The fine thin line separating politeness and lies
“How do I look, honey?” is possibly one of the most dreaded questions by most spouses. No matter how you answer this one may just go downhill with little chance of gaining ground again. What do most of us do? We do not exactly take great care to speak the truth. There are more examples of this and regardless whether or not it’s at work or in other social settings, we are very tempted to go the polite route and not quite tell how we really feel.
Do we do ourselves or the other person any favors? Not at all. In fact, we may help facilitate a sense of false security turning into embarrassment later. Worst part of this is that once the person finds out about our little white lie, we will unlikely be trusted again, or at a minimum we may end up not being spoken to for quite some time.
There are a few jarring examples of when very public people are so brutally honest that we find it shocking. One of such people was Simon Cowell from American Idol. I only watched excerpts of his straight forward contestant evaluations, but what and how he conveyed what he thought of the singers was quite shocking to listen to and yet he was very truthful in what he thought of the “talents”. Some acts were outright painful to watch and listen to.
Bottom line was that although the contestants may have initially been quite disappointed, they can move on in confidence with something else because they have delivered what they thought was their best. Instead of expending any more efforts here, they were able to move on to new and different things.
Regardless whether or not you are candid with your answers, they will have an impact on the recipient. When we are not honest with our answer we may set off events we may all regret later. Politeness has nothing to do with it. As long as you make it about what the person does instead of who the person is we should be fine.