Posted by: grantahelms | December 20, 2011

Honesty is the Best Policy… Maybe!

Recently, I have been reading a lot of blogs about Honesty. While I believe honesty IS the best policy, where do you draw the line? Recently, I found this post on Facebook. Please enjoy.

If the lawyer would have known the true honesty of this lady, do you think that he would have begun with this line of questioning? Or do you think that he was demonstrating this ladies honesty from the start, so that there would be no confusion or questions? Either way, it may be a good thing that most people are not blessed with this child-like honesty.

Have you ever been, or wanted to be this honest with someone?

Many times I have been faced with the dilemma of someone asking me a question that, as much as I wanted to be honest, I decided the honest answer would be inappropriate. When the children in our care ask where their mother is, do I tell them that she’s in jail…AGAIN! I don’t think so. I tell them the easier truth. Mommy needed to get away for a little while, and she loves them, so she had them come stay with us so that they would be loved and nurtured and be safe. Is this wrong? What about when someone asks if I think a loved one has gone to Heaven at death, even though they were a drunk, drug addict, spouse abuser, child abuser’ cheater, etc. All I can say is I don’t know what they did in their final moments, but we can hope for the best. What about when your wife ask’s if a pair of jeans makes her look fat?

Why can’t we be this honest with those we love?

When relationships fail, honesty seems to be over-flowing. I never loved you. I couldn’t stand your snoring. I HATE football! I don’t like the gap between your teeth. Your boobs aren’t even. Your feet stink. Your mother doesn’t like me. My mother doesn’t like you. How petty can we be? If your relationship was destroyed this easily, it wasn’t right to begin with. Why can’t we be this honest before it’s over. Maybe some things can be corrected. Many can not. But at least everyone’s on the same page, so that we can all be friends afterward. Guess I could never understand, you know, I am a man after all. But I would like to try to understand. So now, as we come to the end, I would like some HONEST answers.

Why is it hard to be honest with those we love?

Why is it easier to be honest with those that we have nothing invested in?

Have you ever been honest with someone, and regretted later?

Thank you for continuing to follow, and PLEASE give me some HONEST answers, Grant

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Responses

  1. Obviously there are somethings we should never be honest about (e.g. never tell your wife the absolute truth about her jeans unless she needs to know for health reasons). There are other truths, as hard as they might be we should tell when in a relationship (e.g. In-law issues). Others, well they are silly and best left unsaid as they serve no purpose (e.g. gaps in teeth, or uneven boobs).

    Are you doing wrong by lying to the children, it depends obviously on the ages. Honesty should be age appropriate and you should tell them what they will understand. You aren’t doing them any favors in the long run if you don’t eventually tell them the truth, but not telling them when they are babies doesn’t harm them. Trust is a huge issue though and someday they will need to know, how you transition from she has gone away to she is in jail will be a difficult discussion for you all to have and still keep their trust.

    I somewhat liken the above comment to me being adopted, there was never a time in my life I didn’t know. I am sure the information was provided slowly but I seem to have always known.

    As to relationships, I don’t know I suspect we all deal with information and ‘truth’ differently. What one says and the other hears may be entirely different, especially when a relationship ends. Both may think the told the truth throughout and yet both may have heard entirely different versions. I know with my ex, if you had sat is in the room and asked us the truth you would have heard two very different versions, if you had asked his girlfriend you would have heard a third.

    • Thanks Val. Though we have our differences( i.e. religious views, political views, etc), I am thankful for your insight. There are so many things that I don’t understand, but I’m open others views on life. Looking forward to your next great post, Grant

  2. I think it is precisely because we are vested in the person that that tendency to lie comes out. I tend to be almost brutally honest, but do sometimes leave things out in the interest of keeping the peace. Fortunately for me, my face usually gives me away if I am not being completely honest. πŸ™‚ My momma always taught me that dishonesty and incomplete disclosure always lead to trouble, and I find that to be true. It makes for a good story in a movie, book, …, but in real life, honesty is always the best thing. It can be nice honesty, but honesty.

    That doesn’t mean you have to disclose everything to everyone one. Some people are not close enough to need every detain of your life, but with the ones you love and care about openness is never a mistake, even though it can go south if the other person chooses to use it against you. In that case, it is your judgement of the person that was off and not your decision to be honest. This is like the old adage: it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

    I really think it is a form of misguided self-protection that keeps us from honesty as in your examples. Good, thought-provoking post πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Angela. I appreciate the comments, Grant

  3. Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  4. Children: Age appropriate. They are not confidantes to tell everything and they are too young to understand the implications of crime and punishment given their lack of the concept of time. To a child, 15 minutes is a long time. contemplating a sentence is inconceivable.

    1. Most dishonesty with the ones we love is to protect their feelings or their ego. Some things are just better left unsaid, especially after ugly truth has already been said. There is a point where enough hurt is just that. Sometimes, when we feel negatively about the people we love, we keep those emotions in check not to hurt the other person. That is negativity which is carried to the grave in many cases.

    2. Yes. Because there is no investment there is no real chance that person will ever take the truth and bash us over the head with it.

    3. Yes. I have been pushed into releasing some of my negative emotions. Those who need the whole story often are the self-same who are not ready or willing to accept the whole story. The deflection of the hurt is nasty and necessarily pours the negativity into the lives of the disinterested parties who are nearest.

    Hope this helps. Love you and hope you find some answers.
    Red.

    • Thanks Red. As always, greatly appreciated. Been missing time with you and the herd ( only way I could think to make moose plural) . Be safe. God Bless You, Grant

  5. Grant ,I believe that you are doing what you think is best for those children, mentally, and emotionally. So keep up the good work. NO, I do not believe it is hard to be honest with those we love. Being honest builds better relationship and pulls the couple closer together. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY BY FAR. Because they have nothing to do with the situation. Yes I have been honest with someone, but I will not ever regret it.

    • Thanks Jim. As always,greatly appreciated, Grant

  6. You don’t do anyone any favors by not telling them the truth. This is always done in love, though. I have had some tough conversations with people because I love them and want them to see what God has to say about what is going on in their lives. Some people don’t want to hear the truth, but we still need to tell the truth.

    • Thanks Derek. What do you think about the comments that have been made about children? Do you feel that it it an age appropriate conversation? Just wondering. God Bless You, Grant

      • Children can be tricky. I guess it depends on what it is. I wouldn’t say you lie to them, but that maybe there are times when you just don’t tell them something. For example, I have a 7 year old son. There are certain things he just doesn’t get. This last year he saw something on the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He asked me about it. I didn’t lie to him and tell them that it was nothing, but I didn’t tell him all the details of it because I know that it would scare him more than help him. He doesn’t get it.

      • Thanks again Derek. Appreciate the advice.


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