will eventually have a harmful effect on your physical health. The sad thing is, it’s completely preventable, and completely in your hands.

Fyodor Dostoevsky says that the man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him. And when it gets so habitual, it will eventually become a mental illness!!

 If a person’s habit of lying negatively affects their life, or if they feel unable to stop lying, then they may have a condition known as pathological lying. Pathological lying is a symptom of various personality disorders, including antisocial, narcissistic, and histrionic personality disorders. Other conditions, such as borderline personality disorder, may also lead to frequent lies, but the lies themselves are not considered pathological. Finally, some people simply lie pathologically but have no other conditions.

Signs of lying

There is no one-size-fits-all method to tell when someone isn’t being truthful. Instead, you need to pay attention to that person specifically. If a loved one is lying to you frequently, look for some of these signs.

Contradictory Stories

When someone isn’t telling the truth, it’s harder to keep the details of their story straight. Someone who lies frequently will eventually lose track of previous lies and start to contradict themselves. If you notice your loved one is contradicting themselves, they are likely lying. 

Unverifiable Details

Many people who lie frequently may add details to their lies to make them seem more realistic. Studies show that people tend to include fewer verifiable details when lying than when telling the truth, and a similar number of details that can’t be verified. So, if someone is telling you a story with a lot of details that you know can’t be proven or disproven, the story may be more suspicious.

Overly Dramatic or Long Stories

Especially with pathological liars, a lie is more likely to be dramatic and long than the truth. If a story seems too dramatic to be true, that may be the case. If your loved one often has anecdotes about overly dramatic or intense situations, they may be lying to you.

How to manage this?

Living with someone who lies frequently can be stressful and uncomfortable. If you want to maintain a relationship with someone who lies to you, there are a few tactics you can use to handle conversations and daily life.

Stay Calm

Many people who lie frequently will react poorly to anger aimed at them. If you believe you are being lied to, remain calm.

Don’t Engage With Lies

If you know something isn’t true, there’s no reason to act like it is true. Supporting your loved one’s lies will only reinforce their behavior. Instead, let them know that you know they are lying and stop the conversation.

Here are some statistics on everyday lying for your reading pleasure –

–12% of adults admit to telling a lie often or sometimes.
– 80% of women admit to telling harmless half- truths occasionally.
– 31% of people admit to lying on their resumes.
– 13% of patients lie to their doctor.
– 32% of patients stretched the truth to their doctor.
– 30% lie about their diet and exercise regiments.
– 6 lies are told daily by men to their partner, boss, or colleagues.
– 3 lies are told daily by women to their partner, boss, or colleagues.
– Lying is considered more common among phone calls than face to face chats.
– 1 lie in every 7 is discovered as far as liars can tell.
– A 10th of lies are just exaggerations and 60% were outright deceptions.
– 70% of liars claim they would tell their lies again.

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5 thoughts on “Dripping lies of Omission”

    1. Needs a lie to cover a lie. At a point in time, a liar, starts to contradict him or her self. Anyway, if a lie runs for twenty years, one day it will be caught up by the truth. Although so many things will have gone haywire by then.

  1. Adedamola Ilori

    Reading the part of pathological liars and exaggerated truths kept bringing to mind some people I know, lol…..but what sort of lies do politicians lie, I bet theirs would a combo of all types of lies.. Nice one omo Akin

  2. Half truths provide half-baked answers. Some folks will never get good advice because they always hide critical truths from those who can be of help.

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