Can brutal honesty be cruelty | INFJ Forum

Can brutal honesty be cruelty

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by sookie, Nov 12, 2009.

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  1. sookie

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    I thought about this and I wanted to post it as a separate thread. In the other honesty thread it is more related to ourselves. I want to broaden this to a discussion of honesty in general.

    Have you ever heard:

    The truth can set you free?

    I have often thought about this in certain situations. I dont find this to be always true. But the idea of brutal honesty came up in the other thread. Is brutal honesty just telling the truth?. Can it be cruel? If you are telling the truth than are you responsible if the other person is hurt by it if it is the truth?
     
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  2. InTheWomblikeCocoon

    InTheWomblikeCocoon Community Member

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    Brutal:

    barbarous: (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering; "a barbarous crime"; "brutal beatings"; "cruel tortures ...
    harsh; "the brutal summer sun"; "a brutal winter"
    beastly: resembling a beast; showing lack of human sensibility; "beastly desires"; "a bestial nature"; "brute force"; "a dull and brutish man"; "bestial treatment of prisoners"
    disagreeably direct and precise; "he spoke with brutal honesty"

    Cruel

    Disposed to inflict pain or suffering.
    Causing suffering; painful.
    technically, yes
     
  3. Gaze

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    Yes.

    Telling the truth and being "brutally" honest are not synonymous imo. You can tell someone the truth and not be brutally honest. There are some situations in which mildly and sensitively conveying the truth is not as effective. But the real problem is when someone thinks that you shouldn't be honest if you can't be "brutally honest" as if it should be used in all situations where you're conveying the truth.
     
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  4. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Community Member

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    Good topic. I have to do some thinking. But I want to mention that no one can make us feel anything, we are responsible for how we feel. Also, if we are upset with someone it is something in ourselves, not in the other person. With that being said, it is very very difficult not to be affected by what other people say. I am a long way from mastering that.
     
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  5. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    Honesty and the truth are too different things, you can honestly believe something that isn't actual truth.
     
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    enfp can be shy likes this.
  6. Gaze

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    Very very true.
     
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  7. OP
    sookie

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    I think that how we take things are important. But we can't simply give someone license to say what they want without responisbility. That means that anyone who is verbally abusive is o.k because it is up to the person on how they take it. Words have effected me much more than when I was hit. Words were worse for me. My worst memories is of what was said.
     
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  8. Gaze

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    Ah, yes.
     
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  9. midnightmelody

    midnightmelody nagging for truth

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    Yes, I believe it can be. Not everyone is equipped to handle the raw truth. While I'm not saying we should wait around for people to toughen up and then let 'em have it, it would be a bit inconsiderate to deal someone a debilitating blow if they don't have everything together.

    It also depends upon intent. If you are being brutally honest to the point in which constructive criticism becomes destructive, then your honesty probably isn't doing much good.
     
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  10. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    I think that the truth should always be delivered with respect, even it the truth is brutal.

    For example, if your Dr. tells you your test results, that you have cancer or something, then that truth is brutal, yet the delivery should be gentle and caring as the truth hurts.

    The truth hurts in most cases anyway, but that's how we learn and grow.

    Being honest with someone about your feelings isn't an easy thing, but consideration for both parties is important to remember imo. So yea, I'd say respectful honesty over brutal honesty, but I understand that lots of people would choose brutal honesty and that's ok too... yes, as long as we chose to react to the brutal honesty with maintaining responsibility for our emotions towards the other person's prespective (who is being brutally honest).

    Sometimes though, one person's preception of the truth may differ from anothers.
     
  11. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    I believe the word this thread seeks is tact.
     
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  12. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    Yes for sure, I believe tact is a big part of telling the truth...

    good call
     
  13. midnightmelody

    midnightmelody nagging for truth

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    I was just thinking that! My math teacher read from this little box of quotes, and while I don't remember many of them, I remember this one

    "those who have tact don't have to retract"

    Simple yet meaningful. I love quotes...the grapes of wisdom my friend. Feast on.
     
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  14. Faye

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    Yes, and that is why most people do not like psychological freedom.
     
  15. OP
    sookie

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    What if someone is sick and you think that they are going to die. You or someone who is not a Doctor. Would you say that you did think that they were going to die? Studies have shown that a positive attitude can lead to incredible medical miracles. What do you think?
     
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  16. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    There's a correct and incorrect way of telling the truth. Truth should not be debilitating, but quite the opposite. It should give a person a stronger standing in the world.

    However, there are times where you do need to be straight-to-the-point with truth. Some people need reality to slap them in the face before they'll finally admit it to themselves and adapt.
     
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  17. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I theorize that true intelligence isn't just simply the ability to comprehend the truth, but also the ability to share it tactfully. Truth is virtually useless unless it can be effectively shared and humans become naturally defensive when ideas are thrust upon them. To effectively share truth one must learn to be as sensible as they are perceptive.
     
  18. the

    the Si master race.
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    You got to be cruel to be kind.
     
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  19. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    When I'm working and a resident or family member asks me this question, my answer is usually the same...

    During the dying process, there are natural phases that occur as the body and mind shut down. Often times, the person knows they are dying and with natural paliative process, there is a calm reslove that takes place about the last week before death.

    When someone is first diagnosed and I meet to work with them shortly after, they have fears that come out in the form of questions... sometimes they don't ask the questions, but I know what they are thinking and feeling.

    My response to the question; "Am I going to die?" is always; "At some point, as we all have a time... I don't know when your time will be. It could be a long time from now...but you are still here now and you are going to do the best you can, and I'll do my best to help you while you're sick".

    I give them a chance to talk about their fears. Sometimes, simply validating their fears is very comforting for them. I am not going to tell someone a lie and say that I don't believe they will die when I know medically that they will...

    However, I DO believe that being positive and focussed on living is the key to helping a paliative person live as long as possible with their respective illness.
     
  20. OP
    sookie

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    Very well said.
     
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