Merriam-Webster defines truth as:
1 – the body of real things, events, and facts: ACTUALITY
2 – a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true
I’ve found that most people can neither tell the whole truth nor hear the whole truth. It has to be sugar coated or in some way watered down.
Think about it. Almost everyone you talk to will stay in a relationship far longer than they should simply because they don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings.
They don’t want to tell their partner they aren’t happy and fulfilled in the relationship. They don’t want to say they need something more. They don’t want to say the other person isn’t the right one for them.
Or they may be in denial that they’re in the wrong relationship. Just this weekend I chose to tell a dear friend that she was making a huge mistake by going back to the man that just the day before had made her feel worthless and lower than dirt!
You might say, “Oh Rick, it was just a lovers quarrel.” It was really more than that. The rest of the story was not a good one.
Sometimes even when the handwriting is on the wall, we deny the truth. Why? Because many times the truth hurts. No one wants to give up their belief that they have finally found the right one.
And then there’s the shame.
It’s hard enough to have to face the fact that you may have chosen poorly…very poorly.
Then there’s the shame in having to share the news with family and friends.
And here’s the kicker, most of them will tell you that they knew the relationship wasn’t a good one for you. Well gee thanks! Why am I just hearing about this now?
Why didn’t you share this information with me a little sooner so I could have saved a lot of heart ache?
Maybe they did and you just weren’t willing to listen. Or maybe they withheld the information because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
Either way, the whole truth was never listened to or never shared.
It takes courage to tell the whole truth.
It also takes courage to hear the whole unadulterated truth. No one wants to have their feelings hurt and few are willing to hurt someone else in spite of the truth.
Telling the unadulterated truth is hard. Hearing the unadulterated truth is hard. But that’s life. No one said being an adult was going to be easy.
If you’re going to lose a friend over the truth, were they really a friend to begin with? Never share the truth to be hurtful or spiteful. Always do it with the best of intentions.
When you share the truth with someone, it may not be heard or received the way it was intended. Choose your words wisely.
When someone is sharing the truth with you in good faith, listen thoughtfully. Often times we are blinded by emotions that may not allow us to instantly recognize that someone has our best interest at heart.
I know this firsthand. My best friend spoke up and questioned the actions (or inactions) of my ex-girlfriend. I dismissed his observation with excuses that seemed logical at the time.
In hindsight, he was right. I was wrong. He observed a pattern of one-sided behavior that I ignored. It took courage for him to question my situation and he did it out of concern for my best interest.
Have you ever had someone do that for you? Did you listen or were you like me and made excuses for the situation?
I hope you’ll look at telling and hearing the unadulterated truth a little bit differently going forward. I hope you’ll have courage tell the whole truth and to hear it as well.
If you get frustrated with dating, can’t pick a good date to save your life, or just struggle figuring out what you want in your next relationship, check out my book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate.
Until next week, have a great and blessed day.