Honesty is Overrated

Okay. Maybe it’s not. Maybe I’m just bitter. That is a very great possibility. And yet- and yet, there’s a reason why advice to new couples is “Less history, more mystery.” There’s a reason why white lies exist, and why we use them constantly. It’s because the truth can be harsh, unpleasant, unwanted.
Why do we blurt out the truth at the worst possible times? Why do we ruin the beauty and simplicity of friendships with bitter pills and noxious notions of some falsely noble honesty? I don’t have the answer. I also know that I have rarely accidentally said something honest – it has always been deliberate, and that makes me think that this time it was just as thought-out and planned as ever, only subconsciously. That doesn’t make it better. While we’re not the masters of our subconscious, we are the masters of our mouths, and should keep them closed tightly when needed.

I am less than a month away from my twenty-first birthday, and yet everything I’ve written above strikes me as intensely and unpleasantly adolescent. I guess we all have days of regression, and this must be one of mine.

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10 thoughts on “Honesty is Overrated

  1. I often wonder how many relationships could withstand the utter totality of something like a Vulcan mind meld, if such a thing was possible. In other words, can there such a thing as absolute truth between two people? I don’t know. It seems to me we all have some thoughts, from time to time, that we’d rather not share. Thoughts that will never mean anything, yet still happened.

    These are the things I wonder about. 🙂

  2. Erin M says:

    My truncated thoughts on lying vs. being honest:

    1) There’s a difference between being honest and being brutally honest;

    2) There is no point in hurting someone’s feelings needlessly;

    3) But there’s no point in lying needlessly;

    4) White lies are the stitches that hold polite society together. (As Ole Golly says, if you’re going to stay on good terms with people, sometimes you have to apologize and sometimes you have to lie.)

    • OLE GOLLY! Wow, you made me SO happy right now, I absolutely LOVE “Harriet the Spy” and I think that Ole Golly is one of the most interesting characters in children’s fiction to ever be written.

      • Erin M says:

        I’m quite fond of Harriet the Spy, myself. ^_^

        And I can only imagine what parents thought of the book (and Ole Golly) back in the ’60s. XD

  3. We all have those days. There is a big difference in being rude and being tactful. I think we all at one time or another told white lies to our loved ones to spare them pain though it doesn’t make it right.

  4. I think honesty is a fine line to walk. I mean, for example, there’s a difference between being “honest” and being “spiteful,” and that difference can change depending on who you’re talking to…!

    (And then there’s people who use the “honest” label to get away with saying hurtful things because they “want to help,” but that’s a whole ‘nother story…)

    In response to your last comment, I don’t know if there *is* a right answer. I think it depends on the situation, as well as on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. Personally? I wouldn’t hurt someone intentionally with the truth, unless there was no other way to say what needed to be said, or unless the gravity of the situation demanded no punches be pulled.

    It’s kind of like criticism, there’s a right and wrong way to criticize depending on the critiquee and where they want to go with their work (someone seeking professionalism would want/need harsher criticism than one doing something for fun)…

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