How do you explain to someone who prides themselves on their ‘honesty’ that honesty does not mean everything that passes through your head has to come blurting out of your mouth?
Case in point: Today I got a phone call to let me know that my Uncle (a builder) had fallen off of a roof. He has injured himself quite badly, including a broken back. I am fairly short on details, he should recover but no-one is sure how well at this stage. Apparently the ladder underneath him collapsed, as I say, the details are sketchy at the moment.
Upon learning of this accident the person in question immediately quizzed me for details, which I don’t have, and then announced with some finality ‘Well he must have done something stupid, you don’t just fall off a roof.’
Of course I resorted to my usual way of dealing with this kind of comment; I left the room before I choked the stupid out of them.
This has happened before, more than once. This person is convinced that being honest means you have to say everything that you think, regardless of its emotional impact on others. No consideration given to the fact that your opinion has not even been solicited, if someone looks fat in that dress it is your civic duty to tell them, as an honest person.
Personally I am all for social lying. My time is spent admiring the things in people that they don’t always see in themselves, not nit picking at their faults in the name of honesty. If you ask me ‘do I look fat in this dress?’ then I might have to give you an honest answer, but until then I will compliment you on the colour choice or your fascinating jewellery, no matter what I think of your choice of clothes. Who am I to judge other peoples choices anyway?
My Uncle may have been cavorting with alcohol induced leprechauns on the roof without any safety gear, I don’t have a clue, but I wouldn’t for a second assume that a professional individual that had been in the industry for 40+ years did ‘something stupid’ to fall any more than I would voice that opinion to a concerned family member when I don’t even know the individuals involved.
You will excuse the rant I hope, I find it cathartic. What I really want to do is open up and be brutally ‘honest’ with someone who should know how to appreciate it but in the interests of world harmony I will off load here instead.
One cannot just go around telling the ‘truth’ willy nilly, opinions just don’t count as the truth and they can be hurtful. How does that help anyone?