Lying by Omission, the Sequel: The Lesson Continues

How the acute pain of rejection is less damaging than the chronic pain of allowing my boundaries to be transgressed.

Sally Clarke
3 min readApr 21, 2022


full disclosure: I’m using the same image as last year’s article. Lazy, not sorry.

Last year, soon after ACL reconstruction surgery and just shy of my 43rd birthday, I wrote a piece on lying by omission. It was a topic close to my heart — I had been lied to by omission by someone repeatedly.

I was angry. I can tell when I reread the piece just how angry: My words sear with vitriol. I was livid at being lied to by omission by this person. Between the lines, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, “This is not okay. How you are treating me is not okay.”

The person in question of course never read the article, which is their prerogative. Eventually, I was forced to not just write about how my boundaries had been crossed, but tell the person, too.

We all have our own ways of coping with adversity, of healing. I write. Writing helps me clarify, consolidate and deal with what has happened.

Sometimes, writing consists of scrawling in my journal. When I’m done, I can’t even read my hieroglyphic handwriting myself. It’s an incomprehensible mess of processed emotions, like the slag pile outside a mining refinery.

When I take to the computer, I often adopt a more academic approach. I conduct research, synthesize ideas, posit positions, formulate a conclusion. It’s how I finally processed my burnout, which resulted in two books. It’s how I wrote the piece on lying by omission.

Now, a year later, I’ve been lied to by omission again and am hurting. I facetiously wonder, Should I have people read my oeuvre (or at least a selection of my snarliest pieces on personal betrayal) before we become acquainted? This might be excessive. There must be healthier, less weird ways of setting boundaries. Right?

There are.

For me, the issue is not that I don’t know how to set boundaries or why they are important. I’m well versed on both of these topics (there are plenty of great resources out there if you’re curious). The issue is that I get scared of the consequences of setting boundaries. This takes two forms:



Sally Clarke

Co Director of Human Leaders. Wellbeing & burnout author, expert, coach, writer & speaker. Global adventurer. she/her