For the most part of life, I see human beings as walking contradictions… myself included. The divide between what we say we actually want and what we settle for, our deep craving for connection and what we do with those surrounding us, and we often want to hear the truth but more often than not, our egos can’t handle it.
The subject of truth is an ambiguous one, and it worries me that it is often hard to distinguish the ‘actual truth’ from a ‘hate speech’; how best to dish out certain truths to our loved ones, and even how to accept the ‘truths’ spoken to us with grace. For the most part of my life, I detested the act of confrontation, as it often puts you in a difficult position of coming across as an asshole. But, life as we know is not as black and white; which means that you will often have to say the needful at times out of self-preservation, and you will also have to choose how you react to what people think of you (either correct or incorrect).
For the most part, I think the problem with ‘truth’ is not what is ‘being said’ but how ‘it is said’ which a lack of tact or sensitivity can be portrayed as plain ‘viciousness’ or a personal attack on one’s person. On the other hand, the display of tact in delivering certain ‘truths’ still does not discount its message and you cannot be certain that it would not be taken personally. Like telling a loved one about their body odour, telling a friend that their breath stinks, showing disapproval for your partner’s skid marks, telling a friend about their partner’s infidelity and even telling a loved one that they need to lose weight.
I had always wondered about disclosing the issue of infidelity to close ones though… I mean, let’s flip the script, would I want to know? It depends on the context! In an unmarried relationship, it helps to know what you are dealing with beforehand but hearing such news within marital territory puts one in such an excruciating place that makes me think it might be easier not to hear it at all. Perhaps we can say the words ‘what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’ is applicable in this case. (It is very dicey!)
I also wonder about ending relationships and disclosing the genuine reasons behind them. We can all argue if it is acceptable to tell an estranged lover that you want out because… ‘you no longer find them attractive, they are not what you want for a life partner, they have character defects, they don’t have money, they are overweight’… etc. Genuine reasons or not, break-ups are one of the hardest, if not hardest thing to do in life, and sometimes people will give all sorts of incoherent reasons to cover up for the actual reasons behind them. But there are the ‘special ones’ who are not strong enough to lie and too weak to tell the truth, so they disappear into thin air. Those ones are the worst! Genuine reasons or not, I like to think that most sensible people don’t have an issue with you rejecting them, it is the ‘how’ you do it that counts.
Now let’s talk about ‘viciousness’. Whether it is often intended or not- that is another topic for another day. Some people are known to be a ‘tell it as it is’ kind of Real. You know those ones who are Realer than the Realest? If you don’t know them, they are those who would pass up on numerous good things to say but inform you that the clothes you bought with your own money is ‘tacky’, they may even give you some compliments only to deflect it with a negative one, worse still, are those who just like reiterating the ‘obvious’ to have an opinion. It is useless for you to see two friends or sisters and mention to one that the other is prettier. It may be obvious, it may not be… but it is vicious!
It is good to be REAL, but even better to be SENSIBLE and REAL. The ‘truth’ at times, is very complicated and sensitive which requires you to think critically about your words before you say them. According to a Huffington Post, the steps to telling the truth are; don’t swallow it if doesn’t taste good, ask yourself questions, trust yourself, write it out, say it with love, ask for help, and be honest with yourself.
Has the truth ever placed you in a compromising situation? Share your stories.