More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Omissions of the Truth

There is the truth, and then there is a lie. Simple. Easy. Black and White. Right? Wrong! Life is generally shades of grey rather than black and white. Today I want to write about the act of omitting the truth. This is when someone leaves out something that will be detrimental to them. They are not technically lying, but conveniently leaving out things to make themselves look better.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting to talk to a friend while he was on the phone. He had ended his conversation with the other party by saying that he needed to talk to "someone". When asked again who that "someone" was, he just said "someone". I asked him why he lied for, since I was that someone and I knew the other party on the phone anyway, so he could have just said it was me. He said that he didn't want to get in the middle of things. I was totally lost and asked what he would be getting in the middle of. He said that lately myself and the other party didn't get along so well and he didn't want to choose sides. I said that was silly since no one was asking him to choose any sides. Just because I don't talk as much to someone doesn't mean I hate them. However, this small omission of truth might come back to bite me if the other party found out who the "someone" was and thought I had told my friend to stop talking to them over the phone.

My observation about how omitting the truth coming back to bite me was fully shown to me this past week. Another friend, lets call him A, had told myself and friend B something. We were very upset as it affected us as well and we called up party D and told them how angry we were. We sent emails and called party D trying to get some justice for ourselves. Party D eventually sent us the logs from themselves and friend A. It turns out that friend A had conveniently omitted some very important information, information that would have him to be partially at fault too.

When I asked friend A what exactly happened, his story slowly changed when I presented him with more facts. He still didn't know that I had the logs of his conversation, so now he didn't just omit the truth, he started to lie to cover up his initial omission of truth. Slowly the story got clearer and clearer and it was clear that friend A was partially at fault too. Friend A told more and more ridiculous lies to cover his initial omission of truth since he was more and more worried that myself and friend B would be mad at him.

The hell that friend B and I had been put through, and how stupid we had looked when we had unfairly accused party D was all due to an omission of truth. We both also had a couple of sleepless night worrying about the situation and thinking about how to deal with it, when really it could have been quickly and fairly solved had we known the WHOLE truth right from the start. A very small problem was blown into epic scales due to friend A omitting the truth, probably because he knew he was partially at fault and worried we would get mad at him.

Omitting the truth when you know it will change the whole complexion of a situation is as good as lying. Generally people will not get mad at you if you tell the truth. Even if they get mad, its not for long. Instead they will focus their energy on trying to solve the problem. By when you make matters worse by omitting the truth, then when the truth is known, the problem has become much bigger and then people do get mad at you for virtually lying. So tell the truth when you can rather than omitting the truth.


Anonymous Judge Judy said...

i think you guys should stop whinging like a bunch of little girls.

The world hates sooky-lalas.

Just kiss and make up.

11/13/2006 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Dr Phil said...

There are times where one must omit the truth in order to protect another, whether it be the person in question or a 3rd party.

Always telling the truth will get you nowhere in life. Do you think successful politicians get to where they are by always telling the truth, or more relevant to you, telling everything?

It would be extremely naive of you to suggest that omitting the truth is akin to lying. Which brings to mind the following... 'the less you know, the more you believe'. And who asked you not to ask for the truth anyway?

11/13/2006 10:49 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

We've all already made up thanks Judge Judy.

As for you Dr Phil, politicians don't tell the truth because if they do they would never get voted. Of course one cannot tell the truth all the time about everything. But there are many occasions where the truth would have helped a problem get solved so much quicker, with less pain involved, and defuse a situation into nothing rather than it becoming a huge issue. In this instance, telling the truth would have not gotten friend A any blame at all, and instead a solution would have been sought.

Why isn't omitting the truth like lying when you know that not telling a certain fact will change the whole issue. How can you ask for the truth when you don't know you are being deceived. I can only trust friends on what they say rather than questioning their every word as if they are a convicted criminal. That's your job Dr Phil.

11/14/2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger afrobev said...

The question I now have to ask is are these people really your friends if they are not telling you the complete truth? There is the whole thing of not wanting to get involved but sometimes by not being honest they are probably just making the situation worse in a lot of ways and adding to the underlying conflict that already exists.

Another point is that they obviously don't have much of a respect for you as a friend if they can't just tell you the truth. I have no time for people who aren't 100% honest and surely a true friend would be honest with you.

Pull yourself away from them. You don't want to be with people that make you feel helpless or that you have to keep looking over your shoulder.
What do you reckon Thanh?

11/15/2006 4:11 AM  
Blogger Jiggles said...

Firstly to tell a lie you need a very good memory, secondly isn't it better to tell the truth first get it all out in the open and if people are mad with you so be it atleast you have been honest.

Honesty is the best policy, and I am sorry that you got involved in the terrible mess.

No one ever has to take sides, as long as they're understanding of both parties thats all that matters.

11/15/2006 7:20 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

James, I will give the benefit of the doubt this time and also make it clear that this person should tell the truth and no one will be mad. I don't feel helpless or am looking over my shoulder all the time since its nothing sinister like that. This person was worried that they would get into trouble but really it would have been an easily solved problem if they were honest to begin with.

Karen, I couldn't agree more that is is extremely hard to tell a lie since you need to remember lots of details. Whereas if something is the truth, its etched into your mind already and you will remember the events every time. As for taking sides, there is no need at all.

11/15/2006 7:16 PM  

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