Fine: A Conversation With Myself
You consider yourself honest, right?
Of course I do. I think being truthful is an important quality. It’s part of having integrity.
So why do you lie?
I don’t lie!!
When someone asks, “How are you doing?” you always say “Fine.”
Of course I do, we all do that.
But you’re not always fine, are you?
Of course not. No one is.
So why don’t you tell the “truth?”
Because most people don’t want to hear the real answer. Or they’d think I was strange or crazy or oversharing. I know I don’t love it when a stranger answers that question with their life story.
Now I know that’s a lie. You love it.
Oh sure, because I’m nosy/curious, and I love getting a glimpse into people’s psyche.
Okay, so why don’t you do that for other people?
With your family and friends?! Try another one.
Well that’s different. I don’t want them to worry about me. And I don’t want to talk about stuff I don’t have answers to yet.
I can buy that, but isn’t a lie of omission still a lie?
Maybe, but not every truth needs to be spoken at every moment.
Aren’t you justifying your actions a little?
Maybe, but some things really can be kept private. And in the course of social interaction, it’s much better to give a quick “Fine” or when someone asks, “What’s new?” to say “Not much.” It’s not a harmful lie. It doesn’t hurt anyone, and not telling doesn’t put me or anyone else in danger. They won’t feel foolish if (when) they find out later, and I’m not using untruths to manipulate a situation. So yes, white lies and lies of omissions are okay, and I’m still an honest person who uses them.
Hmmm. I see your point. So how do you feel about this whole “conversation” with yourself.
Yes, this was a real conversation I had with myself (in my head) while driving down the road.