Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Upon arrival at the busy Atlanta airport, after our recent Missouri trip to take care of my father-in-law’s affairs, we had to hop on a shuttle to retrieve our car.

A jolly man hopped on the shuttle at the same time, and began speaking to my husband, as I suspect was normal for him. For some reason, I was invisible to this man (it must be my tinfoil hat I’m sportin’ these days), he carried on a short conversation with my husband, with what I describe as snoopy small talk.

He asked us if we were returning to Atlanta, or were we on vacation. Simple, innocuous chit-chat. After my husband responded that we were returning home from Missouri, the man continued by asking what we were doing in Missouri—the line of snoopiness was crossed. More words may have been exchanged, but I was distracted by other things.

I would have responded with something like “family emergency”. However, since he was speaking to my husband, and because I was invisible, my husband blurted out that we were there because his dad died.

The man squirmed a little in his seat, commented about how hard loss is, and then he shut his mouth. No more comments from him for the rest of the shuttle ride.

I was laughing on the inside. I find humor at the most inappropriate moments, and I should be ashamed. But I’m not, because that is what makes me, me. That man was far too snoopy, and my husband’s bluntness may have taught that man a lesson. The ornery part of me likes to see snoopy people squirm. πŸ˜€

The lesson I learned, and have been learning since…oh, forever…men definitely respond to situations in a completely opposite manner than women do.

I’m working through, or maybe it’s simple justification, to avoid doing something I know I should.

Having information, and not sharing it.Β Is it lying?

If asked about something specific, and answering with a vague response.Β Is it lying?

Avoiding a topic in order to side-step specific questions.Β Is it lying?

Even though I don’t hold much back in real life, I withhold information when I’m enjoying an attack of anxiety, or showered with the blissfulness of depression. Silence, is a coping mechanism that works for me during these painful experiences.

Withheld information from a snoopy-small-talk-stranger is well within my level of acceptable “lying”.

Withholding information I haven’t fully processed, and am not ready to share, is better for all parties concerned.

For those of us who appreciate total honesty, with a mix of bluntness, are we being hypocritical by leaving out specific details? I don’t mean with a stranger, but with a friend or family member.

I suppose the question should be, would I appreciate a loved one keeping information from me because they feel I couldn’t handle it, or that I would dog them until they were driven nuts by my questions—asked over and over, when I know they don’t have an answer?

It isn’t within our control how others interpret information we share with them, but is it okay to withhold information because we don’t have enough guts to face the response?

Am I not divulging information because I’m pretending that nothing is amiss?

My therapist is the one who tells me that I can’t worry about my health until I have all the facts. I don’t have all the facts, so why let a loved one worry—or do I let them work through their own anxiety, since I have no control over their reaction?

Sigh….so many questions to ponder. Must have more coffee, and deal with it another day.





About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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18 Responses to Liar Liar Pants On Fire

  1. meANXIETYme says:

    I struggle with the same issue. At this point, I kind of decide on a case-by-case basis, depending on who it is I’m dealing with and what the issue is that I have to deal with. I try to not worry about what I might share (or should have shared) until something happens. I figure since I’m deciding on a case-by-case basis, then I’ll think about it when the case arises.

    Wish I had a better answer for you. 😦 Control…it’s a sucky thing to learn to let go of. I’m totally still working on it, too.

  2. Valerie says:

    I think it all depends on your intent. What’s the motivation for not telling the whole truth? Kwim?
    I routinely don’t share that we homeschool (and year ’round, no less) when someone makes a comment about summer vacation being hard, or they ask how I’m dealing with the kids being home. I don’t think I’m lying by avoiding to tell them what I’m really feeling or what our life is really like. I’m preserving my sanity! πŸ˜‰

    • April says:

      I think my motivation is also preserving my sanity, also it brings forward the thoughts I’m trying to ignore at the moment. I don’t mean to hurt, just prevent unnecessary worry.

  3. aviets says:

    I think it’s a pretty healthy self-care mechanism to pick and choose how much you’re going to share with any given person at any given time. No guilt. -Amy

  4. suzjones says:

    I think at times we need to omit information from our responses to people. I’ll give you an example – there are three of us in the administration area at work. Two girls job share and I work full-time. I have different responsibilities but we are all classed as admin. Last week we had our appraisals. The first girl came out of two very long sessions with the manager in tears telling me she is fighting for her job. I was as nervous as hell before mine but got through it really well with minimal disruption (and extra work being given to me). I was praised for how quickly I am picking up on my newer duties (and compared to the others. Why do managers do that?) When the first girl asked me how it went I wasn’t going to respond “Awesome”. That would only cause me grief in the long run. Instead I replied “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”. When she asked specifics I side stepped.
    In all honesty, telling her the truth was not going to do anyone any favours.

    • April says:

      I agree with that type of withholding information, it goes along with revealing too much information to a stranger. (Which oddly enough, I do through blogging) πŸ™‚ We don’t want to hurt others, or make a working environment hostile.

  5. Hmmmm, shooting from the hip here…. I suppose we all have a right to our personal knowledge and information. What we choose to share or not share is our ‘right’. I think it changes in each situation. Do we owe strangers information? No. Do we owe family/friends information? Maybe. But each situation can call for different answers.

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Coffee and another day sound like good ideas. πŸ™‚

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