RELATIONSHIPS

CAN HONESTY EVER BE TOO MUCH IN A RELATIONSHIP?

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I’m sure you’re familiar with the maxim, ‘Honesty is the best policy’. Honesty is a big deal to almost anyone. While some people are keener on it than others, we can all still agree that honesty is a necessity. It is so important that the survival or demise of a relationship is largely dependent on this singular virtue. However, is honesty a boundless policy? Because I bet we’ve been in sticky situations where being outrightly honest did more harm than good.
Or are there certain points where honesty isn’t exactly necessary?

As a person, I’m big on honesty. Like from the get go, I like to be up-front about myself in a relationship. I like to communicate what I feel and get a good picture of what’s going on in the other person’s head as well. But I’ve come to learn very recently that there are certain circumstances that do not necessarily require the ‘absolute-tell-all-honesty’.

For instance, if you spent hours making a special dinner for your man but you went a little overboard with the spices, would you appreciate it if he ‘honestly’ admitted to you that the food tasted terrible? Or you got your girl this really pricey jewellery and she ‘honestly’ told you she thought it looked a little tacky?  While these examples may seem really trivial, such occurrences over time will definitely build up some tension that will ultimately put strain on the relationship.

Just imagine you had an insecure partner and your co-worker of the opposite sex hits on you at work that day, would it be wise to tell your ‘already insecure’ partner about it in the name of ‘honesty’ ?  I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in anyway encouraging lying in relationships but as they say ‘some things are better left unsaid’. And by some things here, I’m not referring to important information such as dating history, having kids, medical conditions, and so on. Even though with those, you still have to figure out the right time to spill the beans. You really don’t want to go on a first date and be like, “Hi my name is Kate. I’m epileptic and I have 2 kids.” That is enough to send anybody running in the other direction.

So if you ask me whether there can be too much honesty in a relationship, my answer is YES. I think being overly honest can be detrimental to any relationship. The point is for us not to get carried away with ‘honesty’ that we abandon the place of sensitivity, support, discretion and protection of our loved ones from unnecessary pain and heartbreak. Sometimes, the most loving and caring thing to do for the person you love is to spare them the agony of hearing the truth.

What do you think? Is there such a thing as too much honesty? Do you think the ‘tell all’ approach is always a good idea regardless of circumstances?

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8 thoughts on “CAN HONESTY EVER BE TOO MUCH IN A RELATIONSHIP?

  1. Its so funny that you wrote about this, as its been on my mind lately. I met someone that I disclosed some personal things to (insecurities). He pushed, and pushed and eventually I cracked and told him about those insecurities. Although he initially seemed not to be bothered by the disclosure, he ended up distancing himself from me. It made me really feel crappy about opening up so much to someone that I barely knew. I felt as if I shared intimate things about me, that I should have just kept to myself!

    1. Hey Josie! I’m sorry about that and I can totally relate to your story. But what I’ve come to learn is how to sieve the info that i share (esp personal ones) depending on the depth of my relationship with the person involved. You can never be 100% safe because people will always be people but being mindful of what we put out there goes a long way in protecting us from hurt and disappointment. I hope this helps 🙂

  2. Thank you Ayomide, for sharing this insightful thought. I quite agree with you on your perspective. Indeed, some truths would hurt than save. Unfortunately, very many of us don’t even appreciate the truths. Perhaps it is bcos it is bitter, it always is. How easy is for a spouse to confess to the partner that he has a terrible mouth or body odour for instance? It could damage the other’s self esteem forever. Imagine the instance you gave about the taste of a wife’s food after all the effort and spices, to admit it wasn’t good by the husband after all could damage the woman’s pride as a great cook and wife who thought she knew how to satisfy her man’s hunger. So honestly, some honesty could be detrimental. Imagine, a man who absolutely does not enjoy his sexual relationship with his wife, he’s done everything possible, the woman is just not cut out for it (you may not agree but it is true, some women are just sexually bland, no matter what you do), but to admit it to some women like that could damage a marriage forever. However, i’m sorry to still say, there’s no such thing as too much honesty. As a matter of fact, truth is supposed to be told at all cost. Half truth or economised truth does not save a situation in reality, it only helps postpone the evil day. That being said, I still have to submit that, the world we live in, the nature of people and other factors make it difficult to speak some truths…

    1. Thank you for your comment. I couldn’t agree more. Nonetheless, I still think it is important to find a balance between the obligation to say the truth and the responsibility of protecting your partner’s ego/feelings.

  3. There is definitely a difference between talking too much and being honest… most of d ‘moments’ of truth that have negative outcomes i have had are more likely bouts of talkativeness.or sometimes out of anger..im an advocate of being HONEST all the time…however foolish talk…should nt be considered..as being honest.. cuz indeed…sm thngs are better left unsaid.

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