Even as an adult I realized very quickly that no one really wanted to hear how I was - that the answer needed to be "fine" or "not too bad" or anything other than "bad" or "lousy" or "actually I'm thinking about killing myself today."
But most people don't want the truth. What's the line in A Few Good Men? You can't handle the truth? That's how I think most people are about the shit people like us go through. They can't handle the truth and don't want to.
I agree, people only want the truth as long as it doesn't make them uncomfortable. Get close to the edge of their comfort level or start speaking inconvenient truths and watch them abruptly change the conversation topic or get up and leave and you get in the habit of leaving anything controversial out that you know is probably going to rock the boat.
Sometimes it's hard to hold a conversation at work or with friends who didn't know me when I was younger when people start talking about their kids, or what they did when they were kids because there's not much I can really talk about without people ending up in disbelief or seriously put off. Take away the bullying problem at school, my parents thrashing and emotionally abusing the three of us at home, my grandmother playing favourites with the grandchildren and the CSA from the two perps and other stuff that happened, there isn't really much left over that's palatable to talk about. I basically gloss over the whole thing by saying my family had issues and it wasn't fun. Instead of upsetting other people, I usually end up getting upset myself as conversations go on and I find out more and more about what a ripoff childhood was for the three of us, particularly my sister and I.
Of course, the flip side to all that is being in the company of people who don't want you to tell the truth because it'd cause trouble for them. My parents, for example, fall into that category and my brother and sister and I had to paint a picture of a wonderful life at home during family gatherings under extreme duress of dire consequences later. If anything less than rosy slipped out, it'd be all smiles and happiness for the benefit of everybody else with quick scowls and hissed threats when nobody was looking until after it was over and we'd be in the car on the way home. The smiles and waves goodbye would last long enough until the car was out of sight and then the act would be dropped and the punishment would start. So my brother and sister and I started practicing heavy self-censorship one to avoid upsetting other people and two to prevent physical and emotional abuse from our parents as much as possible.
Personally, I think telling people only as much as they want to hear but no more to avoid problems carefully walks the line between honesty and dishonesty because it's a survival tactic. Like all survival tactics, I use it because I have to and not because I want to.