Thursday, March 18, 2010

Complete honesty????

In the writing world, we want complete honesty. We know, as writers, that we cannot learn and grow without our readers; beta readers, critique partners, writers group members, giving us complete and utter honesty. A smile and "It's so awesome!" does not help. We know what to do when we're feeling down and need a pick me up: Mom. But to help ourselves grow as writers, we need to know what our writing is missing...even if the truth hurts. And sometimes it does sting. Sometimes at first we look at the critique and say "What???" But usually we come to accept the critique and take what we need from it and fix what needs to be fixed.

But what about our personal lives? What about our friends and family? Is complete honesty the absolute best policy, especially when you know your comments will make someone angry.

I've been in the position many times. For most of my life, accept with my writing partners, I stick with the mantra: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But what should you do when you see someone, a friend, and they are obviously blind to something going on in their life. Something that could result in someone being hurt. And they just don't see it. But you know, without a doubt, that your saying something will cause them to be angry with you...possibly ending their friendship with you. Do you take the chance and say something anyway...or just let them go on in their bubble?

It's easy to say that if the person is really a friend, they will listen and take your concerns seriously...but we all know that's not how real life always is. People get defensive and feel like they're being judged.


  1. No matter what, I always tell the truth, no matter if I know the friendship will die. Because, if you are TRUE friends, they will listen to whatever it is you have to say, whether or not it hurts their feelings. They might be mad and call you nasty names and tell you to mind your own business, but when you are proved right, they have to realize you said it for their own good.

    And if they dump you for being honest, they weren't your friend to begin with.

  2. I do agree and it's easy for me to give that advice, but to actually do it myself..... It would come totally out of the blue.....and would be un-asked for advice. And what if I'm wrong.....if I knew without a doubt I was right, maybe that would be different...but I don't.

  3. Well, then, if you're uncertain, don't speak of it. Things have a way of coming to light. and without you even doing anything about it. The TRUTH always comes out.

  4. Ouch! Difficult situation!! I think it all depends on the friend and the situation, but there is no easy answer, and it's hard to know if you've made the right decision until you've made it. I tend to keep my mouth shut more than I should.