Lying when it's none of their business

I know lying is a sin but my husband just asked me what to say to a friend who asks a question “how are you?” when you have medical problems or any other issues you want to keep to yourself.

Saying “none of your business:” seems harsh. And how do you respond when someone talks about others? Can you just say something like everyone is different and we all have our own faults?

Thank you

All you have to say is “I’m fine, thank you” and leave it at that because the inquirer is only being polite not asking for a full description of anyone’s medical conditions. If the person is a close friend who knows about your medical needs asks how you’re doing, that’s a different matter, even so you don’t have to tell him more than you wish to. Don’t worry about it. You are not obliged to reveal everything about yourself/everything others might want to know. It’s not lying to keep private, personal things from them. :slight_smile:

I agree it is in no way lying to keep private, personal things from those you do not wish to reveal to. I personally have rarely been put in that position, but am inclined merely to remark “Sorry but it is not necessary for you to know the answer to your question”.

I’d say that too if the person were persistent. Some people have no manners, and so have to be told straight out, although charitably, that it’s none of their business. :yup:

I have a friend who, whenever asked “How are you?”, she replies, ***“I’ve been better, I’ve been worse.” ***

Her reply doesn’t reveal ANYTHING, and is always HONEST!!!:slight_smile:

“How are you” is simply a polite greeting. The proper reply is, “I’m fine. How are you?”

Why do so many people have trouble with this? :confused:

Lying is a sin.

But when someone asks in our current culture “how are you?”

That is not usually an actual question but just civil courtesy.

If one wanted to answer more specifically one does not need to tell of ones ills etc one can focus on any aspect of how one is…

Typically a polite response will suffice. Consider asking them a question in return. Most people like to talk about themselves. So you could say, “I’m fine, and you? How’s your son doing in basketball these days?” or something.

You can also just re-direct the conversation. If there’s something you don’t want to talk about just change the subject. So if they are asking about your health, you can say, “I’m feeling good these days. I’ve started walking daily and going to the gym.” or “I’m feeling good these days. Been spending a lot of time watching my grandkids! They keep me busy!” That way you shift the discussion from your health to your exercise, or from your health to your grandkids.

FWIW, although I’m fairly scrupulous about lying, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying you’re “fine” even when you really aren’t but if it bothers you you might say something like, “Getting by” instead.

Or you can say…well my dog died and my cat is very sick…

In some countries one does not ask that question except to friends who one expects an answer about how they really are.

In the US it has become more equiv. of “hi”.

People not expecting much of an answer more than “fine”.

I’ve never had a problem saying “fine” to the how-are-you question either, but realized I’d carried it too far when my doctor asked how I was. I cheerfully said, “Fine!” - then realized I was seeing my doctor because I wasn’t fine. :smiley:

I’ve done that too–even when I went to urgent care with a banged up foot. It’s so automatic. I had to add, "That is, except for my banged up foot. " :stuck_out_tongue:

You can always and honestly say you are fine. The glass is half full. The dark cloud has a silver lining. It’s a matter of perspective.

Yes, if we are living and breathing and not in need of emergency care, we are fine enough for any casual inquirer’s need to know. :wink:

“Hanging in there” is always good. Accurate, but not a plea for further discussion. :thumbsup:

Hahaha… Well, for me it is… I usually reply to “hanging in there” with: “Not by your neck I hope!”

:rolleyes: Always gotta be a troublemaker! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

I just say, “Not too bad, how are YOU?” People would rather talk about their own health issues than listen about yours.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear that we need to have respect for the truth, however not everyone that asks a question is entitled to an answer either. If I ask an owner of a restaurant for the recipe for his signature dish, he is not obligated to give it to me because it is private information. Simply asking doesn’t mean I am going to get! By the same token, just because your friend asks you how you are does not automatically entitle them to all of your private medical information either, you have a right to privacy and to disclose to other people what you are comfortable with. Saying “Oh I am fine” is not really lying in my opinion since it is a socially acceptable response and has been a part of our cultural conversational exchange for a hundred years or so and isn’t taken by most people literally.

When I encounter someone that is gossiping about others I simply try and change the subject, when that doesn’t work I say “I would rather not talk about so-and-so” hope this helps God bless.

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