You can’t handle the truth!
People say they want to hear the truth. Then, there’s that line that Jack Nicholson yells from A Few Good Men “You can’t handle the truth!” And it’s true; sometimes the truth hurts. Nobody likes it when people lie to them or do they? I would say the majority of the time the answer is yes; if someone directly asks you a question, be honest. However, there are times when people don’t need to know every single detail about your life. Does that mean you need to lie? No, but you don’t have an obligation to disclose everything about yourself. Some information is private, and it’s okay to keep those facts to yourself.
Lie to me
There’s an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer where Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) tells David Boreanaz (Angel) to lie to her. She knows that the truth will be painful and she doesn’t feel she can handle it. Let’s go back to the Jack Nicholson example. She can’t handle the truth. Is it healthy for her to ask Angel to lie? Probably not, however, if she can’t deal with what he has to say, maybe it’s not the right time to have that awkward conversation. Then the question becomes, is this an easy moment to have a hard conversation. No, there isn’t.
Rip the band-aid off
People lie to themselves, and each other in relationships. It doesn’t mean they’re compulsive or pathological liars. Couples don’t want to confront hard issues and realize that their relationship isn’t working. If they did deal with the tough problems, they would be able to potentially get help, and make it through difficult transitions by going to couples counseling. But, living in denial feels easier than facing the truth. It’s painful to admit that you’re unhappy, but if you look that suffering in the eye, you can start making necessary changes to feel better.
Of course, you’re scared. I’ve lied to myself many times, and I’ve been dishonest with others. I’m not proud of either of those things, but admitting them out loud makes me feel brave. I’m terrified to say those words: “I lied.” I’m grateful that I’m not a pathological liar because that seems like a difficult problem to have. Lying doesn’t make me feel good. I try to be as honest as I can with everyone I know. It, but when I do it, I find my relationships get stronger than they were before.
Hearing painful truths
When you ask someone to tell you the truth, you never know what they’re going to say. I find myself holding my breath, waiting for the worst. One of the hardest for me to ask people I’m close to is “how do you feel about what I just said?” I’m terrified of their response. What if they’re angry? Maybe they don’t want to see my perspective. What if they don’t validate my feelings, and tell me I’m wrong? I’m working on accepting the fact that people are inevitably going to disagree with me. If we agreed on everything, we wouldn’t be humans; we’d be robots. I don’t know about you, but I’m not made of metal and plastic buttons, and I don’t have wheels. There are times when I wish I were a robot, and I didn’t have feelings. I feel deeply sometimes, and it hurts; especially when someone tells me a harsh truth. But, I’d rather know what’s going on in someone’s head than having them lie to me.
Do you want to know the truth?
What about you? Would you rather have someone lie to you, or do you want to know what the truth is, even if it’s painful to hear?