Post # 1
Now some of you might have seen my post from last night about stress. Part of that stress comes from offhand, hurtful comments from people who claim to just be ‘brutally honest’, and it got me thinking.
So many people pride themselves nowadays on being ‘honest to a fault’ and ‘telling it straight’, but I know I’m not alone when I say that sometimes this is just hurtful. There’s honesty on the one hand, which I appreciate to a point, but the ‘brutal’ side is what gets me. E.g. colleague at work doesn’t like you for some reason, but instead of explaining why in a gentle and mature way, they just straight up say they hate your guts.
People don’t realise that often they can be TOO honest. There is a middle ground, and just because you’re not telling the truth in a harsh/nasty way doesn’t equate to a lie. So with this weighing on my mind, I have to ask –
Do we REALLY appreciate brutal honesty?
(Note: No answer is correct and I don’t want to start an arguments, I’m just curious as to how Bees think about this)
Post # 3
@TopazTurtle: People who say they’re “honest to a fault” or they “tell it like it is” tend to be arseholes and twats. It’s not about being TOO honest, it’s about lacking the tact, lexicon, and consideration to refrain from making hurtful or harshly judgmental comments.
But I say, just take personal responsibility for your words and admit that you simply wanted to say exactly what did with no excuses/justification. It’s the backpedaling, simpering, and pussyfooting that irritates me to no end. Just own your words and own the consequences/backlash like a big girl/boy.
Post # 4
Honesty is great, some people will deal better with brutal honesty, and others (I think the majority) would prefer to have the truth in a more tactful way.
Not wanting to start arguments, but I think there are people who are brutally honest and using it as an excuse to be horrible, and some who are just too lazy to take anyone else’s opinions on board.
Sometimes though, they will just not understand that it can be hurtful. My brother can be brutally honest – he has no idea that he is causing anyone any discomfort, his emotional intelligence is just not there. When you tell him that he has upset someone he feels really bad about it……but still doesn’t understand why they should feel bad when he is just telling it as it is!
Post # 5
If I were brutally honest all the time, everyone would hate me. I have a lot of opinions that others don’t agree with.
I’m either tactful, or just say nothing at all.
Post # 6
I agree with ^^^them.
Honest or not, hurtful comments are unnecessary.
Post # 7
@TopazTurtle: Every situation is unique. Sometimes brutal honesty is required and other times we should be more gentle. It all depends on the situation and the people involved.
Post # 8
I think it depends on the situation, for people closest to me I would want them to be honest and be able to be honest with them and I think that should be ok without getting upset with each other.
For people I don’t know, I usually keep my mouth shut. In a lot of threads where Bees ask for “brutal honesty” but I know my opinion is not what they would want to hear, I don’t post it.
Post # 9
I believe in honesty, but not ‘brutal’ honesty. My problem is definitely with the ‘brutal’ part. I think that it is possible to be totally honest with someone, but still do it in a way that is both tactful and respectful.
I also agree with PP who have said that those who operate ‘brutal’ honesty tend to be not very nice people.
Post # 10
I want to hear it straight at all times (and I tend to give it that way as well). And I don’t think that just because it DOES hurt someone’s feelings, that it was MEANT to. Take my sister for example: I learned YEARS ago that I cannot be truly honest with her. She takes everything to heart, and whether I mean to hurt her or not…it seems I always do when I fail to filter myself.
ETA: My sentence structure sucks.
Post # 11
I think it depends on your audience, since for some people, if you look at them sideways or even just raise an eyebrow, they fall apart. Giving someone what you feel is helpful advice, may not always be taken that way, and may be perceived as an attack. Even tho someone may ASK for opinions, what they’re really doing is wanting validation and not real honesty.
Are there kinder and more gentle ways to approach someone? Of course there are, but if you’re dealing with a person who is just pig headed and argumentative about everything, they are more than likely to just not accept what anyone has to say.
I have a sister like that whose favorite line is ‘Too bad. That’s just the way I am…take it or leave it.’ Wonderful.
Post # 12
Yes, though there are nice and mean ways to say the truth… I don’t want things sugarcoated because I have a hard time picking up on social cues sometimes, but no need to be any meaner than you must be. There’s a big difference between “I don’t think you’re very good at the piano yet” and “Oh god what is that my ears are bleeding, never touch that thing again.”
Post # 13
I want people to be honest and I try to be honest with others. I know I’ve hurt feelings many times, but I’ve found that I’ll try to tell people tactfully 2,3,4 times and they don’t get it and keep doing the same thing or asking the same questions….then I tell them straight. It seems like some people need that wakeup call.
Post # 14
@Bebealways: +1. Exactly. I don’t want people lying to my face and just telling me what I want to hear, but at the same time you can be nice about things and give your opinion in a tactful way. Yes be honest with me, but do it with some class for crap’s sake.
Post # 15
Brutally honest often = no filter. They are not peing constructive- just assholes. However if you ask for someone’s honest opinion then I would expect some real honesty.
Post # 16
I think people need to keep themselves in check. It is kind of… arrogant to think their opinion is so right, and so needs to be heard. I think tact and manners and thoughtfulness is very important. You can be honest, but there is a proper way to do so. I just hate rudeness! It is more about how/ when you say something and how you approach someone than what you say. If your intentions are good and you deliver in a helpful way, honesty is important- but I cannot stand it when people don’t think before they speak and feel entitled to… essentially be a jerk.