Half Truths

I first came upon the concept of “half-truths” as an implication in itself through a quote.

A half truth is a full lie

Despite having lived the majority of my life accepting the half truths thrown at me and being guilty of coming up with them myself in many an attempt to sound smarter than I was (but alas, none the wiser), I perceived many truths from such a simple line.

But more than anything else, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed and frustrated that I had approximate knowledge of the topic at hand but just could not figure out what it was. More often than not, I would try to wing it and put out bits and pieces of information or recall some vaguely relevant term. Most of the time people accept it. They do no care, or do not understand or just cannot be bothered. But it happened. Half truths have been spoken and allowed to hang in the air and sink into the conversation. Its always the momentary silence where the people around will try to grasp what you have just said and try to tally it with their own knowledge, but most of the time they let it go and the half truth is neither disputed nor acknowledged.

Not that it is anybody’s fault, it just is. Half truths are the insecure man’s passport to an imagined plane of higher status. But as with all fake credentials, it can only get one so far. The more they weave, the harder it is to untangle oneself from the mess that follows.

Understandably, it is hard to pass up on the opportunity to share things that you thought you knew. We read so much crap on the Internet and stuff we see on documentaries that almost any common topic will trigger something in our memory, urging us to try to recollect what it was. And if we can’t? It just seems so wasted to let the chance to share something intellectual and one-up everybody in the room and appear so well-read right?

I’ve always felt that the need to impress comes from a very primal need to gain acceptance and respect, but the problem with that is we simply do not need acceptance and respect from everybody around us, but just the people whose opinions we care about. It’s like an idgaf line where a divide exists between people who you don’t mind labelling you as thrash because you just simply cannot be bothered and people who you simply care about.

So what if one is bothered by everybody? I used to be a pacifist and my life was spent pandering to everybody’s needs and trying to find the perfect middle ground for every single thing. The only thing that I did not realize was that my definition of “everybody” apparently did not include myself. Sometimes when you make sacrifices and think that yes, you have done what you set out to do, made whatever was supposed to happen happen and in the process kept everybody happy, you have actually failed yourself in the truest way possible. There is always something to let up on and it does not have to be oneself.

Perhaps my bad habit of sprouting half truths is one of the reasons why I don’t complain about citations in assignments. At least with citations I can actually trust my own works. I think that many people out there actually come across half truths quite frequently but choose to let them pass, preferring to avoid the conflict and trouble of explaining or exposing it. I’m thankful for the ones around me who actually bother to correct people when a muddled (or muddy) fact (perhaps closer to an opinion) is uttered. So for those who think that people who do not “mince their words” when correcting people are just being deuchy or just a straight up asshole, think again. But granted, they may just be assholes 🙂

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