The truth shall not set you free—at least not the brutal truth.
Who came up with the idea that we should all be “brutally honest”? I don’t want to be. I don’t like it and I choose to not tell every thought in my head just for the sake of “keeping it real”. What does it help anyone and who does it hurt when we decide to spew our version of the truth to someone who may not really want to know it?
What if we really did tell everyone the absolute truth?
Instead of saying to someone whom is in the midst of a crisis, “It’ll be okay...” What if we said instead, “You know what? You might as well just go jump off that bridge right now because your life sucks and I doubt you’ll get out of this one at all.”
Instead of saying, “That color looks nice on you…” We could always include, “That color looks nice on you but otherwise you are a disgusting pig and it’s no wonder you’re alone.”
How about saying, “You are the stupidest human I have ever heard speak.” Instead of, “You have the right to your own opinion.”
We could be so honest too and say, “I don’t love you. No one loves you. No one could possibly ever love you.” Instead of just saying, “I’m sorry; I don’t want to see you anymore.”
Where does that get us? There is no place for brutality in seeking, obtaining or sharing the truth. We do not have to destroy anyone to “keep it real”. There are times we are better off being guilty of saying nothing.
We also do not need to disclose every minute detail of our own lives that are not necessary to disclose.
If we were honest, we would tell our boss, “Hey, sorry I’m late. I had to go to the bathroom and it took longer than I anticipated.” I think the boss would rather hear, “I got caught by a train…”
How about a direct answer for the teacher, “The reason I didn’t do my homework is because I think you are a neo-nazi just trying to break all of us kids down into one of your little regime. Your assignments teach nothing and I have no respect for you as a teacher let alone a human.” Instead of, “I forgot my book at school.”
When asked by our spouse, “What’s wrong?” we could say, “Honey? I think you have gotten quite gross after all these years. You make me want to scream most days and I hate that we ever thought we could share our life together. I think I made a huge mistake and I wish you would fall off the face of the earth rather than touch me tonight.” Rather than simply saying, “I’m really tired, I’ll feel better tomorrow.”
The truth, brutal or otherwise is fleeting and changes from moment to moment. And this truth we need to keep real all the time—it is only our own perception of what we think the truth of the matter is. Just because we call it our truth does not mean we are right.
Keep your brutal honesty to yourself if you are going to cause pain or humiliation. I don’t need anyone to point out the obvious of what most of us already know.
Lie to me instead so I can get on with my day.