In the mother of all ironies, I witnessed a fight break out over, get this, friendliness. A tried and true confederate soldier descentant was arguing that Southerners were by far nicer and kinder than Yankees and a transplanted Yankee argued that Southerners WERE nicer to your face, quicker with a smile and a wave but didn't really mean it while the Yankees didn't believe in niceties and told you to your face how they felt about you, good or bad.
It got me to thinking about that. Would I rather have somebody be nice to me with dishonest intentions or have sombody be honest with me but with an attitude? I'm curious to see what y'all think about this....
In the first instance you are describing ALL men in a bar,
in the second instance you are describing most husbands
You win. That response was one of your best, Homer.
Honesty trumps it for me every time.
Greek One that was great! I love that answer!
I'd obviously rather have the Yankee friend because he would be truthful, but would hope that the Yankee could more nicer on the outside and more often.
that was a classic, Greek. ha.
being a born and raised midwesterner, it is a combination of situational ethics.
not necessarily being dishonest, but in some cases, there is a superficial friendliness when first meeting someone or in work situations.
Of course there is, usually, when first meeting but this was more in referrence of an on-going, regular thing.
Either way a mix is ideal, someone who will be friendly and warm but absolutely honest. I don't want to have to wonder if the person being nice to me is really plotting some social trap to lure me into for public humiliation or if they really mean what they are saying. It's a trust thing. I need to be able to trust your word and your actions and know that they are one in the same. That's just my opinion, though!
I think one can't really speak in general terms. There are honest people and hypocrates everywhere. But either way, I think it's best to be balanced - you can't always say what you think because it would be rude. You can lose a lot of friends that way. Not everyone is ready to hear your opinion, and nobody (no matter how close a friend or relative) is entitled to shove their opinion down someone's throat. A good friend will understand that there are times when your advice might be helpful but other times when you need to learn your own experiences, no matter how painful.
I would like to respectfully disagree with just a portion of this. To a certain degree, I believe that this question can only be answered in the realm of general terms as there are far too many specific circumstances where keeping your opinion to yourself is best for everyone and other times where brutal honesty is necessary.
I was not meaning to give the impression that I was condoning shoving one's opinion on anybody, that's never a good way to be a friend. What I was meaning was that I want my friends to be able to tell me if I have done somthing offensive or if they could see something I could not that potential hurt me either personally or professionally. I don't want a 'friend' who always holds back and bites their toungue. I also don't want a 'friend' who is pure attitude every day. That's what I meant by a healthy mix.
Sometimes having somebody you love put that mirror in your face is the only way you will see what you need to see in order to be a better person, especially if what they see in you is a good person who deserves more that you realize.
Honesty is the best policy and attitude can some times be a good thing
I prefer to be honest and say what is on my mind. If it comes across as rude or the person feels that they were insulted, then it wouldn't be of any surprise.
Truth usually hurts, regardless of how nice you try to say it. At times, using truth in a rude way does have an impact, to make people stop and think. Not so much about the person who said, but what was actually said.
Too many people use "political correct" speech to dull down the message of what they are saying. It is dishonest and in no way does it help the person. Lying to them intentionally isn't helpful and it displays your own character for others to see.
The best policy is to be truthful, regardless of consequences.
You might be on to something here... maybe it's true and we (Southerners) are a bit more reserved about how we truly think.
"Tactful Honesty" goes a long way.
Also, does one need to express their honesty ALL the time?
If you don't like say, the dog of a friend, do you need to tell the dog owner that their pet is ugly?
When asked a question- Truthfulness maintains character. So, Yes to your question. Express honesty ALL the time.
"Tactful" honesty? Forces someone to think about their answer and brings into question their honesty, because answer was not immediate.
I once told someone their pet camel was ugly and the camel wouldn't come up to me anymore whenever I went round after that, I tried to apologize to the camel, but he had the hump!
That depends, is there any chance that in your example 'dog' is a euphemism for 'wife'?
Because that's never a good idea, no matter how honest you're being.
The main thing is, if you're thinking something fairly negative, you don't have to say it. And it is always better not to say something that isn't true. Silence can be so golden, especially when it comes to office politics OR trying to get along with your teenage kids.
Not only that, but sometimes the negative thinking you're thinking is only your opinion anyway. Maybe you don't like someone's new haircut, but maybe that person and a whole lot of other people think it looks great. Sometimes people need to consider the possibility that their lousy opinion of someone else may be a problem THEY (the lousy-opinion holder) have (which is yet another good reason to be careful about how much "truth" you feel the need to blurt out). (This kind of scenario gets into the "who-died-and-left-you-judge-and-jury" kind of thing. I've dealt with "judges-and-juries" all my life - maybe we all have - and it isn't fun or healthy to deal with people like that.)
and there is a way to do that. my mom used to call it tact. no one enjoys being around rude people. I don't. I generally stop listening when someone is rude as I think there is a social aspect of life that is much more effective than being rude. to me, it shows a lack of class. there are enough mean people in the world, I don't want to be one of them. being honest doesn't mean lacking the ability to know what is proper and appropriate when dealing with people.
Yeah, I agree. Just don't tell your 15-year old daughter exactly how unbecoming purple hair is. Just don't tell your boss he/she should visit the gym and lay off the cookies.
I agree with rebekahELLE that we really shouldn't just rudely state our minds. We should be aware of the situation and other people's feelings.
That doesn't mean we should be dishonest. If your daughter with the purple hair asks you, then, maybe--just say "I think your natural hair is such a lovely color that I don't like to see you change it." Or something like that. NOT --"Purple hair sucks...."
Being "phony-nice" doesn't say much about a person's character and integrity.
Not bothering to be nice at all says he doesn't respect the other person enough to even both worrying about how he makes that person feel.
Neither of my the above, for me. How about aiming to have integrity AND care about other people? A lot of people manage to do both pretty well - and those who don't ought to have their head slapped.
I only give my opinion when it's requested. If not, I listen and I'm there for my friends when they hit rock bottom. I believe everyone needs to go through their own life lessons. We need to respect that and allow them to make their own mistakes.
it doesn't force anything.
it simply means someone thinks before they speak...
why would that imply dishonesty?
diplomacy, integrity, caring for the other person are all worthy attributes for human interaction.
[omg, I have a 100. I have to go find that thread.]
This is the question that's at the heart of diplomacy and rhetoric.
The correct answer, in my opinion, is neither. I would be unhappy with a rude a-hole just as much as I would be unhappy with PC liar who was going to stab me in the back.
What I prefer is a person with the social grace and intelligence to have a reasonable conversation in which courtesy and a genuine desire for the pursuit of truth is the guiding principle.
Every one of us had the capacity to be one of the two in your binary here, but I think it's a false binary. We as people should strive to be neither, but a balance in between.
If those are my only choices, give me rude honesty. I've known far too many superficially friendly people in my life, many of whom I KNEW were superficially friendly, but just never imagined how badly they'd stab me in the back when they got a chance -- now I do. Now I truly appreciate the flaming a-hole who will just tell it to me like it is; I may not like it, I may not want to ever be around them again, but at least I know it right off the bat.
What I tend to run into most is blunt honesty, which many can take for rudeness, especially when they don't like what the person is saying. My husband is one who will be perfectly honest with you, and will be as polite as he can about it without omitting the message, and only resorts to rudeness when need be...though of course many people think he's being rude long before then. Personally, I try to live by "If you can't say something nice..." but if someone pushes me I'll tell them exactly what I think.
I haven't read all the post so I'm sure someone touched on this. I honest. BUT I try to find a way to get my point across that is diplomatic. If an argument ensues, the I simply say "hey, lets agree to disagree on this one...." and I move on.
Fake courtesy is better than genuine rudeness, most of the time.
I like neither, i would like to strike a balance between being over courteous and plain rude. I just like people who are being themselves, but no one needs to be rude or insulting to be themselves.
It is never hypocritical to do the appropriate thing. We do things we don't want to do all the time, but they are right to do them. This is called discipline.
When people are being rude, they are usually being themselves. Often, they've been caught off guard. The first thing is to acknowledge that we are doing it (it doesn't help to redefine it away) and then work on good social habits so that our initial responses to people are gracious. "Fake it till you make it."
But, sometimes, rude behavior is called for; it might even be required. If someone is trying to compel you to do something that's immoral, illegal or unethical and they won't quit, you're best response is probably to bark in their face. They'll get the idea that there is no way you're going along.
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posted by Cordelia Bay
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