Is total, complete, and even brutal honesty possible between two people? Is it possible between two people in a relationship?
Is it even a good thing, or should things that would hurt the other be kept hidden? I have trouble contenting myself with the idea that ignorance is bliss…
It’s difficult to say in this society we currently reside in…Almost all of us have been conditioned to dealing with emotions and thoughts a certain way. I think it would be too much for most to handle. Such a thing would be possible with those who have shed their egos and adopted a completely objective, yet humble, perspective.
@aliwine, You said exactly what I wanted to say. Also, the way you approach bringing up the brutal honesty is important too. Almost everything, if said with care, can become a stimulating conversation where both(or more) people come out the wiser for having had it.
If I’m being honest, total brutal honesty just doesn’t work in the real world. Im not saying that honesty isn’t important, but more important than honesty I think are people’s feelings and the relationships we build. If being honest is going to hurt someone while also serving no purpose, I really don’t see a good reason to be honest. Obviously, some truths need to be said and heard and are going to hurt, but not all truths need to be voiced. I would say that if in some way it can help and serve a purpose then the truth is needed. But if by being honest it is only going to cause pain, I dont feel like it needs to be said. Im not saying that we should always lie to make each other feel good, but there is definitely a line somewhere in there. Where that line is is up for each person to draw themselves.
So maybe sometimes the truth hurts, to varying degrees, but a surprising amount of the time it’s comforting in a relationship. In all situations the truth is preferable, but you’ve gotta get the balance right between ‘seeking the truth’ and not being invasive.
I think total, brutal honesty may not always be a good thing. Especially when it comes to relationships. If you are totally honest, you may say things that serve no purpose and still hurts someone. I think the part that doesn’t have a purpose should be filtered out.
But, when something is filtered out, we aren’t talking brutal honesty any more.
So: I think brutal honesty sure is possible, but it’s not recommended to be totally honest all the time.
This is so sad. Just look at how fucked up are most people to even discuss brutal honesty. Seriously, why wouldn’t you be honest? What’s to hide? I personally don’t give a fuck how much the truth hurts, because no one is going to make you miserable more than you are going to make yourself miserable.
If people were a little more brutally honest with themselves and acknowledging their own flaws, or just stopped paying attention so much to little naive pathetic shit, there wouldn’t be even a reason for this discussion to exist. Plus, you would make your life a lot better, work out the mistakes you couldn’t deal with, and it would be easier to deal with possible mistakes in the future.
I don’t even pay attention to the word “brutal” here. It’s like I’m gonna complain for how someone dares to foresee realistically where a situation is going to lead? MORE PEOPLE LIKE THIS, PLEASE!
When the truth is completely obvious and everyone sees it rationally, silence is clearly the more tactful way. But even silence leads to laughter in many cases, just because someone decided to waste everyone’s time for not being honest with themselves. That sucks more than a brutal honesty in the long run.
You know what’s worse? The lack of aggressive no bullshit honesty.
I feel as if the truth if by far the best policy.
The thing is, some people do not WANT the truth. Perhaps even most people.
I’m not sure about this whole “real world” stuff, but the relationships that matter should be improved by both parties being honest with one another.
But that said, being someone who is brutally honest is a responsibility. A humble perspective definitely helps. But there will definitely be damage done. It’s doubtful that all the people you deal with on personal basis are students of self-improvement as member of this site are. Emotions can and will run wild, and you may even hurt people.
It’s important to remind yourself though that by far lies will eventually hurt for worse than a sudden and blunt view.
And it’s also important to have a little leeway. The number of times I have apologized with a ” You know how I am” is too staggering to even attempt to count.
This is not me giving you a freepass to be a dick to people by any means.
@beyond, Although your point is valid in theory, for one to say things like “mom you look fat in that.” Or “dude I hate the gift you took a lot of time thinking about and spent $100 on for me.” without considering how the receivers feelings would be hurt is one sided and almost malicious.
In theory, you’re right. But the mistake isn’t ours. It’s society’s for cultivating our minds to think that way. And such that we have weaknesses to hearing things like the above.
Right now I live in Korea and its part of the culture here to be direct and brutally honest with people you know. It’s almost seen as a sign that someone likes you for them to tell you you look sick, tired, or have a ‘thin face.’ Sometimes as soon as you meet someone they tell you what they think about your face, nose, or weight. It’s commonplace. And honestly, I’ve seen the way it affects my students (I’m a high school English teacher FYI) as well as my Korean friends. It’s not the best way to go.
YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! :D
Truth is priceless. Everything else is an emotional perception. You can argue the truth, expect gratitude or hurt someone’s feelings, but it stays the same even if you continue bartering with it like it’s a kind of currency. You can’t exactly trade with something priceless, but it sure is a way to prove you’re a liar. :)
You can distort it however you like and make it look good so you would make a good impression, but it stays the same. Even if you want to feel good about a bad memory or you’re just used to dealing with life while always making excuses. And impressions change. No matter what methods people have, you can still learn from them if you pay more attention to what they’re saying, rather than how you feel about their ways, because whoever you are, you are not the center of the universe and people are definitely paying more attention to the example they are giving. And no one is perfect. :)
What’s also ego-related is paying more attention to what people want to hear, rather than what they avoid hearing. That’s why a lot of people are kinda slow when you tell them the truth, because a lot of people are so afraid to hear it and say it, that it’s like something shocking happened!
You’ll never know what you’re missing, unless you experience it and you can’t miss something that you never experienced before. So just fucking accept it, because time doesn’t really stop. And if the “brutal comment” has no credibility, don’t even beat your fucking head over it.
Most of the times it doesn’t even seem like honesty can be brutal, it’s just that it makes you feel like an idiot, because you didn’t realize what the fuck you did or said.
People always running away from themselves are not going to accept the truth about them whatever methods you use, so we have to accept that too. :)
I agree with everything you’ve said so far. There should be NO QUESTION about it. There shouldn’t be a differentiation between “brutal” honesty and just “honesty.” People need to get over this bullshit of, “OMG He hurt my feelings!! WAH!!” and forcing people to lie to others.
This sort of justification for dishonesty is wholeheartedly immoral. Hurt someone’s feelings if you have to, but be honest. Lying is wrong, and justifying it is worse.
@eternallycurious, Complete and total honesty, whereas being possible, really should NOT happen in a relationship. People may claim it’s what they want, but it never ends up being the case.
It’s not that ignorance is bliss, more so that discretion is classy.
What do people really think of as “brutal” anyway? Usually, I just think it’s an expression of opinion in a very blunt and sharp manner. The thing about THAT is, though it may be YOUR VERSION of brutal honesty, it isn’t really honest, nor does the brutal part have legitimate standing until given such by the person receiving the information. @mercurial, has a good point in this, and so I’m left wondering, really, where the argument lies.
You wind up just giving someone a very sharp, probably inaccurate opinion YOU have created and frame it as “brutal honesty.”
And as if that weren’t enough, usually brutally honest statements are very brief. I’d think that brutal honest would be quite long-winded and through, if ever truly attempted.
If that means saying every thought and every emotion to the other person that you encounter in your day to day life, these thoughts/emotions would be an expression of your ego. And as we all know it can’t be trusted with the truth. So search the truth within and you will have no problem being honest to the others around you.
Being honest doesn’t mean you have to be brutal..and being brutal doesn’t mean you are being honest.
Sharing how you feel is an extension of your truth..doesn’t make it right or wrong.
I always say what I am feeling or thinking but I think being conscious of how you communicate your truth (tone, body language etc) is just as important as the message.
Honesty is possible, but in order for it to work, people need to come to terms with the fact that honesty and hurt feelings often go hand-in-hand. That said, there ARE ways to deliver honesty without it being “harsh” or “brutal.”