The liar may resist confrontation, denying that she lied. Or she may use other language: forgetfulness, privacy, the protection of someone else. Or, she may bravely declare herself a coward. This allows her to go on lying, since that is what cowards do.  She does not say, I was afraid, since this would open the question of other ways of handling her fear. She may say, I didn’t want to cause pain. What she really did not want is to have to deal with the other’s pain. The lie is a short-cut through another’s personality. Truthfulness, honor, is not something which springs ablaze by itself; it has to be created between people.
—  Adrienne Rich, from On Lies, Secrets, And Silence