You hear people say all the time that they are ‘upfront and honest’, they ‘tell it like it is’ and then ‘at least people know where they stand’. It’s worn as a badge of honour, it is the most positive attribute to be an honest person.
Honesty is great, lying is not. We all know this. We are all taught from a young age to tell the truth and not tell fibs. I don’t disagree with this, this is not my concern. So, what am I getting at?
I’m getting at whether complete honesty is always best. Are there times where keeping quiet and saying nothing is not dishonest but instead, kinder, because what is perhaps about to come out of your mouth is not helpful but instead unnecessary and only going to cause hurt?
There have been times where something has been said to me and it’s stung. It’s all the more painful because I can’t help but to conclude that I didn’t need to hear it. This may sound odd but my attitude is that I would rather it be said behind my back. Not in all cases of course, only in the ones where nobody stands to gain by it being brought to my attention.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If I have done something to upset somebody then I would always want to be told because I never intentionally hurt anyone. I would rather it be spoken about so I can explain/apologise and it can be left behind. I just think sometimes that people are too emotionally reactive and they cause more trouble by opening their mouth than if they just take a breath, keep quiet and reassess the situation.
Maybe I am a bit of a pushover. I’m almost certain that there have been occasions where I haven’t tackled something that I should have, but, equally there have been times where I have brought something up and almost instantly regretted it because it has made a bad situation worse. Is that the fault of the person I have confronted? Sometimes yes it probably is, but are there times where it has been my fault as well, my temper preventing me from exercising self-control with regards to something that really doesn’t need to be raised? Absolutely.
It’s human nature though isn’t it. To make mistakes. We have all done it and we have all been on the receiving end of it and as much as we make an effort to avoid these situations it is inevitable that they will happen because that’s life. In addition to this we can only control how we feel and behave. I could confront one individual on the same subject over two different days and they could react completely differently each time. How many times do we think ‘that’s not how I expected it to go’, or ‘I wouldn’t have reacted in that way’ or ‘she/he was fine when we spoke about this last month’, lots of times right?
So, perhaps the best approach is for us all to be a little more mindful of what ‘issues’ we are raising, and whether it is worth the potential fall out. Also, perhaps it is important to consider whether it is the correct setting for such a conversation. There are plenty of times where yes the discussion needs to take place but the current surroundings are not the most appropriate. Surely we can find it in ourselves to hold off if this is the case?
As I said at the beginning: honesty is great. However, I do believe that some people mask rudeness by explaining it away as honesty. When I see/experience this happening I find it really infuriating. I feel like there should be some self control and thought for other people exercised. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is selfish to refuse to consider anything other than ones own feelings and just lash out under the guise of ‘being upfront’.
So, even though I am guilty of keeping quiet perhaps more often than I should, I am happier this way. Call me a pushover by all means but I would rather that than be rude and unnecessarily hurtful.
What are your thoughts on this? Is honesty always the best policy? Please do get in touch and share your thoughts, I would love to hear your opinions!
Thanks for reading!
Until the next time…Jess x