Honesty doesn’t need to be brutal

July 17, 2018 | 9 comments

This quote arrested my attention:

“People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.”

~ Richard J. Needham, Canadian columnist

Have you ever had someone tell you the truth in a mean way? Like, they enjoyed seeing you suffer because of the truth they share?

It doesn’t need to be that way. Truth can be shared with love and compassion.

The purpose of truth is to heal, and it can be shared in an uplifting way that inspires the listener to better possibilities, rather than leaving them feeling beat up from the exposure.

The best kind of honesty is truth motivated by love and care.

9 thoughts on “Honesty doesn’t need to be brutal”

  1. Thank you Evan, and it reminds me of I Corinthians:

    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

  2. Thanks, Evan! Was wondering when you’d show up…..! (I hope that wasn’t too brutally honest…??) I guess it really all comes down to Motives, eh? Sometimes the truth does hurt, especially if people have survived on lies and denial. Sometimes people do need a “rude awakening” and that can be a form of Love, if we see Love as Principle and not as a Jelly Fish.

    1. I’m imagining a situation where I think another person needs to learn something, and I believe I know what that something is. If I call my sharing of opinion Principle; one of the identifying names for God; then I want to be very very sure that the “principled opinion” I am about to share, is actually God’s view of the situation. How to think about that? Pray, pray, before opening my mouth!

  3. thank you very much indeed, Evan, that I got today`s SpiritView now late evening.
    Although I had it a bit earlier via yesterday`s post. There I already wrote a quite scientific comment. But when I clicked on the button “submit comment”, a l l was gone.

    But that is good, because I love your comment very much, dear David, for that is better and with more humility than my would be! 🙂

    Yes, I had a church member who told me how to do better in a brutal manner but without enjoying to see me suffer.
    Nevertheless, deep in me I thought, oh that member should have prayed about that before telling me so brutally. Meanwhile our relationship became better. I tried to see her/him as God`s loved child.

    And now I refer to yesterday`s SpiritView, and am very thankful that we learn in CS to ask God: “What is the spiritual lesson being learned?” Thank you dear Evan, that you take seeming problematic situations into your posts and enlightens them from a highly spiritual viewpoint which blesses and heals !!

  4. Thanks for the message, and also Davis thanks for the quote!

    I know in the past I’ve been guilty of being brutally honest, not out of cruelty, but out of thoughtlessness. I also used to have the notion that others weren’t as sensitive as I. Frequently that was based on how I felt they treated me. While it may or may not have been true, it wasn’t a justification for not considering their feelings.

    A tricky point for me is that it seems many others, especially men, seem to need things spelled out for them. Figuring out how to lovingly address what seem to me to be obvious oversights, or complete ignoring of my or others’ feelings, isn’t always easy. All the more important to turn to God, to ask for guidance on how – and if – to share.

  5. Darren Stone used to have a Monitor column about raising kids. She had three boys and she said yes she had to yell at them occasionally to get through to them. Even if you have to raise your voice it can be with love.

  6. What comes to mind is Marshall Rosenberg and his method of NVC (non violent communication). This man was an amazing international negotiator. I recall one of the articles on his negotiations quoting a participant who essentially said if we could communicate like this all the time than we would not need to kill each other. He has free videos on youtube and they will change the way you communicate and see communication forever in a very positive way.

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