Gransnet forums


Is it always ok to tell the ‘Truth’ ?

(47 Posts)
Bridgeit Fri 07-Sep-18 11:24:59

Apologies if this topic has been ‘done’ before But if not:

Is it always ok to tell the truth , as we we all know the truth can hurt, would you tell a white lie to save someones feelings.?
If a friend really likes a new hairdo or outfit, which doesn’t really suit them ,would you be brutally honest or tell a porky ?

Grannyknot Fri 07-Sep-18 11:31:38

I watched an excellent film on Netflix recently called "The Good Lie". The premise was that there is such a thing.

I would not want to hurt people's feelings by being "brutally honest", can't see what would be gained by that...

Bridgeit Fri 07-Sep-18 11:42:14

As an afterthought , perhaps our Politicians are behaving like parents, thinking ‘ what the electorate don’t know won’t hurt them ?!!.??

sparkly1000 Fri 07-Sep-18 12:22:32

There was a sad post on here recently of a GM who prided herself in being honest and always speaking her mind.
She then wondered why she had been cut off from her family.

FlexibleFriend Fri 07-Sep-18 12:24:54

You can be honest without being cruel, trat others as you would like to be treated.

Charleygirl Fri 07-Sep-18 12:29:13

A friend of a friend was in hospital last week with terminal cancer and he wanted to go home to die. The hospital advised against it and the MacMillan nurse told him that he could die in the ambulance. I personally think that was totally unnecessary.

M0nica Fri 07-Sep-18 13:15:06

It is often a case of 'it is not what you say but the way that you say it' And of course, what is truth? Your truth may not be my truth. Truth is not an absolute.

I would always try to evade saying anything specific when telling the truth would not be helpful. But I have lied to my children and grandchildren about what is in a specific parcel before Christmas and other small lies that would spoil a treat.

And of course all of us have at sometimes told real whoppers to protect ourselves, where we know we should own-up, or to avoid someones anger or to get ourselves out of trouble. I would not believe anyone who said they had never done this, but I hope I have the grace to be ashamed of myself in such cases, even though I do nothing to remedy it.

petra Fri 07-Sep-18 13:37:40

My late Father in law was put in a police cell for some hours because he would not swear to tell the truth and the whole truth as a witness to a crime.
He used your very words: your truth may not be my truth.
They brought him back to court and found some way round this, can't remember the details now grin

Teetime Fri 07-Sep-18 13:44:00

I think that in our dealings with other people if we are showing them due respect and hopefully some love and compassion we need to watch not just the words but how we say them. 'I speak my mind' said a lady I was dealing with the other day. In doing so she had insulted another 5 people and gossiped about another's financial situation. Speaking one's mind is not necessarily a virtue.

sodapop Fri 07-Sep-18 15:58:15

I agree Teetime respect and kindness for each other. There are times when the absolute truth serves no good purpose and kindness is more helpful. There is no hard and fast rule for all this is there ?

Bluegal Fri 07-Sep-18 17:04:37

I always owned up/told the truth if it is my error or wrong doing. Learnt from a young age it was preferable to come clean than live with the lie.

With regards to other people- white lies often preferable. Another lesson I learnt! People do not really want to hear the truth about themselves but there are ways round it - does my bum look big in this? No but you suit this one more ?. I would never be brutally honest if people’s feelings are at stake.

MissAdventure Fri 07-Sep-18 17:07:30

I like to think I'm always honest, but not cruelly so.

Bluegal Fri 07-Sep-18 17:12:27

Oh just another point we all insist to our children that telling the truth is important but we all lie to them.. Father Christmas, tooth fairy etc. It’s all done so they can enjoy the magic but still lies bahaha

M0nica Fri 07-Sep-18 17:38:08

I do not believe anyone who says they never tell a lie.

Bluegal Fri 07-Sep-18 17:44:39

Monica.. wasn’t that Jim Carey film Liar Liar based on never telling lies? Hilarious. You just can’t do it ??

MamaCaz Fri 07-Sep-18 18:25:55

Rather than "is it always ok to tell the truth?", I would ask the question "is it always wise to tell the truth?", and my answer to that would definitely be "no".
To my mind, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with telling a lie if it hurts no one, and it is actually a sensible thing to do in many circumstances!

That said, I would like to make it clear that I don't make a habit of telling lies.

Grandad1943 Fri 07-Sep-18 20:16:09

In my industrial safety occupation, I have very often not told the whole truth to someone when I have felt that stating the full situation will upset that person more than they are already upset.

My company are often called on by an employer or their insurers to interview employees that have incurred a workplace injury. Often those interviewed have received those injuries through flouting the workplace safety practices and regulations That is often brought out in the interview with the employee very embarrassed and upset at what they have brought on themselves.

What they very often do not realise is that their employer often has no alternative in such situations but to dismiss them from their employment even when no one else was injured in the incident but that one employee. Those injured in such a manner often think that their employer will accept that the injury is sufficient punishment for their negligence and not even begin to think that their employment may be under severe threat.

Workplace injuries are often severe and can bring about long periods of absence with the corresponding loss of income. In that, interviews conducted in regard to an incident incurred as above can be profoundly upsetting to the injured party. It is in those situations that I along with others in my company who carry out such interviews refrain from explaining the full extent of the threat to their employment.

I have always believed that to be dismissed from employment under disciplinary action is one of the worst occurrences that can befall anyone. That action takes away a persons means of paying their rent or mortgage and all else in maintaining themselves and others They often find great difficulty in obtaining other employment after being dismissed in such circumstances. in that I have always justified not explaining the full facts of their employment situation to those involved in situations such as the above.

Bluegal Fri 07-Sep-18 20:24:46

Grandad1943 I think you are venturing in areas other than telling 'white lies' I firmly believe if anyone is culpable of causing damage as you describe then they need to be accountable.

I think what the OP was referring to is 'white lies' that do not do any damage but will preserve friendships...possibly.

Diana54 Fri 07-Sep-18 20:36:48

When the situation justifies, turning a blind eye or not knowing, or not noticing in order to be kind I am sure many of us do that, it is not a lie but not the truth either.
A child does some homework and it is rubbish or your daughter brings home a boyfriend that is a total waster, the truth would be counterproductive so you find another way to solve what you see as a problem.

Cherrytree59 Fri 07-Sep-18 20:56:31

I have had to teach my DH to lie.

My Sister and I quickly realised that it was much easier to tell our father what he wanted to hear to ensure that on a day to day basis he was kept in a calm and happy state.
He had vascular dementia.
At times we could be accused of telling some whoppers.
For which I make no apologies.

My MIL now suffers from dementia.
DH (and I) bend the truth to keep her calm and happy which in turn helps to keep her depression at bay.

It has not been easy for DH as he is a straight to the point type of person.

Yellowmellow Sat 08-Sep-18 07:42:30

I'd only give an opinion if I was asked for it.....I have a friend who regularly says, not just to me, but other people, 'its not my cup of tea'. It doesn't have to be....we all have different tastes. If I'm asked for an opinion, I would tell the truth, but there are ways of saying things without hurting people or their feelings.

Gma29 Sat 08-Sep-18 07:47:24

I think that a softer version of the truth is sometimes preferable, and kinder, if to be absolutely honest could be hurtful. There are ways of giving an opinion (IF asked!) without upsetting someone. And yes, I too have ‘lied’ to grandchildren about Father Christmas, tooth fairy etc.

mernice Sat 08-Sep-18 08:06:39

@Bridgit had you thought that you may be wrong. It’s all about perception and we see things differently, even people’s appearance.

Witzend Sat 08-Sep-18 08:19:02

I have an elderly aunt who has always prided herself on speaking her mind, i.e. the truth - as she sees it. As a result, many of the family have as little to do with her as possible. She is much like an old woman at a bus stop in the 60s when I was maybe 18 and wearing a very short skirt.

'I think you look dreadful in that!' she said, with a sort of triumphant pride. 'I don't know you, but I always say what I think anyway, and I think you look awful!'

Depends entirely on the context, IMO. I would never tell anyone bluntly that a new hairstyle or dress didn't suit them - especially if I could see that they were pleased with it.

Personally I told masses of fibs to my mother when she had dementia. I became very inventive at them. There was no point in insisting on the truth when a) she was never going to accept it and would very likely be angry, and b) she was going to forget whatever I said so quickly anyway.

PECS Sat 08-Sep-18 08:37:20

Telling the truth is overrated in some situations and not rated highly enough in others!
In any public office, business dealings etc truth is essential.
When getting kids to behave is telling them Santa's elves are watching..a lie or a ruse?
A friend says " Tell me honestly do you like my purpme hair?" Do I tell the truth ( my opinion) or say it looks great! grin