We have heard the saying, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it all,” or how about, “sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me”? These tall tail adages ring true across many cultures and instill into our brains at a very young age. What they are really teaching us is, “it’s okay to lie and be blunt.”
As we get older we learn when it is appropriate to say something and when it is time to keep our trap shut. But what really happens when we bite our tongue?
If a friend asks you what you think of her new boyfriend, is it really appropriate to say you think he is creepy and you think she deserves better. After all, she’s is in the honeymoon stage. Or what if your boss asks you how his/her presentation went? Do you tell them the truth? Or spit out a white lie? Will your job be on the line if you say his presentation was unimaginative and stale.
When is honesty important?
Many children know how to fib by age 3, and experts say by the age 6, most children lie at least a few times a day. Children will learn how to lie by observing their “role model” adults. Parents will often inadvertently encourage children to tell a lie. Don’t tell Grandma that her gift smells like mouth balls, type of fibs.
Are we really protecting the others person’s feelings by hiding our truth?
How come it is easier to say something behind someone else’s back then it is to their face? If we don’t like something about someone, or a family member does something to us and we feel wronged, rather then bringing it to their attention, we often complain to others. Needless to say the person we have the issue with is completely in the dark.
Think about in romantic relationships. It is easier to break up by saying, “I just don’t want to date right now,” then it is to tell that person, “You are egotistical and selfish.”
When it comes to protecting the other person’s feelings, like with Grandma or your romantic partner, it is good to practice compassion first. There is no need to be brutally honest and tell someone you hate their outfit. After all it is just your opinion. The good outlet there is that it’s good for them but you not make that choice for yourself.
*image by Emaze.com
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