Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can You Tell the Truth?

It can be as simple as: Do you like this dress?
Or as complicated as: Am I doing a good job?

Everyday, we are presented with opportunities to tell the truth and be honest. And every day we choose not to. Why? For a variety of reasons:

We don’t care.
We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.
We don’t think it will make a difference.
We just don’t have the guts.

Example #1:
I was always amazed at the number of people who complain about a coworker not carrying their own weight, having a bad attitude, not being a team player, or not being open to other’s ideas or a different way of doing things. Yet, when the complaining employee has the chance to review this employee (as either their manager or during a 360 review), they put none of this down - instead, they give them high marks and great comments.

Example #2:
You knew before you got married that your fiancĂ©’s credit card debt was high. You also knew that your fiancĂ©’s spending habits demonstrated that more emphasis was placed on the here and now versus planning for a future. But when asked to share with your future spouse any concerns you have – before saying “I do” - you remained silent.

Example #3
Your friend or family member is constantly worried about their health. Their doctor has told them to lose weight, get their blood pressure under control, and that they are pre-diabetic. Yet, when they say they’ve done everything they can to lose the weight, you just sit and nod in agreement – even though you know they haven’t been on a walk, joined a gym, put down those fried foods or gave up sugary drinks.

I’ve been told I’m too honest. I’ve had family members walk away from a conversation. Friends jaws have dropped at some of the words that have come out of my mouth. Some people have even come to me because they are looking for truth and honesty.

My question is: What’s too honest?

I thought when someone asked you a question or was soliciting your opinion, they wanted the truth. So why are they so surprised – or agitated – when I give it them? I think it's because very few people in this world tell the truth and most people in this world aren't used to hearing it.

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