Question: People keep asking me for my honest opinion, but I’m pretty sure that candor will just get me shouted at – again.

Present an opaque yet plausible reason that appears factual but, upon closer examination, contains no actual information – or which, upon later examination, could be taken either way. This process is called “opaquifying” and it’s like liquefying, but cloudier.

One example from my personal past was with a former roommate, who had recently thrown herself under her ex’s car as he was trying to leave our shared studio. She was trying to prevent him from leaving the building because “he was threatening her life”. No, it didn’t make any sense.

Later, this roommate asked me why I was donating money for her cat’s veterinary bill. I said, simply, that it was the right thing to do, because the cats lived in our studio and one of them had clearly been in pain and distress, so we had made her take it to the vet.

I accompanied this explanation with a bland and neutral expression that completely hid my seething hatred for her very existence. She was so baffled by this obvious subterfuge that it was almost as good as revenge. Maybe better.

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