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Maybe the truth is overrated.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

This is a comment on CHUBRUB3's blog, "Little White Lies."
As so often happens, my comment turned out to be longer than the blog it was attached to, so I moved it over here.

I dunno, Angela. There are times for truth, hard and cold, and there are times for gentleness.

On a good day, I'll describe myself as a slightly eccentric, middle-aged widowed lady of gently fading beauty, with terrific skin, great teeth and beautiful eyes, who could stand to lose a few pounds but still has killer legs, and probably ought to either find a lovely job or marry for money.

On another day, I'd describe myself as a crazy, fat old woman who should have stayed out of the sun more and will probably get skin cancer, needs a capped tooth recolored (roller skating accident half a century ago) and bifocals, can't wear heels because of her foot surgery, is unemployed and probably unemployable and would loathe anyone who could possibly find her acceptable, let alone attractive.

Which is true? Perhaps both, perhaps neither. If I ask you on a good day whether my coat is a good color for me or makes me look fat, well, I wouldn't ask you, because I know I look downright awesome. But if I ask you, tentatively, the same question on a bad day, please lie to me. For my sake, because I may dissolve in an embarrassing puddle of tears at your feet, or for yours, because I may haul off and slug you one. (No, not really, but verbally perhaps.)

When it comes to other people, I prefer the term "tact" to "lie", and no, I don't think they are the same thing. If you ask me if I like your new hat and I think you look like you've got a 'possum stapled to your head, I wouldn't tell you that. I'd say that it's a shame to cover up such beautiful hair as yours. If you ask me whether your new dress makes you look fat, I'll tell you that the color matches your eyes, bless your heart. You and I both know the truth is 'possum and yes, because if it were gorgeous and no, I'd be the first to rave about them. Because I'm your friend.

When it comes to ourselves, I think we need to be our own friends, too. We know whether it's time to take ourselves by the scruff of our necks and give ourselves a good shake, and when its time to wrap us in a chenille bathrobe and tackle our lives another day. And doing the second isn't lying, avoiding the truth or trying to deceive ourselves; it's giving ourselves what we need.

I did some backsliding myself in the last eight or so months, but I know I can get back on track and lose that much and more. Sure, I know the amount that I gained back is going to be tough to lose over again, and yes, I'm quite certain that those pants do make me look fat, because, frankly, I *am* fat. But I don't need to hear it from either one of us. And that's not a "little white lie", that's the truth.
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  • PCOH051610
    Okay, I just lost my self-control and burst out laughing (IN A LIBRARY DURING EXAM WEEK) at your sentence :"you look like you've got a 'possum stapled to your head".

    I like to think I'm tactful but the sad reality is I'm thinking the truth in my mind and don't have the guts to say it. Yes, some things are better off not said. Of course, if this happened in a dressing room it would be different but if you are asked by a friend after they've purchased something it is quite different. Just last week I was in a changing room and kept showing my outfits to my friend. She has no tact whatsoever and it was hilarious. If I was at a very low point mentally, it would have caused me great grief (but then again, if I was going through a really rough time I probably wouldn't be out shopping!) but I took her comments for what they were.

    I have gone almost fifty years without liking the colour blue. Long story but back in the day you could only put pink on girls or blue on boys and being a redhead my mother insisted I couldn't wear pink. Everyone has begged me for years to start wearing blue but I resisted. I still don't go gaga over blue but whenever I wear it people comment. And here I was thinking that dog-poop brown was my "colour" emoticon

    1563 days ago
    You's so funny that I happened across this today. I have only recently noticed just how much I delude myself without even realizing I am doing that. Odd little things. But there is a whole lot to be said for being honest with yourself AND tactful......I think a lot of us are much more tactful with others than with ourselves, or that is how it is for me.
    1563 days ago
  • KATIE5668
    good words..well put.
    with ourselves to be brutally honest might be ok..if we are in fact HONEST..not judgemental.

    with others...a lil tact & a great deal of kindness goes a long way.

    we need to be kind whenever possible..& it is always possible..Dalhi Lama
    1564 days ago
    What an inspiring blog! I love when you write. It makes me so happy!! Because you're very, very good at it.
    Employment is over rated. Self-employment, although difficult, I think would suit you. As I've suggested before, I think writing is something you do so well. You should get paid for it. And that's not a "little white lie", that's the truth.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1564 days ago
    Funny thing about lies.....sometimes people use them to "not hurt someone" and sometimes we are lied to because some people "are really that mean". I'm a terrible liar, even to myself so I try to stick with the truth.....and seems to have done me good so far. But don't think for one second I'm too naive not to recognize when someone else is lying to me.
    1565 days ago
  • SHERYLP461
    Sometimes I bite my tongue to keep from saying what I think, evasive action is always better than a cruel truth.
    1565 days ago
    MORTICIA and I appear to be on the same page.
    I cannot lie I just stifle an answer.
    I have been helping to dress people in my Alterations shop for many years so if I was asked my input they want the truth and they get it. Frankly but gently. it can be done and I was often thanked for it.
    Said it on the first blog and still say I do not like dishonesty it is alas a very contagious trait in my book.
    Just my take on "white" lies, lies lead to more lies.
    No I never would be hurtful but I would rather bite my tongue till it bleeds than LIE to anyone. It is counterproductive to me.
    Hey we all have our own chosen ethics and this is my take on HONESTY in all things.
    Thanks to my darling Mother I try to be an honest person-She sure was.
    Pat in Maine. emoticon
    1565 days ago
    Well said. I really enjoyed it. A Great perspective!
    1565 days ago
    Hi Scooter, Thank you for reading my blog and for the response. I do appreciate it and am in a sense surprised it created such a strong reaction. But we all read and interpret things in different ways.
    My intention was not to necessarily go out and tell people the truth to the point of hurtfulness, I am not that kind of person. I do 'lie to be kind' on some occasions and I do justify those little white lies.
    I wanted myself and others to think about what they say and do, to think how their response could cause or prevent things further down the road.
    But I digress..
    My full intention of my blog is to bring attention to the fact that we have to be honest to ourselves.
    " I have to be honest with myself."
    In order for me to regain control of my downhill spiral, I have to stop sugarcoating the truth to the point that the things I say become little white lies.
    I have to stop lying to myself and take responsibility for my actions.
    That was the purpose of my blog. To hold myself accountable.
    I think it was taken the wrong way and for that I apologize to you for not writing more clearly.
    Thank you again for your response, it makes me think too which is always a good thing.

    1566 days ago
    yes, timing is everything. We need to shake ourselves up but be kind as well.
    1566 days ago
    Thanks for this. There are ways to be supportive, to encourage, to help a friend do the right thing. We don't need to be cruel. There's no need to be "brutally honest." We're all grown ups and we wouldn't be here if we didn't have some inkling that we might need to make some changes. Let's celebrate each other's successes, however small. Let's help each other get and stay on track.

    1566 days ago
  • SILVER1369
    1566 days ago
    Love, love, love this blog!! I couldn't agree more!!! Love the way you think!
    1566 days ago
    Great blog!
    I especially liked this: "When it comes to ourselves, I think we need to be our own friends, too. We know whether it's time to take ourselves by the scruff of our necks and give ourselves a good shake, and when its time to wrap us in a chenille bathrobe and tackle our lives another day. And doing the second isn't lying, avoiding the truth or trying to deceive ourselves; it's giving ourselves what we need."

    That is something I struggle with at times. I'm going through treatment for cancer, and sometimes, it's hard for me to know if my body truly needs a rest, or if it's just that I am feeling lazy.

    BTW, I love your page background too, very pretty!

    1566 days ago
    1566 days ago
    OMG, I love this and won't say that it could've come out of my brain -again. You are too much. (smiling) In so many wonderful ways.
    1566 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1566 days ago
    I'm not much of a liar, even in the little white lie category. My mom informed me of this when I was quite small and she obviously was right. I do believe in tact though. One doesn't have to air every rude thought that enters ones conscious mind.

    So if you don't want the truth, please don't ask me. When I compliment you, it's real, and, when I don't, that's real too. It's not that I want to be cruel. It's just that if you really are my friend and you are asking my advice then you are going to get my truth. My friends would kill me if I told them they looked great in a huge flowered mumu and they went out and were made fun of. I would just say, "It isn't you." The possum hat? "I'm not a fan of hats and that one is not going to change my mind."
    1566 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/8/2013 4:23:38 PM
    1566 days ago
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