Lies and secrets

[Introduction not needed. Relate these points to the story.] All throughout childhood, we had drilled in our heads “honesty is the best policy”. Lying has always been frowned upon, and even as an adult I’ve always had a difficult time lying because of my guilty conscious, however; sometimes we have no other option but to lie. In most of my experiences, I lie in order to not hurt someone’s emotions or to protect them.

Recently, I was put in a position where someone had asked for confidentiality, but it would affect my relationship with another person if I did what was asked of me. [Relate to class: Keeping a confidentiality puts tremendous burden on the agent.] A few months back, on an early Sunday morning, my iPhone pinged and I had a Facebook instant message from a name I did not recognize and there was no profile picture to go along with it. Turns out I was reached out with an anonymous Facebook message, claiming to be a close friend’s ex-boyfriend, asking me to contact him to talk, and to “not say anything”. Immediately, I knew any sort of response would be a betrayal to my friend without letting her know first.

I would have to tell her. After all, she is my friend before anything and the only reason I know her ex-boyfriend is through her. Unfortunately, I had other people get involved. An anonymous account was claiming to be the ex-boyfriend, but I had no confirmation the number he was giving me was actually his. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] I did not want to hurt my friend, [no comma] or break the news that he reached out to me because she was on vacation at the time. I reached out to another close friend of hers through social media, and asked her if she had the ex-boyfriends phone number to confirm the anonymous account was indeed him. She did not have it, but I too had asked her to keep the whole situation a secret in order to not hurt my friend. [Organize your writing: new idea, new paragraph.] From there, I had someone else get involved. I reached out to a close friend of mine, who is a police officer to look up the anonymous account. I did not want him knowing about the full story so I had to lie to him to get his help.  [Did you feel a sense of loyalty, guilt or anxiety? Were you angry at having to lie or otherwise act contrary to your morals to protect the secret?]

The whole situation of having to keep a secret did not in any way make me feel empowered. I was placed in a situation I did not want to be involved in. I was keeping this a secret in order to not hurt or worry my friend while she was out of town distracting herself from the recent break up [hyphenate]. By reaching out to another friend to get confirmation of the phone number I also placed another person in a bad position and getting them intertwined in the secrecy. [Relate to class: A secret can hurt people, intended or not.] 

In our lecture we learned that secrets and lies are linked. Lies guard secrets, and secrecy nurtures growth of lies. In my case, not only was I keeping a secret from a friend, I was also betraying the trust of the ex-boyfriend when he requested that I not say anything, but I did end up telling my friend eventually about the message I had received.

Jennifer Fernandez


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