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The truth vs what you want to hear

(9 Posts)
HumourMeOnThisOne Sat 08-Aug-20 10:15:17

I have aspergers.

As a result, I find a lot about relationships (platonic and tomantic) really difficult.

One of the things that's really important to me is that people are honest with me and I know some NT people have found that difficult.

I don't ask many people in real life advice/opinions on stuff because I've learnt that people sometimes tell you what they think you want to hear rather than the answer.

I've got one friend and my boyfriend who I trust will tell me the truth. Largely because, when I ask a question, they begin their answer with, "ok. I know you mean it when you say you want me to be honest with you so I will..." kind of thing. Sometimes they have been uncomfortable with that.

Neither of them have ever been unkind in their responses, just honest.

I wouldn't ask a question if I didnt want an honest answer - what is the point in that?

Would some people really rather be told 'what they want to hear' rather than the truth? Isn't that just the same as being lied to?

OP’s posts: |
Aussiebean Sat 08-Aug-20 10:28:09

People are brought up to be nice and not hurt feelings. Being the bearer of bad news isn’t easy either.

Being brutally honest is unpleasant for people and hearing that brutal answer is also hard.

So people will lie (that top looks nice) or sugar coat it. ( that top looks ok). Instead of saying ‘you look really fat in that top’.

LoganberryOakley2 Sat 08-Aug-20 10:42:25

Well, I completely understand your need for truth. My parents both lied a lot to me and each other and it created a bit of a toxic mess. Like you , I respect the truth but I don't always give it.

If there was a bride to be who was trying in a dress in a changing room and the dress didn't suit her , I would absolutely 100% tell her so. If she was about to walk down the aisle in the same dress and she asked me how it looked I would 100% lie. I would tell her she looked absolutely stunning ( as she no doubt would).

It's social etiquette , and it's kindness. So if I were to ask for the truth I'd try to do it in a way that it was easier for the person to give it. And I'd take any answer they gave without shooting the messenger ( which is easier said than done).

HumourMeOnThisOne Sat 08-Aug-20 10:45:41

Thanks for the reply. That makes sense. But still doesn't answer it fully.

To use that example, I rarely ask someone how I look. I've got eyes and a mirror. I can see what I look like. If I'm uncertain, I will ask but I'd rather be told "the style doesnt really suit you" or "it makes your boobs look a bit squashed" or "it's not very flattering from the back" than have someone tell me it looks nice/ok when it doesn't. I wouldn't have asked if i didnt want to know the answer.

I suppose my question is really do some people not mind if they are lied to as long as the words they hear make them feel better even if they are not honest? Do they know that they are not being told the truth? Because I wouldn't.

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HumourMeOnThisOne Sat 08-Aug-20 10:56:18

It's social etiquette , and it's kindness. So if I were to ask for the truth I'd try to do it in a way that it was easier for the person to give it. And I'd take any answer they gave without shooting the messenger ( which is easier said than done).

Yeah, i don't really understand shooting the messenger either! I know what it means, but not why people do it.

Your example makes sense. I would also say she looked lovely but largely because a) I've learnt that sort of thing the hard way and b) there's not a lot she could do about it at that stage.

I do understand that, I suppose.

I once asked my friend about a new man I was seeing. I asked her what she thought of the way he was with me. I wouldn't have asked if I'd been confident about the answer. I'd asked another friend previously who'd replied, "he obviously really likes you" whereas she said," well, I know you mean it when you want me to be honest so... I thought he was a bit dismissive of you at times but other than that you both seemed really comfortable with each other". I'd asked because I thought the same but wondered of that was how it looked to other people. And she was right.

OP’s posts: |
LoganberryOakley2 Sat 08-Aug-20 10:58:51

Well, yes. To use the example of someone asking how they look... Often people ask this question for reassurance not absolute honesty. Everyone knows they have imperfections. Like you say, they have a mirror.

If someone was asking me if they looked okay... I'd first determine why they were asking it. If it's reassurance I would give them it. If say, they are going on an interview or a date I would appraise them in the way you suggested. It's all about context.

If they said, like you do. Please give me your honest opinion I would believe them and give it.

So I think the answer is, sometimes people don't mind being lied to about this and sometimes they would.

HumourMeOnThisOne Sat 08-Aug-20 11:14:27

So I think the answer is, sometimes people don't mind being lied to about this and sometimes they would.

Hm. Thanks.

Still not sure I get it fully!

I would still always want to be told the truth. In fact, I think the only time I've asked for reassurance purposes is when trying to determine whether what I'm wearing is suitable for the occasion (because I have been known to get that massively wrong!) when I'd still want the truth!

OP’s posts: |
LoganberryOakley2 Sat 08-Aug-20 11:29:38

Well , I will think about it and try to come up with something better.....

Right now I'm getting to go out with my husband. In ten minutes when we leave, I will ask "do I look okay?", And he will answer with a variation of you look lovely/beautiful/gorgeous....

We are going to buy some clothes, I'm going to try them on and I expect him to be critical .. but polite. Hmm , I've seen better on you, that colours not great, etc. So I want him to be honest then...

But I will think about it when I'm out. Have a good afternoon.

HumourMeOnThisOne Sat 08-Aug-20 11:40:58

Ha, thank you. Hope shopping is successful.

OP’s posts: |

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