According to Mark Twain, in his essay “On the Decay of the Art of Lying:”
“Among other common lies, we have the silent lie — the deception which one conveys by simply keeping still and concealing the truth. Many obstinate truth-mongers indulge in this dissipation, imagining that if they speak no lie, they lie not at all.”
But what of the mistruths we take upon ourselves in interpersonal relationships, accepting a person’s omission as proof of our thoughts — subconscious, preconceived or otherwise?
A speaker intentionally lies by omission. “To lie” is an active verb that implies this intent. However, most dictionaries also offer a broader secondary definition similar to “to create a false or misleading impression,” which includes lies of omission.
But how often do we accept our own internal “proof by omission” when another doesn’t directly provide the information we expect or hope for? In accepting this omission as proof, could it be that we are lying to ourself? There is no denying that an omission of information may be intentional. Sadly, to regularly accept that such omissions are deliberate may have more to do with one’s predetermined and perhaps incorrect opinion, negating the idea that a truth can exist without being uttered.