Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Honesty Isn't Always the Best Policy

Always tell the truth.  Speak up. Tell what you think.  Don't hold things in.  A good friend is honest.

Any of this sound familiar?  In some situations it's a great idea.  And in others it does not work.

For instance, what do you do when your friend is dating someone you loathe?  More often than not, you do nothing!

I remember when I was dating an ex-bf.  I'd introduced him to friends and asked that they tell me what they thought.  All but one person said he was great, wonderful, nice, cute, etc.  One friend a little while into the relationship said "well...if you love him..."  After this individual and I parted ways, I told these same friends who had met him.  Know what one of them said? "Oh good, so I can stop pretending I like him now?"

I had told her to be honest when she met him.  I had begged her to tell me what she really thought (ok in hindsight I think I knew something was "wrong" with him and needed validation to dump him).  And she didn't.  I wasn't mad but wished she had been honest.

But isn't that hypocritical of me?  I have been and am currently in the exact same position for at least three different relationships (that immediately come to mind ... there may be others).  One couple is just dating, one is engaged and one is married.

In all three I dislike the guy to some degree.  Now I fully acknowledge I can be very tough on friend's significant others.  I know this about myself.  But I can like significant others as well.  So it isn't an automatic hatred.

But I can't say anything.  I can't say, "please don't marry him, he's a prick...." or "be honest with yourself, you aren't that into him..." or "your boyfriend is an a**hole."

Ok so that last one sounds harsh.  Except, the first time I met him, I hadn't seen my friend for over a year.  He knew this.  They'd driven 10 hours to visit his family and met up with me.  And he was an a@@.  So much in fact, that my friend had to apologize for his behavior.  She promised me he wasn't usually like that and he was just exhausted.  Call me skeptical but I believed her.  About a year later we saw each other again.  He was again, just as pleasant.  But I keep silent.

Are we being good friends or bad friends?  Probably bad friends, but we all know that honesty could cost us the friendships.

Have you ever been in a similar situation?  What did you do?


  1. I have been in those situations and I think it depends on the level of friendship you have. I've been dishonest and I've been honest. Both are still friends with me to this day. It's about trusting that female/friend instinct.

  2. @Gin: does depend somewhat. But I'm a friend known for my brutal honesty at times (another blog topic lol!) but even I can't be truly honest. I can hint, give looks, ask questions. But I cannot come right out and say it.

  3. I've been in similar situations before too. I'm an honest person, I'll tell you what I think. But these situations are a little difficult. I'm better hinting or making suggestions to get the other person to see it. Sometimes, like these times, I have a hard time just putting it out there.

  4. Hard to say. I suppose it's a little bit of both. I've always hated those situations because there's no good way to handle it. More often that not, it ends in "the messenger getting shot" if you tell the truth or "I told you so" if you don't.


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