Sunday, June 06, 2010
5 Good Reasons to be Dishonest
We always hear how important honesty is in a relationship. Just the other day, I blogged about how much deception there is in online dating. (I'm still outraged at the idea of Virtual Dating Assistants who can be hired to write your emails for you.)
However, I've noticed that as important as honesty is to me, there are times that I'm not 100% honest. If we had the opportunities to read each others' minds, would our communication be better? I don't think so and here's why..
1) Our thoughts are not always kind. I hate to admit that I can be pretty shallow, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I notice unattractive features. I make judgments about people. I am sure they are doing the same about me. It's just the way our minds operate. Hopefully, we are making positive observations, too. Those are the things we say out loud. But I don't think it's necessary to tell someone you meet that you find them pitifully ugly, even if you do. And if someone finds me unattractive, I'm perfectly fine with them keeping that to themselves.
2) We don't share what's on our mind because we are respecting the privacy and confidence of someone else. When friends trust us with personal information, we owe it to them to keep that private. On the other hand, if we find something important out about a friend, should we tell them? Is it dishonest to keep it from them if the person that shared the information with us, told us in confidence? What if find out someone is cheating on a friend? Are we being dishonest in keeping it from them?
3) We aren't honest because we want to remain positive, even if we don't feel that way. No one wants to be seen as weak, scared, or lonely. So we aren't entirely honest about those feelings. We put on a happy face even if we don't feel that way. Is this good? Maybe not all the time. As we grow to trust someone, we can become more vulnerable. In fact, it's only in revealing our true feelings, will we really be intimate. But sometimes, just the act of putting on the happy face will make us happier. And I would guess most people appreciate a partner who will not share every fear and instead, will try and be positive, even when they don't necessarily feel that way.
4) We don't tell the entire truth because we don't want to hurt someone. If we don't like a gift, for example, should we tell the giver? It might be more honest, but my opinion is that the fact that someone thought of me is the gift. The actual gift is not as important. I would want to accept the gift happily regardless of what it was.
5) We don't share everything because sometimes it might be "too much information." We often choose to keep quiet about details of past relationships or even current relationships. If you're not in a committed relationship, is it necessary to let your date know of other relationships in your life? Some people would think it's tacky to talk about other relationships. Others might think it's dishonest to omit.
I'd consider these examples of dishonesty by omission, rather than lies. I just don't think it's necessary to disclose everything on our minds if it will only serve to hurt. But this brings up one of the biggest dilemmas some people deal with.
Should you reveal an infidelity to your partner?
I've heard some argue that if it's over, telling them will only hurt them. But if you don't tell them, is your relationship honest? What do you think?