I was going to take the day off. I’ve been in Boston all weekend and didn’t get back until close to midnight last night. My Google Reader, itself, is overwhelming, not to mention the actual work I have to catch up on, in exchange for having yesterday off. (I know, I know; my life is hard.)
But then I saw this headline in my daily news roundup:
The brutal honesty vs. little white lies debate isn’t just for romantic relationships, though, that’s what this article focuses on. I think we all know that it’s much broader than that. It extends to family (of course Santa’s real!) and friends (you absolutely look better in that outfit than she does!) – and even into the workplace.
But here’s the thing: I know my flaws. In fact, in many cases, I’m even painfully aware of them. It doesn’t help me to know that someone close to me has picked up on all my insecurities, as well. Call it blissful ignorance, if you must – I call it surviving.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not sticking my head in the sand, refusing to acknowledge my faults, or sugarcoating everything to those around me. But I believe that there are some things that do not need to be said out loud.
“[One therapist] also observed that when people say they want the truth, they want ‘all good news. No one wants to hear that their partner sometimes despises them or wishes they were more attractive or thinner or had more hair or a better figure. We say we want the truth, but the truth can be hard to swallow.'”
Of course, if you get into a habit of sugarcoating the little things, you run the risk of lying about the bigger ones, as well. Because then, where do you draw the line? And, as is mentioned later in the articles, sometimes little white lies can come back to bite you in the ass. (My words, not theirs.)
Sure, there are always ways to rationalize:
“Interestingly, men and women lied with equal frequency in this study; however, women were more likely to lie to make the stranger feel good, whereas men lied most often to make themselves look better.“
But in the end, it comes down to the same thing: less than 100% honesty.
I generally fall into the group that considers some little white lies a necessity, but believes that they, themselves, can handle the whole, honest-to-goodness truth. Although, perhaps I’m even lying to myself there. Who knows?
Regardless, I’m curious: what do you think? Is honesty actually the best policy? Or do we need a few fibs now and then, for sanity, if nothing else?