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September 15, 2010


To the Nth

I also find it distasteful when people wield "honesty" like a club. I'm not always successful at refraining, but I try to remember that just because something is true doesn't mean I need to add my two cents about it.


I agree, tact before brutal honesty..the key word there being "brutal". I'm all for being honest, but like you mentioned, there are good ways and bad ways of going about it. I think the people that fly their "hey, I'm just being honest" flag are either too selfish to think of others' feelings first, or too lazy to engage their brain for a tactful, thoughtful response. Probably both.


Very good point.

I have a co-worker who thinks that just because he isn't sneaking around your back, he's an honest guy... which really isn't exactly true either. Just because you're upfront doesn't mean you're showing good character.

Operation Pink Herring

When people say "I'm just being honest!", what they really mean is "I'm just being an asshole." Sorry if that offends anyone, but I can't help how I feel!

Same Sweet Girl

I completely agree with you. I WANT to tell the truth most of the time because I feel they have a right to know...but you really have to think hard about it because although they are they really want the truth? I feel you have to make wise, educated decisions before opening your mouth. It's awfully hard to do though isn't it?!

Brittany S

I love this post. A good friend of mine goes by the motto that her mom always told her, "As long as you're honest, you can't get in trouble!" The problem is, she just uses it as an excuse to be a bully. I hate when people do that! And yes, it is a totally self absorbed, attention garnering tactic. Hello, I can see right through that crap!


I try really, really hard to just keep my mouth closed. I play the part of an avid listener, and sometimes it is SO HARD to not say what I think, but my brain knows I'm better off staying silent.


Ugh, yes. I have a "friend" who calls herself, "blunt and honest" and states that, "people can't handle" her bluntness and honesty. When, in reality, she's completely abrasive, has zero tact and uses it as an excuse to, as a previous commenter stated, be a big bully. Honesty isn't an excuse or reason to hurt other peoples' feelings. Yowza!

That being said, I hope my friends tell me if I'm wearing a pair of pants that aren't flattering! I just hope it's in the form of, "Totally not your pair of jeans" rather than, "Holy geez, now I know where all that whip cream went!" ;)


I can be brutally honest. But I know who I can/can't do that with. And for those that I'm not close enough to judge, I remain silent. I'm Thumper.


Yep, I'm working on my blunt honesty. I've definitely used "I'm just being honest" as an excuse to be mean and exercise no self control. FOR ME, "being honest" in THAT way was typically selfish, hurtful bitchyness.

Old Warrior

Sounds like Melanie is emerging as a role model over Scarlett. Not a bad thing, in my opinion.


Tact over honesty, always.

Do you know what I hate? The phrase "I'm just saying," which seems to translate to "I'm going to say something jerky and get away with it, because I added 'just saying' to the end of it."

Kate P

I try to be diplomatic (that's a Libra for you) most of time. Sometimes you can tell when people really want you to be brutally honest and when not to do it.

If you want a good example of a person claiming to tell the truth brutally all the time as a favor to other people, watch "Only the Lonely" (John Candy, Maureen O'Hara). The mom (O'Hara) has this whole spiel about telling it like it is, when really she's being nasty.

garden state prep

Oh I think is a great topic and it brings up a lot of questions. Your example about the jeans is a classic one. I have a colleague who uses "honesty" as a way to say whatever she thinks and then finishes it with "but that's just my opinion so don't take it personally".


Oy this is a tough one. I have been known to be brutally honest too but I never try to be hurtful. If a friend asks if the jeans looks fat (and if they do) I say that I don't think they work but provide an alternate style that might fit her better. Or, depending on the situation, if I see it makes her happy, I go with it. I may be mean but I'm never hurtful.


OOH ... good post. I'm a big fan of tact over brutal honesty. It IS possible to tell the truth tactfully, believe it or not. The only time the brutal truth comes out is a) if I'm really pissed (and then it's usually an exaggerated form of the truth) or b) if the recipient has verified that yes, they DO want the blunt, honest truth.

Being tactful is really just showing good manners and being polite.

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