Does true honesty have to be brutal?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Whisper, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    I've seen a lot of people want to be blunt and don't want to sugarcoat things. That's cool. I try not to sugarcoat things, either.

    But in the past few years I've noticed an increase in people just being cruel and then if someone takes offense they're like, "TROLOLOL, sorry honey, I only tell the truth. Deal with it."

    Let's say for example your friend wants an opinion on dresses she's trying on. She's a little chubby, but not fat. She wants a dress that flatters her figure. She puts on this awful thing that detracts from her her good qualities, makes her legs looks shorter and the waistline makes her look much heavier than she really is.

    Which would you rather say to her when she asks how the dress looks on her?

    1. "Nah, that dress isn't flattering on you at all. Go with one of the others. This other dress over here looked much better on you and it's really nice and slimming."

    2. "OMG! This is cracking me up! You look fat as hell in that thing! Look in the mirror, it makes your thighs look even fatter than they already are! And your love handles stick out!"

    I know a lot of people who'd take the second option and run with it, and if the friend takes offense, would just just say, "You wanted honesty. I'm honest. Don't cry about it."
    Isn't the first option just as honest? Do you have to point out every single detail of how bad she looks to be truly honest?


    Am I the only one who's seen this kind of thing a lot and taken issue with it?


    [Oh, and a note. In my hypothetical situation, this not your best friend you can say anything to, knowing you won't offend them. I have a few friends I will tell extremely outlandishly mean things to and we're close enough we know exactly what the other means and no offense is taken.]
     
  2. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I think I'd just say, "there's something not right about the cut of the dress. I don't think it hangs right. Here, try this one on." LOL.

    Yeah, I don't think every instance, especially one like this requires brutality...but some things do.
     
  3. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    No, you're not alone in this.

    I've always had a real issue with people who are cruel, hateful, nasty, mean, petty, etc., and hide behind "I'm just being honest."

    Sometimes the truth can be painful, but it doesn't have to be delivered with a knife buried in it, and should never be delivered by someone who is going to enjoy inflicting pain.
     
  4. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Honest and mean aren't the same thing... honest. ;]
     
  5. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    For me it depends what it is. Like if I think someone is wearing something ugly or is overweight I probably just won't say anything. Now if someone does something like starve a dog all bets are off when it comes to sugar coating it or making it sound less harsh.
     
  6. Stealing from Fran here, there's a difference between honesty and "angry bold jackassery." lol I'm fine with the former, but the latter gives me the rage.
     
  7. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    :hail:


    I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this. Honesty is one thing I value very highly in a friend. To make an example of you, Renee, you've always been honest with me, even with some stuff I didn't want to hear. But you have never, ever been cruel to me.


    Kind of on topic, I was just thinking about who you're talking to can be important. In high school my best friend got in a car accident and was bruised up like crazy. She hadn't seen her face yet, but knew she must look bad. She asked me how she looked and I said, "Like a syphilitic hooker who had the **** beat of her by her pimp." But she was my best friend and she laughed, which was my whole point, to cheer her up.
    That's another thing. Know your audience. If I said the same thing to a friend I recently made at church. . .just no, LMAO.
     
  8. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Not generally, but man... every once in awhile I meet a person who just doesn't listen otherwise.
     
  9. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    I know exactly what you mean. There is definitely a difference in saying things the way they are, in all honesty, and saying things with a condescending, bullying tone. I notice it on this forum from particular people and it drives me bonkers. At the end of the day, the person they were being 'honest' with will probably be so defensive and offended that they won't take the advice anyway, so it really serves no purpose except to make the person saying it feel... Idk... Cooler? Better? More holier than thou?

    Half the time it is good advice too, which is the sad part. If they could just phrase it more directly and cut out the crap people are more likely to take them seriously.
     
  10. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Honesty becomes cruelty when you stop treating that other person like a human being with feelings who deserves kindness and just spit out the truth like words have never hurt anyone.

    The key word here is TACT and perhaps kindness.

    Tactful honesty is saying "I really like the way that other dress works with your curves, it makes your legs look long! That cut doesn't really work for you"

    and cruel/brutal honesty is acting like a petulant child who has no control over the things that flood out of your mouth and spitting out anything that pops into your head.. aka "That dress makes you look awful! Wow! Your legs are so short and fat!"

    The "Whatever. People hate me because I'm honest" thing is over-used and ridiculous. NO, people hate you because you are a bitch who has no consideration for other people's feelings. Don't care? fine. Enjoy being alone. I don't know when it became "cool" to not care for other people's feelings but it needs to stop.

    “Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone.”
     
  11. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    This post, especially the bolded, x10000000.
     
  12. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    I know on this forum in the past I have been unnecessarily harsh with people who supported "designer dog" breeding, wanted to breed their dog for a less than reputable reason, had no idea how to train their dog without using Milan-ish or Kohler-ish methods, etc., etc.
    I was so wrapped up in my new-found knowledge, basking in being "one of the elite informed" that I didn't stop to think about the person on the other side of the computer screen.
    I'm ashamed of that.
    If I had been more patient, they would have been more receptive.
    I had been kind, they wouldn't have been put on the defense.
    If I didn't elevate myself for having knowledge they didn't, I wouldn't have made them feel looked down upon.
    If I had reached out to them as people just like me, maybe I could have changed their mind, prevented an extra unwanted litter, helped them make training fun for their dog and the dog's life happier.

    When we are being "honest," we need to evaluate our words and what we hope to accomplish with how we approach people about something. Making people feel less-than doesn't do jack **** except hurt their feelings and **** them off.
     
  13. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Ditto. lol.
     
  14. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    Well, I would sure hope you wouldn't just stop and tell someone they're overweight. :confused: I'm there. I don't need reminding.
    That reminds me of 8th grade. Two of my friends crowded around me and started whispering that my shorts were too short. I was thinking, "Oh, no, is my ass showing or something?!" I pulled my shorts down a bit in the back a little and asked if that was better. They said no, my shorts were too short because they showed my "fat" thighs and I should stick to long pants.
    Thanks, friends. :rolleyes: The funny thing is that at that time I wasn't even a little bit fat.
     
  15. yoko

    yoko New Member

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    The only reason I said that was.

    I was on my cell phone and misread what that was.

    For me I kind of have my own personal rule that I don't comment on appearance unless it's something I really like and I'll mention it. I could think a shirt is horrible and gaudy and no one should be subjected to the sight of it. But if someone likes it I still say for them to go ahead and wear it.

    I know I come across as 'brutally honest' a lot. But I have aspergers. I suck conversations. If you ask my opinion on something I'm not going to make it nice because I have trouble deciding if something is legitimately nice/supportive sounding or if it sounds fake. I do feel bad for people but I suck at verbalizing it/typing it out.

    The problem with this is because I have issues with conversing so often sometimes I don't see the knife. I can understand if something is painful but what a lot of people see as burying the knife in with the advice/criticism usually just seems to me as stating another fact.

    I apologize if I've ever offended anyone here during the course of a normal *for Chazhound* conversation that isn't ever my intention and I do try to catch myself if I think something sounds like it may be mean/bad.

    That being said I have no tolerance for animal abusers, child abusers, spousal abuse, or bullies and during those conversations I stand 100% behind what I have said.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  16. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    1.) It's called inner monologue for a reason. A lot of people think things that will hurt people's feelings if said in a certain way, and a lot of people say exactly what they think without using any sort of filter.

    2.) Being honest and being an asshole are not mutually dependent.

    I'm far from tactful; I'm foul-mouthed and socially awkward/inept and I have a disgusting sense of humor but even I have the sense to show people kindness when they come to me and ask for my opinion.
     
  17. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Yoko for the record, I don't remember ever thinking you were cruel or 'mean'. Honest yes, but not in a bad way. I don't really think this rant is directed at you, or if it is I definitely have not noticed it from you :p lol.
     
  18. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    She said she wouldn't tell someone that. I also said I wouldn't tell someone that either. Especially me. LOL. I have my fair share of love handles. :rofl1:

    No, Yoko and I agreed about speaking our mind in no uncertain terms when it comes to animal abuse, mistreatment, and the like, not about someone's appearance or ugly clothes.

    Yoko, I have not ever seen you be mean or nasty.

    And I know I have my moments. I can be tactful and careful as the next guy and I do have a big heart. But if someone provokes me like a swarm of hornets that won't back the heck off, I can get pretty feisty, as you probably know by now. :eek:
     
  19. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    I definitely think there is a difference between being honest and being mean. But sometimes, it doesn't matter how nicely you try to put something, if the other person doesn't want to hear it, they will think you are just being mean.

    Being honest without offending someone is really hard to do, because most people aren't looking for honesty, they just want you to agree with them or tell them they are doing things right.
     
  20. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Ever notice that the people who worry if they've been hurtful or thoughtless or mean are the ones who AREN'T? :)

    I can be. I can slash someone's emotional hamstrings verbally -- but I don't enjoy it and won't do it unless pushed beyond the pale. Like anyone, there are times, though, when something either doesn't come out right on my end or it gets skewed through the other person's personal filters, maybe affected by past experiences or how they would mean it, and that can get . . . well, it never makes me feel good, that's for sure. I don't enjoy hurting people, even people I don't much like. Even people I despise.
     

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