Lies have become so prevalent it’s hard to find truth in much these days. Lies expose themselves to us daily and are hardly recognized since they are rooted in the pillars of our society. We’ve become accustomed to them. We’ve accepted them as norms.
We should be concerned.
When we do recognize honesty, it almost feels strange. As if it doesn’t fit within our definition of normal. The truth is meticulously examined and judged by the receiver while a lie is overlooked instantly. This results in the truth-teller being ostracized or isolated.
Typically, we label these people as weird for the crime of being authentic.
Take, for example, a show I stumbled upon a few nights ago called Dating: No Filter! I can’t say I’m a fan, but I did have an important takeaway from the show:
People become uncomfortable when you tell them the truth.
I didn’t watch more than five minutes of the show so I couldn’t tell you much about it. However, it did feature dating scenarios with Millenials, in a big city, who’s first-date methods were critiqued by viewers hiding behind the scenes (definitely not a show for me, but to each their own).
The scenario I watched showed a mixed couple enjoying brunch on a sunny afternoon. The gentleman asked a lot of questions, many that I wouldn’t ask during a first date, but I admired his openness and honesty. Most people put on their best face during the first encounter with someone, but this guy was straightforward and genuine.
Hearing the truth was refreshing, but the critiquers didn’t feel the same. A woman judging the couple said, “This guy is being way too honest. That’s scary. She (the woman on the date) needs to get the hell out of there.”
I changed the channel after she said that. Why wouldn’t someone want to hear the truth in those circumstances? Wouldn’t you want to know the type of person you’re dealing with? Shouldn’t you be happy they’re not playing games or saving face? Otherwise, they’re wasting your time.
The show got me thinking though…
Our relationships and the world would be better if we were honest most of the time.
The person listening to the truth would have to keep an open mind and not rush to judgment. Also, they must not take offense and work through whatever it is the person’s truth may be. All of which are skills we’d all have to learn, I assume.
This would allow others to be honest without fear of unintended consequences. I sometimes withhold my truths in fear of disappointing someone but others may worry about repercussions like abandonment, condemnation, and the aforementioned labeling, ostracization, etc.; among others.
People would not have to repress so much. In theory, this could make relationships stronger…if handled correctly.
Think of those who suffer through mental illnesses–specifically those wrestling with daily thoughts of suicide. If they were able to express themselves without fear of receiving a negative response, they’d be less hesitant to reveal the struggle they face within. We should also consider those who commit murders, rapes, mass shootings, etc. (I’d argue many of these cases are a result of mental instability but maybe in a later article). Perhaps, if they were allowed to speak freely, we’d be able to address the issue before they hurt others or themselves.
Less repression would likely result in fewer victims in the long run.
I also think of those who are victims of violence due to ignorance and unfamiliarity (lack of exposure, typically). If people were allowed to be honest (with themselves and with others) I don’t think we’d see as many atrocious acts against them (people of color, homosexuals, transgender people, etc.).
This is because truth is an avenue to normalization.
In order for this to happen, we must learn to accept truths without passing judgment. We must allow others to have faith in us by listening to them, do our best to understand what they say, and determine the best methods to address what they reveal without pushing them away. If we learn this, acceptance of others and their truths will follow. Unfortunately, many cannot reveal their truths in our world and we see why in our news every day.
In some aspects, we are getting better. Look at the progress we’ve made over the last few decades, it’s astonishing considering mankind’s history. But in other aspects, we are falling behind and dishonesty is obviously dangerous to society (the media and certain Presidents aren’t helping).
Let us all do our part and listen to truths without rushing to condemnation. We might just make the world a little bit better.
What do you think? Should the truth be more prevalent? Would it help or hinder our society? Let us know what you think in the Comments section below!
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