Is it emotionally abusive to withhold the truth?
Naturally, it makes sense to take it to people who are equipped to answer from religious and psychological perspectives.
It seems like it's a matter of perspective and interpretation. It comes down to intent but a consistently repeat offender can easily cross over from insecure, unsure, fearful and trying to get out of a simple situation to one that is abusive.
When lies become a form of gaslighting. Most lies are told to protect ourselves rather than the other people if you take a deeper look. It’s often to control or manipulate situations, people's emotions or behaviours directly or indirectly even if the intent is not obvious or clear.
As the psychologist said it’s to not have to deal with the “emotions and consequences” coming from truth.
We don’t want to deal with anger or pain or people choosing something else. So we lie, we hide, embellish or selectively choose ambiguity to hold on to keep the peace, to get our way.
The reality is a healthy respectful relationship of any kind requires truth including one with yourself. It requires the ability to give all the information needed to make an informed decision.
It's accepting responsibility for your own feelings and respecting the other enough to let them feel what they feel. Most hurts and anger or negative emotions that may arise from truth can be dealt with in healthy ways with mutually beneficial results. The reason being both parties have a strong sense of trust and respect.
Trying to control or manipulate through any form of Deception is showing a lack of respect. The lie being exposed no matter how small creates a lack of trust. Even when the lie is not exposed we put people in a position to act a certain way that works for us. That's abusive too. It’s taking away free will.
We find ways to justify silence as an answer, avoidance or omission but this too is a control tactic.
Manipulation and deception are abusive at their core as it inevitably leads to damage to the person's mental state, not just the one receiving the lie but the one telling it too. Once we understand this we can understand why truth is so core and fundamental in Islam in a whole different way.
Healthy relationships require openness and honesty no matter how hard the conversations. Expressing one's feelings in healthy ways, their wants and don't wants. It's accepting the outcomes knowing full well that they are best for both parties in the long run. More so it’s showing true faith in what Allah has planned.
Showing truth, the whole truth can be one of the most significant acts of ibadah/prayer and blessings.