Friday, June 13

Tell Me a Story

I have a question.

If the truth will hurt, meaning that being transparently open about a situation may lead to disappointment, hurt feelings, tears, withdrawal, anger or *gasp* confrontation, do you avoid telling the truth?

I believe that I am a lover of truth (0r at least openness). Even if hearing it will do any and all of the above. But I am not sure that I tell the truth (or offer transparency) in every situation.

Do you?


  1. Being Dutch, you needn't ask me, or is that prejudice speaking?

    Anyway, I prefer the truth in most cases, though in some cases I'd be very carefull with my words (not NOT telling the truth, just put it carefully).

    Though I come from a region where apparently (I heard this from people from other regions who'd experienced this) it is customary to answer "Ja ja" to every question. As if confirming that you're listening, but really meaning "no" :D

  2. I prefer the truth. When the truth is too painful for someone I have been known to couch it in gentle terms and even suggest that the person may not want to know. Give the option.

  3. I would much rather be told the truth, always. However when it comes to my telling the truth, I tend to not follow that path. I will sometimes hold back until I figure out the level of emotional or psychic damage (hurt, tears, anger, etc.) a particular truth might do to someone else. If that damage could be massive, I won't necessarily lie but instead just not say anything. Slippery subject, truth.

  4. Here here Ms. Jami. Slippery indeed. For key people it is a must, for others I may not be so forthright. Because some folks aren't worthy of the energy needed in the eventual confrontation.

    And some folks - too much information can lead to invasive behavior. Perhaps there is a line between truth and privacy.

  5. I prefer the truth, but I also think about my audience, so to speak. There are some people in my life who can't take truth. They just can't. I've learned that over the years.

    So, as SMID said, I'm not going to expend energy there, nor cause unnecessary hurt feelings.

    With relationships I respect, though, I will be truthful and expect the same in return. And yes, I'll couch things gently if I feel it's necessary.

    It's kind of like if you want to change someone's point of view, do you harangue them or speak to them respectfully? No brainer on that one, at least.

  6. A number of my friends have said about me that I really am WYSIWYG. I try and live my life honestly and openly and would much prefer the truth than any put-on or masked interaction. However the flip side of this is that I miss out on some social conventions and am at times "brutally honest" without meaning to be. I stomp in with my Texas boots and just say what I believe without a filter at times. It is not always the best policy in a mixed cultural environment. However, as bad as I think I am, you should talk to my DH. If you really want the unvarnished truth, ask a German...

  7. It depends who is involved. For people close to my heart I think I must be honest even if it is difficult. But for people that I don't know that closely...I probably choose the easier route.

    (BTW...the game is just ended. 4-1. Wow. they mean it)

  8. Ah - Jenn, your timing once again is impeccable! Just yesterday, I realized I was avoiding truth in two separate situations - not because I am afraid of what I believe to be true - but I realized I was worried about the confrontation with those that I think need to hear it. So while I too am a lover of truth, in being truthful with myself, I have to admit I am not a lover of confrontation. So for me truth and dislike of confrontation end up pulling me in opposite directions sometimes.

    One of the truth telling confrontations occurred yesterday and went very well. The other - that hits closer to home - well, I am still building my courage for the confrontation. Wish me luck!

  9. I don't believe that you have to always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... but what you do tell should always be the truth....

    And deciding how much to volunteer? You have to weigh what will hurt the other person more in the long run, knowing or not knowing. It may be painful to tell someone the truth but if they will ultimately suffer more pain or damage by not knowing, then you should be "brutally honest" - but minimize the brutalitly of it as much as possible.