Let’s start out with a disclaimer. I get an idea for a blog, I pen it into my planner, and then I write about it. My thoughts have been fruitful of late, so I’ve been about 2 1/2 weeks ahead in the thought process. Now, since I took a hiatus, the idea for today’s blog came over a month ago, from a blog my friend Eilene wrote. Here’s the problem- i don’t remember enough about her post to give it any kind of real reference as to what motivated me to write this. But anyway…
What are the qualities you want in a friend. Think about it. I’ll wait…
Say, you want a friend to be honest. Honesty is a good trait. We want to deal with people in our daily lives who speak the truth and don’t lie.
Honesty is good, right?
We want our friends to be honest, right?
I binge watched “Grace and Frankie” (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen it but plans on it) Before Frankie married, someone told her the man she was about to marry was gay. Truthful, right? Frankie didn’t speak to that person for 40 years.
Now, the person was honest, right? But look at the outcome. How honest do we want our friends to be? How many people in our lives to we want to be completely honest with us?
Honesty often hurts. When confronted with the cold, hard facts, we often crumble. We get defensive. My daughter recently asked me to review something she had written for her AP Lang assignment. I told her it wasn’t very good, that she kind of skirted the question, and the voice was very passive when clearly the tone of the piece was supposed to evoke emotion. My daughter stormed off. She told me I was horrible.
Isn’t honesty good?
Don’t we want people to be honest with us?
Let’s think about how we define honesty. Honesty is when we tell the truth. Honesty is when we don’t lie. Lying is bad.
But are there things that are OK to lie about? Are there times when a lie is justified? Are there times when honesty is probably not the right course?
Let’s try this. To be deceitful is definitely bad. To tell a woman that you are single, when you are in fact married, is a bad thing. Does anyone think this is an acceptable lie?
So, lying to be deceitful and not let someone have the whole story is bad.
Now I’m going to give you another TV reference. Big Bang Theory spoiler alert. On a recent episode, Amy picked out a wedding dress. Penny and Bernadette thought the dress was hideous. When Amy asked, Penny told her the truth. Amy’s feelings were hurt. Did Amy want the truth, or did she want agreement?
Which brings us to: if a friend asks an opinion question, is it OK to lie? Would it really be a lie if Penny said the dress was beautiful?
In TV world, Penny ended up telling Amy that the dress was Amy’s choice, and it didn’t matter who liked it. I thought this was the right approach to the situation, but does this choice make anyone feel better?
Opinion honesty is a tough call, because opinions are just that: opinions. Opinions are based on a particular individuals thoughts, and might not necessarily be based on fact. In my writing group, we share work. Now as you know, writing work is very personal. No one wants to be told that there is a flaw in their writing, or an inconsistency. So I was in a quandary yesterday. I told one of my writing friends (who is an absolutely amazing writer BTW) that I thought she had an issue with character development with one of her characters. But it was based on my opinion. True, i gave her examples of why I thought the character needed to be fleshed out a little more, but I don’t know if I’m right. (mark this date down: I admitted that I might not be right about everything) But I felt I needed to tell her how I felt, and why.
Should we give friends out true opinions of things, even when they are going to go against someone’s thought/beliefs/feelings?
So what are your thought on honesty as to how it pertains to friendship? What is your definition of honesty? Are you always honest with your friends about everything? How about family? Are you always honest with your family?