Secrets have been a controversial topic for an infinite amount of people. Since the beginning of time, secrets have caused fights, loss of trust, and even supplied the reason to end relationships. The main argument presented is that one person feels that the other has lied to them in the process of keeping the secret. While that reason may be valid in some cases, can keeping secrets really be the same as lying?
While lying can be caused by dark secrets, a secret isn't technically considered to be a lie. Here's why keeping a secret is not equivalent to lying:
1. Lying Vs. Keeping a Secret
Lying is the act of deliberately changing the truth to benefit oneself, whether it's for the present or the future. Lies are told for many reasons, but whenever someone bends the truth in any way, it's harder to come-out with the truth in the future. Sometimes lies can be hard to control because one lie is always followed by a second one to cover it up.
With secrets, the truth can come out easier because nothing was said to make the other person believe any other side of the story. In most cases, no other stories are needed to conceal the secrets, as long as no part of the secrets are spoken of very often. The less people that know of the secret, the better. With no lies to conceal the secret, the truth can be uncovered whenever the time feels right.
2. Consideration for the Other Person
Usually, keeping secrets comes from a place of love or respect for the other person. Someone might not want to bother the other person with their own issues because they might see it as insignificant, or the other person might be going through a very difficult period of time. In tv shows like Gossip Girl, New Girl, and Friends, phrases like "I don't want to bother them with this today" or "I'll do it tomorrow" are very common when a character is dealing with keeping a secret from someone really close to them. Secrets normally come from a place of wanting to protect something that's going well. If the secret is dark enough, sometimes people might fear that their relationships might fall apart. Therefore, the secretive person tries to wait for the best moment to break the news and hope for the best; not completely losing their foundation of trust with the one that they care about.
Lying can sometimes come from the same place of love and respect for the other person, but not all the time. While the secret-keeper considers how the other person will feel if they find out what they're hiding, the liar thinks about the consequences the same way, but hopes that the secret never comes out. The lies come from a place of guilt, shame, and regret in most cases. A lie is often used to protect someone else's feelings and trust. Unlike a secret, if the secret is found-out after the first cover-up lie is told, the trust that the other person has is at a higher risk of being completely lost.
3. Optional Partners in Crime and the Consequences
Although lying and secrets are two different concepts, they can often make a fantastic pair when it comes to sparing feelings. Secrets are sometimes the root cause of lying. Secrets are best left unspoken until an explanation can be provided, but sometimes an explanation might not be enough, especially if an interrogation of any kind occurs. To avoid ever having to tell the truth, people try to hide the truth with lies so they won't feel as bad in the future for whatever they did.
Quick solutions might sound great in the moment, but they aren't always the best long-term. In any relationship, lies can create permanent damage to the foundation. The other person is less likely to fully trust you in the future and it can take eternity to win back what trust was lost after the impulsive decision. On the other hand, secrets have the opportunity to lose trust just like a lie, but the other person in the relationship is more likely to understand that there were no bad intentions associated with trying to protect them and the relationship.
Ultimately, while lies and secrets can be fused together to create something extremely powerful and toxic, they are not the same thing when they are separated. They have most of the same intentions and possible consequences, but one is definitely better than the other when it comes to preserving a relationship and protecting another person.