Half Truths and Functional Lies

“Hey…psst…” my eyes quickly darted back and forth. My right elbow was strategically placed over my desk to cover up my test as I leaned a little into the aisle: toward her. Of course, I sat next to the prettiest girl in class—Calculus, you know…the class for smart kids.

To this day, I have no idea how I wound up in that class. Someone in their infinite wisdom thought it a good idea to have me skip some prerequisite class like geometry, or whatever it was, and shove me into a high algebra and calculus class.

I got the glare. You know the one: the prettiest girl in class glare.

Why were all the prettiest girls so stinking smart?

Again, I have no idea.

What I did know, is that if there was any snowball’s chance in hell of passing any test in that class, I needed an advantage. Hence, sitting next the prettiest girl in class.

“What?” she growled through her teeth.

I’m not making it up, she growled, like a dog.

All I needed was the answer to, let’s see, numbers 5, 7, 12…and…etc…I had no clue. Actually, most of high school I was clueless. I mean seriously, how was I supposed to know the freaking cosine of some stupid tangent that got obliqued along the way on some sort of graph? Again, I have no idea.

So, I gave her the sad puppy dog look: brows pathetically raised, cheeks sucked in, and eyes pleading for a scrap…all I needed was a scrap: A, B, or whatever I was supposed to circle.

“…please?” I begged.

She took a deep breath, gave me the look again, softened her posture, flung her hair to the side (why do all the smart girls always have the longest hair to cover up their tests?), and…whew…I got an A in the class.


I lied and cheated my way through most of high school. Just being honest here. And guess what? High school taught me some very important life lessons.

Then I grew up…whatever.

I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. It’s just that, lying kept me out of jail, spankings, bad report cards, and a slew of other horrible things…usually, consequences of my actions.

Oh, you want to know about my actions?

Well, you don’t have to do a wrongful act to lie.

Lies? Ah, yes, I would lie about X so I didn’t get into trouble. Then sometimes a higher authority would call X into question. Now, I would have to deflect, then tell another bald-faced lie to cover up the first one. But, not a too barefaced lie, because then the lie is easier to detect.

Enter the half-truth. Much easier, honestly, you have to believe me on this…a functional half-truth is much harder to detect than a bald-faced / barefaced lie. White lie if you will. I mean, what’s wrong with a little white lie?

And don’t forget the omission of information. You know, giving just enough information to whomever, and leaving the real point off the table and out of sight.

And…don’t bullshit either! Bullshitting is the same as lying. You see, as an expert of lies, I can tell you that when people bullshit, the truth has no bearing. People who are engaged in bullshitting don’t give a rat’s rear-end about truth or lies; they just want to impress.

We impress because we’re too worried about how we look…in comparison to others: usually with a downward self-comparison—making ourselves look better than someone else in the room.

So, since I wanted to impress others (boss, date, friends, family), I would impress with complete fabrications, fibs, and exaggerations. And…if I did tell you the truth, but didn’t have all the facts…

Confabulation! That’s right. The Honest Lie: just enough truth sprinkled with a little embellishment. Now you like me, and I’m happy because no one will think I’m a fraud and everyone will think I’m a great guy.

As you can see…I didn’t have much of a sense of self-worth and relied almost completely upon the opinions and judgments of others. It will drive you crazy to live like that.

Now then, let me give you a free tip.

When you’re trying to impress the truth upon someone (E.G…your story to the police), never say, “I swear officer, it’s the truth!” If it’s the truth, then why are you swearing?

Never mind.

Oh, make sure to watch out for all those Neuro-Linguistic programming things. You know, all our body language that doesn’t match up with our words. Ever wonder why you could never lie to Mom?


How do I know all of this stuff? Not because I was a cop for half my life.

But, because I’ve lived half my life lying.

Lies lead to drama, drama leads to stress, stress steals from our physical and mental health; it leaves you in a gutter of despair and in a rut that is almost impossible to break free from.

Honesty is incredibly difficult at first.

It’s so easy to step off to a half-truth. An Omission. A White Lie. Especially if you’re afraid: of who you are, what others think of you, what others might say about you, what the boss thinks, what this person or that person thinks, or just trying to impress.

Lying? Most of it isn’t because we did something wrong or bad, we wind up lying, faking, maneuvering, and working the angles just to be accepted.

Let me share this with you…a great truth that took most of my life to learn, and then to practice: Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are, not what you think they want you to be!

It’s liberating!

I hate repeating destructive cycles in life. I want to be happy which means…

A life free of drama. Free from self-induced stress. Free from lies.

To live true and authentic with myself first, then…toward you.

Photo by Kristina Flour

Posted by Christian Martin Jr.

1 comment

Renee Cullar

Great article. No omissions, no lies, no half truths.