Saturday, December 27, 2008

An Observation Concerning Honesty

It is my experience that honesty is considered to be one of the more admirable of virtues, yet in reality is one of the most reviled.

People have, on more than one occasion, said that honesty should be tempered with tact. In other words, if being honest means hurting someones feelings or pissing someone off then it should be avoided. Or if not avoided, approached delicately so as not to upset anyone.

I can't do it. When I say, "I love you," I love you. When I say, "I hate you," I hate you. When I say, "I don't understand," it means I don't have a fucking clue what's going on...explain or re-phrase. When I say, "That's stupid," it means I've thought about it and come to that conclusion, and will happily provide you with my reasons as to why and how I got there.

When I see a spade, I call it a fucking shovel.

I make no pretensions at being perfect, but I do try for it.

I am of the opinion, after many years of thinking about it, that the world suffers from an overabundance of tact, rather than a lack of it.

And before anyone accuses me of it, I am NOT advocating being rude. Opinions should only be given when they are asked for, or when they are necessary in your judgement to avoid serious error. However, when an opinion is asked for it should be given directly, not circumspectly.

A person, when recieving a negative opinion from someone else, is a fool to act as if they don't care. That person should be asking, simply, "Why?"

When I voice an opinion and a person scoffs, sneers, or ignores it, I categorize them as a fool. When they ask, "Why?", I categorize them as someone I should seek opinions of as well.

2 comments:

Ave said...

While I agree you have some valid points, I'm also going to have to agree to disagree with you on your overall point.

I believe in tact. Not everyone has as thick a hide as you or me, and if I can be honest without being harsh, I'm going to do it. Granted, if I've a choice between frank dishonesty and honesty, I'm going to be honest.

We're slammed with cold, hard truths all the time, and in some cases it's absolutely called for. Sometimes people NEED that wake up call, but if I have the option of saying, "That looks effing horrifying on you," or "I'm not really keen on that outfit," I'm going to go with the nicer course of action. It gets my point across but without the slap to the face, you know?

I can be harsh sometimes--especially when I'm saying things that aren't aimed at anyone but still apply to people I know--but when speaking to a person directly, tact is a nice diplomatic thing to do. Unneccessary harshness is just that--unneccessary. Hurting someone's feelings for the sake of honesty is just uncool in my book.

If I'm arguing a point with someone who I feel can take the heat, however, bring it on. :)

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I'm speaking more to those who would resort to outright dishonesty instead of giving someone a negative comment. For instance, instead of, "I'm not really keen on that outfit," those who say, "That looks great!"

And like I said in the post, I'm not advocating being rude. I think opinions should only be given when they are asked for. I just think they need to be simple and to the point.