Am I expected to comply with their machination?


Thanks to everyone who helped out with advice in the other thread I started about my grandparents and their strange way of gift-giving. Another issue seems to have come up and this one deals with lying.

My grandparents, specifically my grandma, have always had a bit of a habit of lying. They tell white lies to cover up awkward social situations, to avoid conflict with other family and friends and people from their work and at synogogue, etc. It has definitely affected how I interact with them (e.g., I take much of what they claim with a grain of salt; if something seems fishy, it probably is.) Another part of their lying is the coaching that I'm forced to sit through before--say--I accompany them to temple or when we're going out to dinner with friends of theirs or even when we're heading outside for a walk. It runs something like this: "Now, if we run into a lady who introduces her self as N., remember that I didn't tell her this. And if at dinner, should N. ask about this, that, and the other thing, remember to tell her this." It goes on like this, and sometimes it's difficult to remember all the people's names and what I am/am not supposed to tell them. It makes me uncomfortable and while I realize that they tell a lot of lies in order to deal with their social lives (which, I might add, are quite dysfunctional), I prefer not to behave that way. To what extent should I comply with this craziness and how do I deal with it without 1) coming across as disrespectful, 2) upsetting or offending my grandma or grandpa, and 3) upsetting..shall we say...the generosity they have continually extended toward me?

Along these lines, another issue that recently seems to have come up since moving to their city for college is that I have now become material for their lies and I'm more or less reduced to an excuse for them. Since moving to college where they live, it seems they turn down engagements, saying that they're spending time with me--at a concert of mine or at dinner, etc. (When in actuality, they're not.) I then have to be coached: "When N. asks about your concert, remember to say that it went great because we told her we spent last Friday with you instead of going out with them!" Am I being overly sensitive in feeling used this way?

Thanks for any advice and help!


I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive at all.

Could you say something along the lines of “Look, I love you guys, but I’ll never be able to remember all this.”


No, you don’t have to participate. You can choose how to respond if asked about the things she is preparing you for, but I recommend you avoid anything that might further damage her relationships. Deflecting the specific question back on your grandmother may be the most appropriate response. (e.g. “Oh, I’m sure she would prefer to tell you about that, herself.”)


Grandma and Grandpa…please don’t use me as an excuse to your friends. I love you, but I will not be able to confirm such excuses.


Try explaining to them there´s nothing wrong with saying "No" to turn down an invitation from N, M or Y. Try doing it in subtle way, you could also try using the "No" word next time they ask for you to lie. A lie is a lie, makes no difference to God what colour the lie might be, it still is a sin.



But no need to be mean about it - just say 'Grandma/Grandpa, I can't possibly remember all these things you expect me to say to people, so don't even try, I'll leave all the talking up to you if they ask ... besides which, I know they're not all true either, and that makes me very uncomfortable.'


Ditto to the above situation.

Chances are the people they are friends with already know these are lies anyway


Me? I would just tell them straight - "I'm not going to lie for you. It's a sin." If they were upset with me, well, that would be just too bad!

Don't get pulled into their lies.


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