BRUTAL HONESTY AND THE KINDNESS OF A LOVING LIE

There is a time for honesty and a time for kind, warm-hearted honest lying. For example, here are questions that absolutely require a “yes” as the answer, no matter what think:

“Do these jeans make me look fat?” If you say anything except NO, you’re too stupid to deserve a relationship.

“Were you cheating on me in … (a date more than 5 years previous) …?” Unless you are still in that relationship and intending to break up your marriage, the answer is NO. All you will do by telling the truth is hurt your partner and maybe (but probably not) relieve yourself of guilt. The odds are very good that you will also relieve yourself of your relationship. 

“Do you still find me attractive?” Any answer other than yes can cost your life.

On the other hand, failure to communicate critical information can ruin lives. I always think about Cathy and Heathcliff. He eavesdropped on half of her conversation and stalks off in a rage. He never considers asking her if what he partially heard was what she meant or what the context was. Of course, if he had, it wouldn’t have made a very dramatic story, but that’s a different issue. A ten minute conversation could have salvaged three lives.

In the movie “Fanny,” she never tells him she is pregnant, so he goes off to war (convinced she doesn’t love him) and gets killed. If she had told him, everyone — including the child — might have been happy. Every time I’m forced to watch one of these movies, I just get annoyed.

Brutal honesty is always more brutal than honest. If you are forced to say something you know will hurt, at least be gentle. Brutal honesty is not honesty. It’s a brutal agenda wrapped in fake honesty. Don’t eavesdrop. If it just happens, you are not allowed to use whatever information you think you’ve gained by eavesdropping in an emotional confrontation. No one ever hears anything good while eavesdropping.

Use your judgment. If you care about someone, don’t make them miserable because you feel guilty about something. Your guilt is your problem, not his or hers. Making yourself feel better by traumatizing someone else is not being honest. It’s narcissistic.



Categories: #FPQ, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Provocative Questions, Relationships, Word Prompt

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17 replies

  1. An interesting view. I’m literally unable to lie but I have known moments where i was sort of circumnavigating the truth. HH has made a life-long lasting experience with overdemanding parents for whom he was never good enough. so, at one stage in his life he decided not to do ‘shame’ any longer. This is a HUGE problem for me as often I am ashamed for him…. You see, it’s often a two sided sword, truth, lies, everything. But basically i agree with you 🙂

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  2. Well said! The “kind” lie doesn’t count, in my opinion.

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  3. Some wise person once said ‘Harmony is more important than being right.’
    Nobody wants to lie, but If you Love your partner … be wise.

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  4. Anyone who has ever been involved in planning or attending a surprise party has lied.

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  5. Very good advice, Marilyn.
    Leslie

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    • Oh how many times I’ve watched a movie and wondered “WHY DON’T THESE PEOPLE TALK TO EACH OTHER?” So much pain and agony wasted when a simple conversation could avoid it. But that wouldn’t make a very interesting show, I suppose 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re absolutely right Marilyn.

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