Sent: Friday, June 11, 1999 10:47 PM
Subject: Just how important is...
...truth in a relationship?
To quote a well known doctor:
"The next time you're
considering whether to nit-pick, or to correct
someone's misstatement or fact which may be slightly out of place, or
correct someone's opinion or plan of action, reconsider what you have to
gain and lose. You may offer your opinion, once, twice. Then drop it. You
will be happier if you choose not to engage in that argument. It is a
choice, and you have the power to make it."
If somebody makes a misstatement, and they
also happen to be someone you love deeply, why would it be good to let
them continue to be wrong? Why would it be "powerful" for me to
let those who I care about to remain wrong?
Why is it "controlling" (to use your vocabulary) to insist that
people tell the truth, when it can be discerned? Most "truths" I
would agree are problematic and it is sometimes very hard to arrive at the
truth. Most arguments are purely subjective, where there are no rights and
wrongs. It comes down to an opinion or feeling. Other times, however,
there is no mistaking what the truth is.
If somebody tells me that 2+2=5, and I want to let it be known that they
are incorrect, why would it be wrong for me to tell them that they are
mistaken? Even if they don't believe it after telling them 50 times? What
in the world is gained by letting somebody to be misinformed about
reality? If I am certain of my fact, and I also think the person knows
what they are purporting is false also, (in this example, I know that the
prevaricator has a college education, and they know that 2+2=4) isn't it
natural to get angry, if they continue present their false side as the
And also, why is it that people end up sticking to their
"truths" when they are shown to be incorrect anyway? Why do
humans do that? What is to be gained by a temporary obfuscation? You talk
about a temporary feeling of "power" to be right. If
someone is lying (mistaken) but could be proven wrong soon (or aren't
absolutely positive about their facts), why are they engaging in that
behavior at that time?
If I understand your "I'll never be Happy"
article, are you claiming that happiness comes from not caring too much
about the truth? Is that the answer: sympathize with those who won't own
up to the truth and forget about "honesty", because life's too
short and humans aren't very good at it? The "choice" is to let
the mistaken person to "win" and but for yourself to
"lose", for no good reason other then because it's more
I want to know why one person's pride (self-esteem) should be placed above
another person's sense of honesty (truth). I've read your
information about angry-guys and abusive people, and their case studies. I
am an angry person when I feel that someone I care about is trying to
deceive me. All my trust for them goes out the window if I think that
somebody feels that the truth isn't important, certainly not important
enough to ruffle anybody's feathers. Even though, when we depart from this
world, really all we leave is our integrity. We are remembered for our
integrity or lack thereof. Integrity is a synonym for "honesty".
I feel that a person's integrity is what makes other people care, trust
and love them. If there isn't a reciprocation of honesty, I feel that
there isn't a basis for a good relationship.
If you have the time, I would love to hear what you have to say. Thanks
for your time.
To cut to the quick: You can
bring a horse to water but you can't make them drink. That's why. The
article has nothing to do with "the truth." It has to do with
the fact that you have no power over anybody but YOURSELF. The article
also has to do with the fact that since you have no power over anybody
else, the best you can do under the circumstances is to RESPECT the
other person's position, right or wrong.
By the way, is it possible
that the other person's reality is different from yours? Or that
mitigating factors exist that you are not aware of? Or, even that the
other person needs their self-deception? Why do you take it upon
yourself to "correct" those who are not asking to be
Unless, of course, the two
of you decide it is OK to engage in some sort of battle, which is
perfectly within your respective rights. If you want to knock your
head against a wall and get zero appreciation for it, enjoy yourself.
Ps: Who made you keeper of
Ps: Who made you keeper of "The Truth?"
Well, to quote you again:
"Too often, the codependent partner, lacking a strong sense of
up his or her own reality in favor of the distorted reality of the
Apparently you do believe that there is a "reality". If that
is the case, then somebody could decide NOT to give in to a DISTORTED
reality. That's my point-- I don't let other's with a distorted sense of
reality "off the hook", just because it's cheery and
civilized. Don't you think it is just as painful and hurtful, as much as
LOUD WORDS, to be DECEIVED (or, to listen to somebody saying, "I
KNOW that 2+2=5!!!!")? Even though I get angry, I would
characterize myself as a frustrated co-dependent, who sometimes takes
the mirror of truth and holds it up to the face those who would not see
I have to ask you again, because I guess I did not make myself clear: Do
you think that feelings are more important than the truth? And if so,
why? Isn't appreciation (positive feelings) gained with honesty and
Are you suggesting that one should ALWAYS "give in". Right or
people be wrong, even though you love them? Is that the key?
Another quote, "...you have no power over anybody but your
self". You must
agree that you do have INFLUENCE over everybody you come in contact
in some capacity, and if the influence is meant to be helpful, then it
can be worth the effort?
To cut to the quick: I feel that your
answer is trite. A cliché is dandy, but I am not a horse and neither
are you. Why are people stubborn with their sense of reality even when
the truth has been described, realized, shown, demonstrated, and made
And I am not saying that I know what the truth is all the time, but when
I do, I think it is something to be shared, with those who I care enough
about, so that they can be informed. I don't quibble with those people
who don't get it if they aren't very close to me, because I have nothing
to gain. When my associates, friends, family know something that they
didn't before, they have "learned" something. Wouldn't you
agree that this is a good thing?
I am not the keeper of truth, nor are you, or anyone. But if you have
some insight why people hold on to misbeliefs, why they feel a
"need" to do it, I would like to know. It really baffles me.
I've explained why I act the way I do. Can you tell me what's going on
inside the wall that I'm knocking my head against?
Thanks for your time,
You've answered your own question as to why people hold on to their
view: Look at yourself holding on to yours. You are certain your reality
is right. For you, it is.
Don't you see, the "wall" is your own. You have difficulty
accepting that others do not see things your way. You think you are
right; I think you are wrong. If it bothers you so much that I am wrong,
for example, or that the person you are trying to correct is wrong, the
place to go is inside: What is making you so uncomfortable? That is
where your answers are, but that's one place you don't want to go to.