The Ethics of Honesty

Why do people bite their tongue because they are afraid of offending someone? Sometimes I wish we lived in a society where we could say exactly what was on our minds. Why must people’s thoughts, feelings and experiences be validated? I do not understand boundaries sometimes. I should be able to say exactly what I think to whomever. I do not understand why people end friendships over someone telling them the truth or their honest opinion. Disagreements have ended lifelong friendships. I do not understand. Sometimes people need to be told they are acting foolish, they are lazy, they are spoiled, they are being a drama queen, they are immature. Why is this considered harsh? So what if it is harsh, things are what they are. Just because something makes you feel uncomfortable, upset, etc does not mean you should run away. Why are feeling so important these days? In comparison to the truth, I do not think people’s feelings or emotional reactions matter. Why do some people not appreciate the truth/tough love? Why is it difficult for some people to swallow the truth & follow Christ? I wonder why these days people cannot handle the truth. Why so sensitive in today’s society? Is there such thing as a place and time to say something? Does it matter how you say the truth - in the end, if something is true, it is true whether someone is arrogant or rude about it or not. The truth is often inconvenient. Many choose to ignore it. Is it better to live a delusion, false fantasy? It is important to be realistic and grounded.

Why do you keep asking this question? Why are you so judgemrntal of others? Why are you so unempathetic? Why do you not double line spaces so people can more easily read ehat you write? (How does blunt honesty suit you?)

I think you need to be easier on yourself and not beat yourself up every time you think you have done something wrong. God looks on you as a child, a person in the learning stage. Understand that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, that you go too far in one direction, and then too far in the other. When you make a mistake, ask God to forgive you and help you.

Once you forgive yourself for being human, you will find it easier to accept others in their imperfect state.

You’ve posted this before, OP.

What answer aren’t you getting to make you post this again?


That would be fine and dandy if you always and everywhere knew what the truth was. It is real easy to walk into a minefield of lies and make a real fool of oneself by “speaking the truth.”

Your feelings may not matter but the feelings of my children, my husband, my family and all my loved ones do. Hurting people with the “truth” is often deliberately unkind.

Rule # I: If you can’t say something nice: don’t say anything at all.

A truism that has escaped the behavior of many people.

As others have said, you’ve asked this question before and obviously aren’t getting it. Kind of ironic that you aren’t hearing the truth you’ve been told before :rolleyes:.

Yes, people need the truth if they want to become better people. Yes, we should be able to tell them the truth if it will help them. But sadly, as you say, some people simply don’t want the truth, or else they can’t swallow it in the form it’s given to them.

You say you’ve told people they are “acting foolish, they are lazy, they are spoiled, they are being a drama queen, they are immature”. And you wonder if it’s harsh? These criticisms are not designed to help anyone, only to hurt. Then you say “so what if it’s harsh”. You know “so what” – you lose friendships. And more than likely haven’t changed their behaviour one iota.

Maybe you need to examine your motives. Do you really want to help someone? Or does it just bug you to see someone doing something they shouldn’t. You sound more irritated to me, but that may be just my impression. If you really want to help someone, you have to find the words they’ll hear, not the words you think they need.

On the other hand, if the way people act just rubs you the wrong way and your only interest is to make them less annoying, then either distance yourself from them or learn to accept them the way they are. You aren’t doing either of you any favours by telling them your version of the truth.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are knowledge, wisdom, understanding, counsel, piety, and fear of the Lord

The fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

The cardinal virtues are prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice and the theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity. From them flow the human virtues of purity, chastity, modesty, respect, and friendship.

I don’t believe I see your approach anywhere in there.

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