Is not saying something considered to be a lie?

United States
July 22, 2010 7:12am CST
I was always told not to volunteer information. I was always one to have lose lips as well. So Now I have this down packed. I find i don't just open up and say anything unless it is my sister or my mother I am talking too. So,I was thinking since I know somethings and I will not just tell them is this a lie as well. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. Thanks
5 people like this
16 responses
• Canada
22 Jul 10
Hmmmm. I think so, yes. If you know the answer and refuse to give it, yes, I think that is lying, because you are still deceiving the person who asked you a question. Lying is technically deceiving someone else. But, in law, saying nothing, is not proof of lying or considered deception, because you did not respond either way. In the law, the response is the certainty if you lied or told the truth. This is a bit of a grey area, but the law is clear on it's stance. You must respond with a mistruth to be technically considered lying.
• United States
22 Jul 10
And if no question was asked on the matter it can't be a lie right.
• Philippines
22 Jul 10
Telling a lie and keeping information is 2 different things.
• Canada
22 Jul 10
Well, technically, if you were not asked you did not lie. But...there is another charge for 'witholding information'... The police can prosecute you for not sharing certain types of information about illegal activities. Like, if you know information about a serious crime, like murder or something, they can charge you and the finer details will be hashed out in court and decided by a judge or jury or both.
@dodo19 (27705)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
22 Jul 10
I think that this is really something that depends on how you look at it. Personally, I don't think that not saying something is not entirely lying, as lying is saying what is not true, or not entirely true.
• United States
23 Jul 10
I agree. Keeping something to ourselves I don't consider a lie.I tried once to tell a friend the truth about something I knew. She didn't ask. It cost me that friend. After that I decided to keep some things to myself. If I thought it was something they really needed to know (and I have done this once also) I helped someone be at the right place at the right time so to speak. This way it was basically self discovery. Or maybe just my way to justify it. However that particular incident worked out all away around. Now as far as the child thing this can be particularly hard. Because when my mother passed away my sister and I found out we had different fathers. The one person who we knew knew the truth gave two stories. She has since passed and everyone else that we thought that might know says they don't. We both are in our 40s. I at least know my dads real name though I am sure he isn't living anymore. He wasn't a part of my life growing up and I didn't ever feel the need to find him. I love my step-father very much. Anyways back to the subject my sister does not know who her father is. This has caused her a lot of emotional grief. So I can understand your concerns. Maybe you need to make the mother realize that at some point in her life she has the duty as a mother to give her daughter the truth.
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
23 Jul 10
I agree. I keep something to myself and refuse to answer questions which are not the questioners' business.
• United States
22 Jul 10
No, I do not consider this a lie. You were not asked anything. Were you to be asked if your girlfriend has a lover, and you said no, then you have told a lie. You are only withholding information to yourself and feel it is none of your concern to talk about it. No one is getting physically hurt in this so I would keep the information to myself also. If this was criminal, the law looks at it a different way, and considers it withholding information, which is actually telling a lie only using more formal words. I would stay out of it too, as you are not hurting anyone, she is. It's up to her to spit it out and come up with the truth. She has to live with herself but obviously after all this time, she's numb to it.
• United States
24 Jul 10
Thanks for BR! I still think you're doing the right thing, and I would keep my mouth shut too. There is no physical danger here, just mental, but that is your friends problem as she is doing the damage.
@genius4u (20)
• India
22 Jul 10
well definitely not, actually it depends on the situation sometime the conditions arrive in front of us in which it is better to be quite instead of speaking the truth because it could even result in the sake of someone.So next time you guys don't judge someone by his quiteness.
• United States
22 Jul 10
I think your right as well. Thanks
• Philippines
22 Jul 10
I don't think so... I guess not at all times... Some tend to be quiet when they feel they don't have the right to say something or they shouldn't be the one saying it...:D
• United States
22 Jul 10
If they don't have anything to say they should say nothing. I agree.
@ehsanji (503)
• Pakistan
22 Jul 10
It depends on the situation. Suppose your information is going to cause trouble or it is going to create misunderstanding between two persons, in such case you should not share this info. In case your information is going to take you towards backbiting, then you should avoid it. But in case your information is going to be beneficial. Like, you saw someone doing the murder, and the police needs to know, then your information would be necessary, you should share that information as soon as possible.
• United States
22 Jul 10
The info is not mine to share to begin with. I will stay out of this one for sure.
@damned_dle (3944)
• Philippines
22 Jul 10
Technically, no. Lying means not TELLING the truth. So no, telling nothing does not mean you are lying. Unless you 'denied' something you know is true. But in law you can be charged for not holding information. But you can not be charged misleading the truth.
• United States
22 Jul 10
Just what I was thinking. it is sad but true.
@cream97 (29175)
• United States
26 Jul 10
No, not saying something, is not considered to be a lie at all. Let people think just what they want to think. You know the truth and that is all that matters. It is best to keep quiet many times. Never tell others things that you don't feel that they should know. Without you saying anything, can never prove if you are telling a lie or not. You are just being cautious that is all.
@ElicBxn (60044)
• United States
24 Jul 10
I don't think so. I do think there is a problem when not saying something can be bad, for example, if you know something - say, who started a fire - and they could get in trouble for arson, then not telling is bad, but most of the time, saying something is probably more hurtful than not doing so.
@dawnald (84126)
• Shingle Springs, California
23 Jul 10
I believe it's called a lie by omission. If it's something that the other person needs to know, it falls under that. But if they have no need to know, I don't think it does.
23 Jul 10
Not saying something doesn't mean your lying. It is just you want to be quiet than saying something.
• Philippines
23 Jul 10
It is not a LIE. But you're not telling the TRUTH either. =)
@cupkitties (6702)
• United States
23 Jul 10
Nope. That is just a line that some people came up with to guilt people out of giving up information that they don't want to. If someone is not comfortable talking about something and they don't want to tell a lie, they'll just keep shut. Some things are just no ones business plain and simple. Its not lying, its protecting.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
22 Jul 10
If you know something and you don't reveal it that is not considered a lie. Now unless they ask you point blank and you say you don't know. Then that is definitely a lie. Just because you don't volunteer info does not make this a lie. They have to ask you directly for the info and you say "I don't know" when in fact you do, then that is a lie.
@jaiho2009 (39079)
• Philippines
22 Jul 10
hello gifts, There is a common knowledge that "silence means yes". So,it means yes,it is lie when we remained silent when being asked for something. Thu it doesn't mean YES all the time,but it sounds like that. Now,as far as your question is concerned,it depends upon the situation. When you think the result is bad, better stay quiet and say nothing. Playing safe is better than to make trouble or caused something bad. Let the other person think what is the real score. But if you think,the result will be good and will help the person,then tell the truth or whatever information you knew. Telling the truth may hurts,but if it that hurts will cause good result,take the risk you maybe hold the key for a good and happy life of other people. Have a wonderful weekend
• United States
22 Jul 10
Techincally she is not lying but she is living a lie. Her unspoken words can not be taken as a lie but her deceit to her husband by having him believe the child he is raising is his is a lie. In the long run the only person this will hurt is the child and your friend should truely think of this. This little girl may have medical issues come up in the future and the truth come out. Then not only will this hurt the husband but also the girl. Then once her "house of cards" starts to fall she is likely to get caught up in a whole web of lies.