"That's not really how it happened..."

By Leca
@lecanis (16664)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
May 19, 2007 2:00pm CST
Do you correct liars or people who seem to live in their own little worlds? If a relative or friend were telling a story involving you, and got it all wrong, would you correct them in front of others? Or would you wait and talk to them about it in private later? Or keep quiet and let them say whatever they want? I've had this experience a lot with family members, especially last year while I was pregnant when my mother came to see me. I spent more time with her while she was here than ever before in my life, as I often went months or years without seeing her as a child. There were so many stories she told about her involvement in my life that were simply not true, and things she said about my health condition that directly contradict all medical records. It was a weird situation, because I wanted to make sure my friends heard the truth, but at the same time it seemed kind of me to follow her around accusing her of lying, even though she was. So what do you do in that sort of situation?
19 people like this
30 responses
20 May 07
It must be hard for you to sit tight lipped when your mum tells people things about you, that you know are not true. One way would be to constantly correct her, but then this will get you down and you'll just end up arguing. The other would be to just tell your friends after she has gone what is really true and explain to them the relationship you have had with your mum if they don't know already. I think this is the way I would deal with it. However, if she is making passing judgements, then I would have to pull her up on the quiet and have a word with her. From what has happened in the past, she is lucky to have you back in her life, so she should really be going out of her way to be kind and find out more about your life when she was absent. Good luck and remember at the end of the day, stay true to yourself as you should come first in all of this. My thoughts are with you!
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
Thanks so much! =)
@patgalca (14605)
• Orangeville, Ontario
19 May 07
Honestly, I don't know what I would do. I have been criticized for correcting people - usually it has to do with grammar, pronunciation or what colour something is. There is always controversy over whether something is navy blue or black. My mother would never talk about past situations because she readily admits that she can't remember a lot. She certainly remembers her early days with Dad. She remembers some things when I was a child and even a teenager, but things that happened over the last 15-20 years she doesn't remember. She would not venture into telling a story when she doesn't remember the facts. I don't think I have ever been in a situation where someone outright lied about an event that involved me, in front of me. I don't think they would dare. I do question some people's stories but since I wasn't there I say nothing. I can't imagine why your mother would do that. Not being you, and not having the relationship (or non-relationship) that you have with your mother, I couldn't judge. But I would probably have spoken up and corrected her during the discussion.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
Thanks for your response! In my case it's an issue of my family having a habit of smoothing over anything that isn't pretty. It's a really bad thing, because it keeps people who are being abused from getting the help they need. I think really my mother was hoping to impress my friends and husband so that they would pressure me to let her into my life in a way that I haven't really been willing to. I did correct her sometimes, when it was something that was a big deal. But she totally flips out when you do that, so finally I pretty much just let her say whatever she wanted and let the people she was talking to know the truth later.
1 person likes this
@PsychoDude (2018)
• Netherlands
19 May 07
I tend to correct it most of the time unless I simply can't be bothered at the moment.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
Thanks for your response.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
19 May 07
I wouldn't be able to let it slip (depending on the situation of course). I will most probably chip in and correct in with some humor so that everyone would still be happy. And the version be corrected. :P
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@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
Using humor is an excellent idea, lordwarwizard! Thanks. =)
1 person likes this
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
19 May 07
I have a tendency to correct people when they share incorrect information. I hate for someone to get the wrong information. This has caused problems at times. My father is famous about not being able to get his facts straight. I am constantly correcting some thing that he has told someone else. I admit there are times that I have waited till later to tell them the correct information because I didn't want to argue with my father.
2 people like this
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
25 May 07
I wouldn't correct anyone in front of others..........specially my mother... I understand that your mother was not for you when you needed her most, but she is your mother and you should give her respect in front of other people... I know that it can be hard, but your friends are coming after family...I believe that family is always first...
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
25 May 07
I understand that your family was not perfect and you can have your own way dealing with them... I didn't know about your abused childhood, sorry...
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
*nods* It's okay. I wasn't angry with you, you just got me thinking. In fact, I started another discussion on the topic, because it was my head. "Do you put bad family members before good friends?" I called it. Like I said, I don't mind that you believe a certain way that I don't. People having different beliefs is part of what makes life great and interesting. =)
• United States
19 May 07
Too often our reality of the truth is blinded by our perception of the truth. I am one of those people by my very nature, that will correct a loved one in the middle of the story, for one I tend to say the first thing on my mind. And your right in that, that is not always the best thing to do. My middle Son is one that emotes or exaggerates a story almost to the point of a lie. I call him on it all of the time and it drives him crazy, But with him its a matter of keeping him real. I have however caught myself doing that with friends and have seen the looks of pain that I cause and I end up doing a lot of back tracking to make up for it. I also want to add that I have not alway had my information quite right, nor do I always know whats going on in the background. I like to think I do, but I know I do not. In the case of your mother I wonder if her perception has been clouded after all of these years? Perhaps what she is saying she perceives as truth? I commend you for giving her a bit of space, and discussing with your friends out of her ear shot. Thats a hard pill to swallow.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
I don't always have my information right either. In fact, in efforts of putting together a cohesive picture of my life, I've had to talk to a lot of different people who have known me. The things that I do know for sure about are the things that have an actual written record somewhere, or things that can easily be gleaned from the community (like who was living where when), or the things I have VERY strong memories of. I think with my mother it is possible that she has convinced herself of a lot of things that aren't true. It's the same old family problem of ignoring things that aren't pretty, and rewriting the stories to make them "nice" before telling others. Maybe after a point she really did start believing those things. I bring this up now even though it happened last year because I'm considering what kind of relationship I do want to attempt to have with my family, and I know it's a situation that I will continue to come across the rest of my life, not just from my mother but from other family members as well.
• United States
19 May 07
I understand, where you are coming from. I know from my own experience that it takes many years to reconcile your life with your past. I can say that now, I am 46 you are just beginning that walk and these are the very things you have to confront. My heart goes with you. I like your open style and you have a way of adding a bit of off handed humor there as well. Those are the things that you need to hang on to as you gain strength. Your son is blessed to have such a strong willed mother.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
You're a very interesting person, Angelwhispers. I like you. =) It's hard for me sometimes, trying to remain positive while being honest about the things that are negative, but it's the only way I can live with myself. It takes a lot of work sometimes finding the right way to fit things together, like trying to find a way to let my family have a part in my current life without letting them ruin my happiness and safety. Thank you so much for your kind words. =)
@angelicEmu (1311)
19 May 07
I probably wouldn't correct that person in front of the group of people (contradicting someone generally leads to a public argument, and that's not worth the hassle), but if I was bothered by what had been said, I would set the record straight with the person being told, once the teller wasn't present. If the "mistake" or embellishment wasn't something which really bothered me, I'd let it go.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
Thanks for your response! That's pretty much my view, correcting it with the person being told later.
1 person likes this
20 May 07
Yes, in my experience, avoiding public confrontation is always best, as it can not only be embarassing for you/others, but people who know you and the situation will know to take what your mother says with a pinch of salt. I suppose it comes down to the fact that you're not responsible for what she says, and by correcting her later, you're acting with tact and class. And at least when she does this in front of you, you know what she's misinforming people of. If she were to do it behind your back, you wouldn't know to correct people! All the best lecanis, and I have to tell you, you're not alone in having a nightmare of a mother!!
1 person likes this
@susieq223 (3742)
• United States
25 May 07
It's possible your mother has convinced herself she is telling the truth. I think you did the best thing for yourself when you just let her talk, then fill the others in later on the real stuff. Otherwise you would have been in constant confrontation with her and made yourself sick! I am so sorry you had that kind of a childhood. You sound like you have done a lot of work to overcome it. I also think the fact that you could have your mother with you says a lot about the kind of person you are!
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@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
Thanks for your response. =) I think you're right about making myself sick with constant confrontation. It's just not healthy at all! Thanks for all your kind words. I have done a lot of work, and am continuing to do a lot of work to overcome it. Right now I'm in a bit of a "down" cycle, to be honest, hence my talking about such things so much. But I'm sure it won't be long until I'm really to move "up" again. =)
1 person likes this
@mskzalameda (4036)
• Philippines
20 May 07
I'll say the truth if I know the real truth ha ha! I will speak it right in front of them especially if I have some nice proofs. Having the right proofs at the right time is just right to spill the beans. :)
1 person likes this
• Philippines
20 May 07
in front of others if he still don't admit it (very bad thing).. in private if its very personal thing..
1 person likes this
• United States
20 May 07
I'd call them out in a skinny minute. My sister in law has her own sense of reality because she is addicted to pain medicine. I'm harsh with her. I don't understand sleeping your life away when you have 3 children and two step children. She always lets everyone else take care of her kids, can't hold a job, does everything to undermine my brother holding a job, lets her mom pay her bills, lies for food stamps and medical insurance, etc. She hops hospitals, doctors and pharmacies. I can't stand it and I call her out every time I get, which isn't very often since I try to limit my time with toxic people. Phew.. .can you tell I am a bit annoyed? LOL
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
hehe I couldn't tell at all! *giggles* Thanks for sharing!
@APMorison (424)
• United States
19 May 07
me, I have a tendency to show people my mother's psych med list while correcting the errors privately. it doesn't do any good to try and stop her, she just gets violent and its not worth it to go through that again and again.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
Maybe I should try that approach, my mother is certainly on enough.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 May 07
We all lie, some of us more than others, but I have known a person who really likes to lie about everything. My friends and I have caught her in so many lies that we cannot even count them all. We tell her that if she lies to us anymore we just will not talk to her.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
*nods* I really wish I could do the same with my family, but that's a really hard thing to do. Social pressure to be close to your family, even if they are horrible people, is pretty major.
@tina12679 (1126)
• United States
19 May 07
My husband makes up his own reality too but he just alters stories that has happened and i get to listen to the same story a million times but it is different each time. I think you should definitly talk to her about it to let her know that you would want your friends to know the truth it is possible that you might have already mentioned the same thing to a friend in a different way and now they dont know which is the truth or if you may have lied to them about it. And definitly if it has anything to do with a health condition, that is nothing to mess with and the truth shoudl never be altered. But be gentle about it because she may not realize that she is doing it. she may have put her facts into her reality and for her that is the way it happened and the way things are.
@lecanis (16664)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
19 May 07
*laughs* I know people like that, who tell the same story a different way each time. It's funny listening to them do it when you know what really happened. Thanks for your advice, tina! Very helpful.
• Israel
20 Jul 07
Well, that's funny. I happen to learn about such things in a scientific manner... people who lie, not always do it out of wickedry... memory is not absolute, and people don't always remember correctly. More than that - one might think he is utterly right about something, and he would shout and argue with people who say otherwise, just because he remembers vividly some false memory. In an experiment carried out in the US, 3 brothers were tested. The experimenter had a few sessions with the brothers and asked them to speak about childhood events. Little by little, the experimenter started to add some extras to their stories. The one that the details were added to his story protested it didn't happen at first, but after 3 weeks of sessions, he was certain the false events realy happened to him and more than that - he started elaborating and creating more details to make the false memory more real. This kind of experiment was repeated many times over. Most people the way our memory works (not absolute) is bad. But if you would think about it - we give up absolution for the sake of generalizition... it is a trade off all living beings do.
1 person likes this
@yamskee (830)
• Philippines
19 Jul 07
we cant control gossips. and most of the details are usually taken out of the scene while some parts are added. this situations doesnt really bother me. its enough for me that there are few people who knew about what really had happened. in case that no one else knew about it, ill make sure that ill tell the whole story to my friend or groups of friends.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 May 07
My husband does this all the time. One of the stories he tells about he claims it was snowing and it wasn't it was just cold. Even to this day he still says it was snowing but everytime he tells it there was more and more snow on the ground! LOL I just think it is funny sometimes other times it really gets on my nerves. I always contridict him on it unless it is something that is not really important.
1 person likes this
@Odin27 (63)
• Australia
21 May 07
I get that from family and friends sometimes, I don't usually correct them. I feel why should I? I shouldn't have to defend myself or the timeline of events with people who should know better, While it can be more awkward if someone who doesn't know me listens to their "stories" I don't really want to know them if they can't have the decency to get to know me personally. If they ever ask me directly then I will tell my version. It can be a strain and lowers the trust I have of them. How events transpire and how you retell them should be done thoughtfully and with respect to the truth and the person, if they can't respect that and I have to correct them then it is displaying an aspect of their personality rather than their memory and makes me doubt the truth of other things they say.
1 person likes this
@friendship (2085)
• Canada
20 May 07
When one of my friends was telling incorrect stories involving me, I would correct it in front of others especially if my friend had told the stories to others behind my back. I know... it sounds like insensitive and harsh. Otherwise, it is going to get out of control. It is very damaging. Speaking incorrect stories behind of someone else's back is not a good trait. If someone doesn't want to be confronted in front of others or someone has shameful feeling, he/she won't do it at all behind your back or he/she won't tell incorrect stories to others in the first place. This is like a rumor involving a company, for instance, the public needs and demands the truth and their Public Relation has to explain it in front of the press. God also teaches us to confront the "acts of Devil". Because Devil is deceitful. Without telling how deceitful Devil is to human, we don't know between right and wrong until now.
• United States
20 May 07
I would correct things in front of them even in front of others to get the truth told. I don't believe in not telling the truth. A lie always comes back on you.
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