I know that this is probably a question that is asked far too frequently. However, I've never really been in a situation where I'm so confused.
So, tell me your opinions on being truthful. Is it better to tell the truth when you know it would upset someone? And should you just not mention anything if not asked?
I am always truthful so this is a big debate for me, because I've just upset someone I care about.
is it ok to ask what happend?
there is a big difference between saying..that shirt is ugly...even if its truthful, and omitting important info in a romantic relationship just to avoid conflict.
For example. If my sister-in-law looks like shit, I'll not say anything, unless asked.
If I've done something, that I know hubby won't like, not telling is worse then telling. He might be mad at what I've done, but he'll be even more hurt by the hiding of it. (I hope that makes a shred of sense.
I am sorry your dealing with the pain of hurting a friend.
I think you should tell the truth, but be tactful about it.
If you are honest in thought, and then honest or truthful in your actions, either from talking or doing, then you can not be morally wrong regardless.
If you do speak from honesty and your words are truth, the person who you are talking to, would only be hurt - should they be proven wrong on something in particular.
The fact that I've seen some people who say, "Say Nothing, if you know it is hurtful." don't understand the suffering them put themselves through or how much they are stunting the growth of another person, because of their inaction or lack of action.
An honest, truthful person will not keep the truth inside, so they can spread the knowledge and understanding they have about life. The fact that someone gives you advice, so as not to be harmful of the other person's feelings is what I call, the "wimps" way out.
But, it boils down to your inner-self and to always remain honest in thought and actions. Again, if someone is hurt by your words, then it is them would does not see what you speak of. So, they get angry, sad, or confused.
For those who seek honesty, but is unwilling to accept truth, knows nothing about life and who they are.
Honesty is the best policy at all times, regardless of feeling or emotions.
Truth can never hide forever. Truth is truth, Lie is Truth.
All words spoken leads to the Truth eventually. The Truth always remains honest and open, and true. A Lie, is a deceitful play on words, which only reveals truth, over time, but becomes known as a lie, when the truth is revealed.
I hoped I helped.
if no one asks you for the truth, it's probably best not to say anything, because, even if you mean well, this sort of thing coming out of left field can really hurt someone else. best to remain silent in cases like that.
now, if someone ASKS me for the truth, then i give them the truth because that is what they want. expressed in a nice way, of course. and yes if someone asks me 'do these jeans make my butt look big' i will say 'um, YEAH'. i have done that before with friends and they always appreciate my honesty.
Sometimes it is best not to say anything if the truth is going to be hurtful.
It is always best to let the truth out, regardless of feelings or emotions.
As you can see- I'm commenting on your comment, because I see truth is being covered up or concealed, which isn't morally right.
I can understand if you're hurt by my comments, but the problem is yours to deal with. The Truth is the Truth.
It forges who we are as individuals and how we interact with others. If you're willing to lie or say nothing, then you are not a true friend, and your relationship isn't what it is supposed to be.
If I lied, then you wouldn't like or trust me anymore, but if you see what I say and understand- then you will not be mad and will have a new found appreciation for understanding the real truth.
Even though I'm someone who pretty much never lies (other than maybe if someone asks me something I think is too personal, so I'll say, "I don't know" or "I forget"), I can't say I entirely agree with your statement. I very much go by the belief that we need to be truthful and trustworthy in relationships, but there are times when not saying absolutely everything can be best. If I think my friend's husband is a giant, unbearable, jerk; and I can't stand being around him, I don't think there's anything wrong with limiting what I share with her to something like, "I seem to be on a different wavelength from Fred, so it can be hard to have a conversation with him." The fact that Fred makes me feel like my head is going to explode is my problem, not hers (particularly if she thinks Fred is great).
The truth may be that I hate the (hypothetical) Fred; but if I don't lie about the fact that Fred and I will never be best friends, why is it so important I dump this entire truth on my friend (at least if the only reason I can't stand Fred is that I think he's a jerk in general, rather than, say, Fred beats my hypothetical friend). What damage to the my friendship is inevitable if I only say "so much" of the truth without saying it all, particularly since it's only my opinion of this Fred guy? Respecting my friend's choice of husbands is also important to a friendship. So is not verbally attacking someone she cares about. So is generally not wanting to throw something into the mix that will make her feel burdened or that might burden our friendship. Saying something like "wavelength problem" covers a lot of territory without saying, "Last night I had the greatest dream about Fred disappearing off the face of the Earth forever, and then I woke up, disgusted to realize Fred is still around."
As I said, I'm a pretty truthful person, and I know the importance of truth in relationships; but I do think there's a difference between always being truthful but sometimes not being bluntly and completely truthful. In the case of "Fred", my true and awful opinion of him isn't what matters, or what should matter, to anyone but me. I just don't think all truths are relevant, and if they're not they're sometimes not worth the consequences of telling them. I don't think morality always involves whether or not we say absolutely everything that's on our mind; in fact, to the contrary.
I think when it comes to this kind of matter in life, you can't always stick with rigid rules. You have to go on a case-by-case basis, and do what you think is truly right. Rules like "always be truthful" are good ones to always try to follow, but sometimes they conflict with other rules, like "don't intentionally hurt someone's feelings or damage a relationship". Most relationships do need to be built on truth and trust, so I guess the way to deal with a conflict is to aim not to lie but not necessarily to say everything there is to say (at least at the time). Sometimes, too, HOW someone tells the truth makes a difference.
I think we do have to be careful about being to sure that what we believe is the truth, though. Sometimes what we think is only what we've come up with when we "put two and two together and get three". If there's any chance that's the case then we can't be sure what we believe is "truth". Also, there are a lot of opinions that shouldn't be shared sometimes.
I think when you tell the truth you have to ask yourself why you're telling someone what is truth to you and what the effect would be to the person you told it to. then make a decision whether you want to go ahead and tell them.
As I always say, if you don't want an honest answer then ask someone else. This motto has made me EVER SO popular. Of course, I'm not really into people who are desperate to have smoke blown up their @sses.
I admire a person's honest opinion, especially from friends. I am a blunt, honest person especially for things like relationships, family issues, etc...I don't even like white lies. If it's not worth getting into te drama I just won't say anything or change the subject, because I just can't lie.
I think it is because I rather have people honest with me.
Truths can be relative for everyone...it depends on perspective, but I rather have their true than lie. ^_^
What is the "truth"?
Sometimes it's just impossible to know really and all we can relate to others is our version of what we believe to be true, but as this poem illustrates, what we believe to be true often is not and sometimes we need to stand back and examine truth from afar before we can actually get close to it. Good luck in whatever path you choose.
John Godfrey Saxe's ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend,
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approach'd the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
while its true that absolute truth is questionable,
you can not in good conscience, hold back from saying what you mean when asked. (This does not mean going around yelling..your stupid, your ugly, simply because you believe it to be true)... I would think, if someone asked YOU, what do you think, that is what they should hear, even if it isnt what they want to hear.
Blindly holding on to your own beliefs is another story all together. You can not judge your own truth though someone else's eyes. You are living only your life.
No you can't judge your own truth through someone else's eyes, but you shouldn't claim to know what's true until all the facts are known. What you think or believe is different then what is true. Sure if someone asks what you think they are asking what you believe, they aren't asking for the truth.
The point I was trying to make here is not to share something you believe to be true, but only if you know it to be true and if you feel the benefit of sharing that truth exceeds the benefit of withholding it.
For example, if I saw my friend's wife kissing a man in the corner of a dark restaurant, I would not tell anyone, including my friend that so and so is having an affair. First, I couldn't know that to be true just by what I saw and second even if it was true should I volunteer such information what benefit would be served?
that makes sense.
you could NOT say it is an affair, you dont know that.
You COULD say..she kissed him
SHOULD you say it? I have no idea, and think that is something best left up to each person in each situation to decide.
what to tell and what not to tell. It is all a case by case thing.
when you are not asked, you do need to be very careful to present facts, and not opinions.
when asked, do your best.
There are so many situations ranging from "is this shirt ugly?" to "I saw your girlfriend kissing another man" to "I kissed another man"...
It depends. If a friend asks you if her butt looks big and her butt is enormous, trust me, she KNOWS her butt is big, she is asking you for reassurance that you think she's beautiful anyway. So if you say, "I think you are gorgeous" that's a better answer even though the technically truthful answer is, "You know your ass is enormous. Everyone knows it's enormous."
On the other hand, if it's something serious and I ask a true friend a direct question or ask his or her opinion, I want the truth, even if it hurts.
I would disagree. Dishonesty is never morally right, regardless of how it is presented, display, spoken or seen.
The TRUTH is what they were seeking, yet you were not honest.
If you didn't think that they could accept the truth, then it is you who has assumed too much. Giving someone reassurance, to benefit their ego, at the cost(a lie) oneself, is never good for the two people interacting.
You do more of a disservice to your own self and them, by conveying dishonesty in your words.
See, your first example says it is okay or right in one aspect and in the second, the truth is wanted regardless of whether or not, it hurts.
You seem to be having a conflicted issues about how you live. Truth is always best.
As an example: Your friend came to you to ask about their 'butt' and whether or not, it was too big. You lied to them to save their feelings. Then you claim it's honest, justified by you thinking that they wanted assurance- are you sure they were not seeking the truth? Did they want you to lie?
I think not. I think the person had a self-image problem, which needs to be addressed. Do realize- those who ask about their appearance, always has questions inside themselves about their own appearance, but refuses to admit it's a problem, so they go to others, knowing a friend would give them truth, which would affirm what they were thinking themselves or negate what they were thinking.
Your actions, by giving them reassurance, about how beautiful they are is not actually answering the question, which was put before you. Your actions were dishonest, to someone who called you friend.
Sometimes it's a matter of whether anyone asks or not. Sometimes it's a matter of whether they're asking for opinion or not.
If I saw my friend's husband kissing someone in a restaurant I probably wouldn't say anything, because I wouldn't know the circumstances around it. If my friend said, "Did you see Fred kissing a woman in Cafe Affair Wednesday?" I'd probably say I did. I'd probably also add that I saw nothing else and didn't think jumping to conclusions was a good idea.
If someone asked if I think a shirt is ugly (only my opinion), I'd go for the diplomatic approach of something like, "Well, it isn't one of my favorites; but don't go by me, plaid isn't really my thing."
If someone asked about something serious I'd try to step back from what I, personally, think, and suggest they ask the same thing to someone more appropriate:
Q "Do you think this lump could be cancer?"
A"Lumps can be a lot of things, but cancer could be one of them. I hope you get it checked out by a doctor as soon as possible just to make sure."
Q "Do you think I should leave my husband, in view of what I've told about him?"
A "That's something only you can decide. If it were me I probably would ___________, but that's only what I think I'd probably do. I think you may want to talk to a counselor, who may be able to direct you to the right questions you need to ask before you decide."
Then, though, there's the times you're not asked but think it's important to tell. If I saw someone's teen son speeding in the car, for example, I'd find some way to let the person know. I'd go with something like, "Mary, I know this isn't my business, but if it were my son I'd want someone to mention this. I saw Freddy last week, and I was kind of concerned because he was driving pretty fast on _____ street. I know he's a young driver, so I thought you may want to know."
Then there's this kind of thing: "Auntie Susie, do you know why my father abandoned my mother and me when I was two months old?" I'd go with something like, "Well, I do, but your mother asked me not to talk to you about, so I think that's something you should ask her," or if someone more appropriate isn't living, I'd go with the truth if the kid was old enough or "I do, and we can talk more about it when you're a little older" if the person was a child.
My point is that a person can be completely truthful but sometimes needs to use a little caution and sensitivity about being truthful. Sorting out if something like opinion is unimportant opinion or opinion better asked of a professional helps. So does asking whether it's potential matter of physical harm/damage to someone, or instead just, "I'd want to know if it were my husband." (Sometimes what we'd "want it to know" isn't what our friend would want to know, or else is something our friend already knows and hopes we don't know yet.)
That was a really thoughtful answer. I agree with you. You said it really well.
pgrundy, thanks. I was concerned (as I often am) about the length of the post, but sometimes I just "go wild" and add whatever thoughts occur to me.
So here's a thing about Truth... if you avoid the question with a delicate answer, is it not the case that you are not being true to yourself, and not true to the questioner?
That's the hardest part for me. If I have to always take into account other peoples feelings, second guess how they will react to my answer, really i'm not telling the truth. I'm only denying myself.
And what way is that to live....... but i get your drift!!!
So if they ask me an awkward question now, i just say Jez that's a hard one...
There is nothing wrong by being truthful. However, it is how we say it that matters. The way we communicate with others can affect our relationships. Perhaps, we just need to learn how to differentiate the following:
constructive criticism versus destructive criticism
honesty versus sarcasm
positive feedback versus negative feedback
In this way, it would help you construct your sentences or give you the right words to use.
Have a great week!
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