What is it called when someone doesn’t necessarily lie but they don’t tell you everything?

  1. This is tricky. We could be talking about 2 very different things, when it comes to people who don’t necessarily lie, but don’t tell you everything either.

On the one hand, some people are what you might call “private” and “discrete”. This is usually seen as a good thing, or at least it used to be (maybe in our more gregarious, social medial saturated world, being private is slowly being pathologies). People tend to respect those who are discrete, and see them as having good judgment. Discrete people don’t blurt out private information indiscriminately. They are mindful people in that way.

On the other hand, there’s another type of person who doesn’t tell you everything, someone you might think of as “suspicious” or “cagey” … someone you don’t fully trust, but can’t put a finger on why, since they’re not actually lying. Often their speech patterns fall into the “lie by omission” category, as other answers have pointed out. They are what I ironically call “technical liars” – those who are technically telling the truth but actually lying through their teeth.

In the case of the cagey person there is an intent to deceive, to weave a false image as a distraction. In the person who is simply discrete or very private, there is no intent to deceive. The intent is to preserve people’s dignity, and respect the privacy of information, that is all. You actually have to know more before you can decide what you want to call it, when someone won’t tell you “everything.

2. Typically it’s deceit. It’s a form of deception without the full label of outright lying. We all have engaged in this at one point or another. You don’t sit down with your new boyfriend/girlfriend and tell sordid details that you know might hurt them. You omit the small stuff and stick to the big picture. It’s a communication that can be used for good or evil really. It all depends on the info being omitted. Sometimes it just benefits all, and sometimes it makes the difference between deception and trust. I’d rather someone omit details than outright lie. At least by omitting, I feel their intentions were to spare me pain. But like if I had a bf that omitted he was incarcerated on DUI -AND- spousal abuse charges, that’s deceit. That type of stuff needs to be aired. But telling me he loved an ex but it didn’t work out, sparing me the details of how when they kissed they cried and made love feverishly is straight up being kind and considerate of my feelings.

3. It probably means you are not respecting their boundaries. Only anxious insecure people feel a need to know everything and they are often the very people who don’t disclose everything. So you may be setting a double standard. Just relax before you destroy your relationship.

When one partner starts getting paranoid it’s a form of manipulation. Don’t do it.

  • Depends on relation between two people.

Discretion: If those two are not in any close relationship or in legal situation to share the information of interest.

Deceit:If the two people are in a relationship that depends on the honesty, i.e., Business partnership, Romantic relationship, State-individual relationship etc…the key is again relevance of information to the relationship.

  • In deception it’s called ambiguity.

In a formal, often political lie, yes which is deception, it’s called poultry. Truths selected specifically to cast a lie of conclusion.

And if not telling everything to cover or absolved yourself. It’s referred as lie by omission

  • In the Catholic Church they call it “Mental Reservation”. That’s when you don’t tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, but want to delude yourself into not thinking you lied.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s