Tell the truth.

I tell  little lies.

“Thank you for the lovely luncheon.  Yes, everything was good.”

Actually, the soup was way too salty, the dessert cloyingly sweet.

But my timid, insecure friend would have been devastated to hear my opinion.

Almost a lie

Sometimes I don’t tell “all” which is the same as telling a lie.

Thank you for the offer.  I mostly shop online.

I lie rather than telling an acquaintance I would rather not spend time with her.

 

Tell me what I want to hear

I have learned that sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth.

A good friend whose daughter worked for me asked how she was doing.  As I framed my response I realized that what he wanted to hear was an affirmation of what a great person she was.  He did not want to hear that she was often late, called in sick often and generally behaved like a brat.  So, I answered,

Oh, everything’s fine.  We are so busy at work  You know how it goes.

I have learned that telling people the truth regardless of how it is worded can damage relationships.  Sometimes, when this happens the other person and I are able to work past the hurt and anger and build an even stronger relationship.  Not always, though.

I don’t want to deal with it

Sometimes, there are situation especially with difficult people where I just don’t want to deal with them or the issues.

I have difficult people in my life and I prefer to keep my interactions with them on a more superficial level.  Hopefully, the feeling is mutual.

This is not how my 20-year old self would have dealt with difficult people.

When I was young, I believed that I could talk through any problem with anyone and reach an understanding.  True, if the other person is on board, committed to sharing their thoughts honestly and reaching a compromise.  How naive I was!

Thank you, President Bush

These rambling thoughts are in response to former president George H. W. Bush’s Life Code, the first of which is Tell the truth.*

I believe and practice that it is better to tell the truth.

When the truth is painful or serves no purpose,  I believe it is better to refrain from telling the truth or sugarcoating the truth or telling a lie.

If you can’t say something good, then say nothing.

Kindness goes hand in hand with truth.

George H. W. Bush’s Life Code **

  1. Tell the truth.
  2. Don’t blame people.
  3. Be strong.
  4. Do your best.
  5. Try hard.
  6. Forgive.
  7. Stay the course.

**From his eulogy delivered by Jon Meacham.

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Tell the truth.

  1. Yes yes and yes. My father taught me that before I blurt out the truth (or untruth for that matter) do a quick check: “Is it good, is it kind, is it necessary?” Sometimes it is just isn’t necessary to say anything at all. And saying nothing could be the kindest thing to do. ❤ Jeanne

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I would like to read his book about Bush and any others. He seems like an intelligent kind and articulate man. I am in your part of the country now for a few weeks. What’s up with all this cold weather?

      Like

  2. I shared your same youthful naivete about believing i could work things out with others in nearly any difficult circumstance, simply by being courageous and authentic.
    With maturation comes clarity — about gauging the other’s responsiveness, and about weighing the ‘good-kind-necessary’ criteria when deciding about truth-telling.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I had a similar situation with my daughter. I tried to lie to myself to make her happier. Eventually, I realized that the only person who could make her happy was herself. Additionally, I was the one feeling very UNhappy due to lying to myself. It came to a point in our relationship when she asked me a direct question that would not allow me to beat around the bush. I took a big breath and was honest with her and myself for the first time in several years. I immediately felt like a terrible weight had come off of my shoulders. She was unable to deal with my feelings and cut off our relationship. Despite my trying to let her know that it was ok to have different feelings about a subject yet not become enemies over it, she resisted any overtures.

    At this time, even though we are estranged from each other, I still believe that I made the right decision to be truthful since the lies were destroying me. She will have to learn how to accept our differences…or not. That is up to her. As for me, being true to myself has made me a happier person. I can’t make someone else happy — it is up to them to find their own way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great thought provoking post. Sometimes it is vitally necessary to stand up for your personal TRUTH particularly if it flies in the face of what is societally acceptable. If this honesty is handled with kindness, and love, or it would be better to say nothing at all. entirely depends on circumstances. A well know saying
    if you stand for nothing, no truth at all, then in this life you fall for anything at all. (This applies to personal truth). I think we all have to be gentle and understanding of the feelings of ‘others’ when it may hurt or distress BUT be totally honest about our own opinions. Everyone even the frail, the elderly or the young and foolish have the right to an honest opinion. Like the Mama above when it comes to honesty and truth of feelings within a family structure, I do believe each one has the right to be heard, respected, agreed with, or disagreed with, but definitely pointing to a ‘better
    path if their way appears wrong. BUT …..honesty, and love hand in hand.

    Liked by 2 people

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