Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tell All Tuesday:Honesty Threshhold

I am a very straightforward person, and I expect people to be the same with me. No need to "break it to me gently", if you've got something to say just say it. I think it is actually rather irritating when people try to sugar coat things because that so often leads down the road of Little White Lies into a multiple lie pileup. My feelings aren't invulnerable-I don't like hearing negative critiques any more than the next person-but I'd rather hear something 100% true and entirely unpleasant than something 60% true that spared my feelings.

At least if you know the whole truth-however unpleasant-I know exactly where I stand and can react accordingly.

The older I get the more I realize there are not very many people like that. The only people I've ever discovered that can truly take an honest criticism for what it is are my Dad and Step Mom-my parents from whom I got this demand and tolerance for brutal honesty-and Hubby, who couldn't have married me if he didn't have the same quality and tolerance level for it.

I believe this is a large part of why, in real life, I have very few close friends. I am able to answer a casual acquaintance with a polite smile because as far as I'm concerned what they do is none of my business-but if you are someone I care about I will refuse to give you anything less than 100% honesty. I'll heap praise on you when you honestly do well, and you'll never have to worry that I'm blowing smoke. However, I will also call you on your bull in a New York minute so that you can get back on track doing the right thing. I think that's the only way to have a good relationship.

I mean, I would rather know I'm wrong so I can fix whatever it is I'm doing than walk around screwing everything up like a clueless wonder-and I would never expect or feel comfortable with people giving me kudos for doing something I have no business doing. So I try to give others the same courtesy of honesty.....but boy do some people have low honesty thresholds! Having grown up like I did (in a house of point-and-shoot honesty) and married who I married (Mr. Call It Like It Is) I am surprised by how many people freak out when given a completely honest opinion. I have lost many friends over it. Still, I can't bring myself to lie.

I am fast approaching another friend who is going to ask me my opinion about something that she is doing, and I know I'm going to have to tell her that she's in the wrong. And I know I'm going to lose another friend over it...but I have to tell her. Hopefully she'll take it for what it's worth and it will help her snap out of it a little and do what's right someday, even if we're not friends anymore for me to see it. Even though I wish her the best, it still sucks to lose a friend over it. She's a good friend, and a good person-I just know her well enough to know that she's just not going to take this well.

Tell me guys, how do you tell someone something they don't want to hear?

To participate in Tell All Tuesday
*Write a post answering the Tell All Tuesday question.
*Include a link to my original post.
*Don't forget to put yourself in the Mr. Linky below, and to read other people's post on giving the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.


Kathi. said...


Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

I guess I just try to be direct, but gentle.

I feel the same way about passive-aggressive people. I really prefer that someone who has a problem with me would just come out and say what's bothering them!

Jenny said...

I am a lot like you. My friends are my family. We are always honest with each other and you are right, some people just can't take it.

Why ask for an opinion if you don't want one?