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Miscellaneous Ephemera => Scream Of Consciousness => Grey Matters => Topic started by: Musings on June 28, 2011, 01:21:20 PM

Title: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Musings on June 28, 2011, 01:21:20 PM
on the internets and elsewhere.

I'm sure this has been discussed before but can't find the thread.

Discuss.

Especially with concern to the phrase "do no harm".  What does that MEAN, exactly? 

I find that I am kind with strangers, honest with family, and in the internet it gets blurred a bit.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on June 28, 2011, 02:25:57 PM
I tend to sit on the fence & give out constructive criticism if the situation isn’t too urgent. The best of both worlds in most respects. If it’s political I’m more likely to be honest than kind unless I really have to be professional or practical.

“Do no harm” reminds me of the Hippocratic Oath (a can of worms I’ll leave for now). It’s not a bad maxim but I often wonder if people know enough to carry out the spirit of it without triggering worse than they can ever hope to achieve by acting in good faith. Having said that, it shouldn't be used as an excuse to avoid thinking about (or even learning about) what acts of kindness might do the most good.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: imaginary friend on June 28, 2011, 03:33:08 PM
I'm trying to remove the brutality from my honesty. Some days it's really hard to do.

...I'm going to use that in a song now.

#@!
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Mockery on June 28, 2011, 03:59:38 PM
This is hard.

It's good to be both honest and kind.But there are times where it's hard to be kind while being honest. There are times where I'm brutally honest because some people don't get what I'm trying to tell them if I'm being nice. I have to do that with people who create Mary Sue characters.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Savannah on June 28, 2011, 04:15:21 PM
Actually these two concepts are not that contrary, you can be both kind and honest at the same time. And if you exaggerate, both of them can make you look and sound rude. I personally try to be in between them. Honesty is good but if you insult somebody, or criticize them heavily in the middle of another people, it's not because you're honest it's because you're mean. Or if you talk behind somebody to whom you have been very kind when you see them in person, it doesn't mean you're kind. It's nothing but hypocrisy.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: imaginary friend on June 28, 2011, 04:23:49 PM
Actually these two concepts are not that contrary, you can be both kind and honest at the same time.


they're not even necessarily related, which is why I didn't address kindness in my 1st post in this thread.

#@!
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Savannah on June 28, 2011, 04:31:27 PM
Actually these two concepts are not that contrary, you can be both kind and honest at the same time.


they're not even necessarily related, which is why I didn't address kindness in my 1st post in this thread.

#@!

I reread your first post now, it makes great sense and it's really poetic.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: CottonCandy on June 28, 2011, 04:51:00 PM
I don't think that it's that much one vs other, either.

For example (a superficial example): your friend picks up an item of clothing you really do not like, you can say "not really what I'd wear" or "that is a fucking horrible dress". Even if she doesn't suit the dress, you can point out something else and say it'd flatter her more, rather than say how fat she looks in it.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: The Angel Raliel on June 29, 2011, 06:22:41 AM
i always think that people use honesty as an excuse for being downright rude......
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: N.U. on June 30, 2011, 02:46:33 PM
Kindness and Honesty will never meet without learning Tact.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Tiervexx on July 05, 2011, 08:40:03 PM
i always think that people use honesty as an excuse for being downright rude......

I agree!  A former friend of mine enjoyed being "honest" and expressing his opinions so much he could not understand why he was the biggest asshole there ever was.

If the truth is very unkind you can express it in a gentle way or just mind your own business and not say anything.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Indja on July 05, 2011, 08:52:01 PM
This is a false dichotomy. The fact that we don't recognise it as such is probably why there's so much unpleasantness knocking about the place. Being honest to someone never necessarily means that you must be unkind with it, nor is kindness some sort of deception. Oooh yeah, Indja just got her wise on ;)
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on July 06, 2011, 10:47:33 AM
^
True. It doesn’t make sense to put the two concepts in opposition without a context but there are plenty of dilemmas that involve the choice. 
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: lentower on July 06, 2011, 01:10:43 PM
^^ Indja

words aren't sufficient to enlighten

your wise is wise
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Agonistes on July 06, 2011, 01:46:28 PM
my ONLY character ever is a mary sue character (my avatar), but i don't put her into fanfic, so it's totally okay.


honesty is more important than kindness.  when it's mis-interpreted as unkindness is when it gets frustrating, as truth is something people will go through mental gymnastics to avoid, many times.  i know i've never liked being confronted with the truth, even though i try to force it on myself.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Kenny Wisdom on July 25, 2011, 05:23:32 AM
Over the years I have come to believe that kindness should supercede honesty, and as NU said, tact should be deployed before considering either.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Rob on July 25, 2011, 11:04:31 AM
Being honest is the kindest thing you can do.  They work together.

"Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck;
Write them upon the tablet of thy heart"
Proverbs 3:3 (ASV)


Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: CeeGBee on July 25, 2011, 01:31:55 PM
The trick is in recognizing when it's time to be brutally honest, when
to be gently critical, when to dance around the matter, and when to
just let it slide entirely.

I tend to err toward the middle of that spectrum, avoiding needed
correction, and noting meaningless flaws.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Agonistes on July 25, 2011, 01:35:28 PM
i generally blunder through it as best i can.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Indja on July 25, 2011, 01:37:16 PM
Generally I'm a let-it-slide-er. I'll say if something needs to be said, but for the most part I think people are fine enough ticking along as they are.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: lentower on July 25, 2011, 02:03:45 PM
The trick is in recognizing when it's time to be brutally honest, when
to be gently critical, when to dance around the matter, and when to
just let it slide entirely.

well said.
another way of saying what Indja and I said some posts back
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on July 25, 2011, 02:49:17 PM
“The customer is always right” is a classic controversy that sort of fits in with this. It is probably more of an issue of politeness than kindness but I can think of occasions in that framework where acting with kindness might have a more powerful and positive result than trying to elicit a future change of attitude with a fair and honest critique.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Agonistes on July 25, 2011, 03:11:35 PM
'the customer is always right' is a method of sucking up in order to ensure continuous gain of their money.  notice how exponentially the attitude changes when the product is necessary or not easily obtainable.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: lentower on July 25, 2011, 03:21:59 PM
'the customer is always right' is a method of sucking up in order to ensure continuous gain of their money.  notice how exponentially the attitude changes when the product is necessary or not easily obtainable.

good point
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: BATTEREDxBRIDExLUVR! on August 01, 2011, 09:34:31 PM
The trick is in recognizing when it's time to be brutally honest, when
to be gently critical, when to dance around the matter, and when to
just let it slide entirely.

well said.
another way of saying what Indja and I said some posts back

exactly what i wanted to say, and stated perfectly. i've also realized the importance of not just recognizing the difference, but recognizing the importance of recognizing the difference.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: SpookyTwigg on August 02, 2011, 05:08:49 PM
i generally blunder through it as best i can.
I think I probably take the same route.

I know I certainly try my best to be kind (at least in the polite way) though, if only for the muisguided hope that if I'm kind to people then maybe they'll be kind to me.
But I'll admit that I'm also as honest with people as I can be (Without it being for pointlessly offensive reasons) because I get pissed off with people who will tell me an obvious lie cause they think it'll make me feel better.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Pope Totalfrog on August 02, 2011, 07:21:28 PM
I am kind by being honest with people. I try not to be brutal about it but there are times when I can be.

Lying to someone to make them feel better is only an option if they are on their deathbed and won't ever find out the truth.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Pope Totalfrog on August 02, 2011, 07:45:33 PM
The problem is working out when it is my place to be brutally honest.  I've crossed the line before, and where I don't usually have an issue with playing with boundaries, it's just a shit load of hassle I can't be bothered with. 
That is an important point that I forgot to mention. At the end of the day you have to be someone I actually care about or doing something to directly irritate me for me to say something. Anything else isn't any of my business and I stay the hell out of it.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Gogoamy on August 05, 2011, 05:56:39 PM
 I think people should practice being honest with themselves before giving and major advice to someone else. because let's face it, when growing up we know nothing (for the most part) We tell ourselves we do for the emotional support but I've found that having the ability to admit you're wrong or be honest to yourself about anything is much more supportive than going through life otherwise.
It's not really a question of can you be honest and kind because being honest is being kind. It's a question of are you actually, really being honest (are you taking a cognitive approach to it)
 
It's also 100% possible that you could be honest and still piss someone off. That's just the way it is 
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Savannah on August 05, 2011, 06:10:53 PM
When it comes to be honest to someone else, i think it sometimes depends on the person you are talking to. For example, i knew a girl from university who often asked how her hair looked like. And she used to dye her hair in really weird colours. This one time she asked me, i answered "i don't think this dye goes well with your tan". She got really offended by that, and never asked me such a thing again.
I don't understand why people keep asking such questions if they're so afraid of the answers they'll get. Such people clearly want you to lie under the cover of compliments and kindness. That's not my thing, if i ask somebody how my hair or dress or something looks like, i really mean it because it's hard to look at yourself from an objective point of view, most of the time.

Anyway, this thread reminds me of this song:

http://www.youtube.com/v/steC-8NSVIw
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Gogoamy on August 05, 2011, 06:32:31 PM
When it comes to be honest to someone else, i think it sometimes depends on the person you are talking to. For example, i knew a girl from university who often asked how her hair looked like. And she used to dye her hair in really weird colours. This one time she asked me, i answered "i don't think this dye goes well with your tan". She got really offended by that, and never asked me such a thing again.
I don't understand why people keep asking such questions if they're so afraid of the answers they'll get. Such people clearly want you to lie under the cover of compliments and kindness. That's not my thing, if i ask somebody how my hair or dress or something looks like, i really mean it because it's hard to look at yourself from an objective point of view, most of the
 
See it wasn't you that pissed her off. It was her own disapprovale of herself. Hopefully she will think positively about herself one day.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on August 05, 2011, 07:10:22 PM
When it comes to be honest to someone else, i think it sometimes depends on the person you are talking to. For example, i knew a girl from university who often asked how her hair looked like. And she used to dye her hair in really weird colours. This one time she asked me, i answered "i don't think this dye goes well with your tan". She got really offended by that, and never asked me such a thing again.
I don't understand why people keep asking such questions if they're so afraid of the answers they'll get. Such people clearly want you to lie under the cover of compliments and kindness. That's not my thing, if i ask somebody how my hair or dress or something looks like, i really mean it because it's hard to look at yourself from an objective point of view, most of the
 
See it wasn't you that pissed her off. It was her own disapprovale of herself. Hopefully she will think positively about herself one day.

Sounds about right.

It could also be because people want to find ways to start conversations or change subjects.

A line like “How are you?” is one that I can’t deal with. No one wants my honest answer and I feel uncomfortable giving the standard “fine” reply when clearly I’m not (and yet I often have to).

People probably don’t expect honest responses to certain types of questions -the expectation is no longer there because the question has become a formality.  
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Agonistes on August 05, 2011, 07:13:53 PM
just about anyone can take honesty, unless they are one of those mental gymnasts who cannot ever accept any sort of blame or criticism, so long as the honesty is sneaky/tactful, and presented in a way they can find palatable.  used as a bludgeon, honesty is almost useless except as a fight tactic.

insulting someone and then saying 'i'm just being honest' is as rude as an outright insult, even if one IS just being honest.  ways and means, people.  ways.  and means.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Gogoamy on August 05, 2011, 10:57:28 PM
 
[/quote]
Sounds about right.
It could also be because people want to find ways to start conversations or change subjects.

A line like “How are you?” is one that I can’t deal with. No one wants my honest answer and I feel uncomfortable giving the standard “fine” reply when clearly I’m not (and yet I often have to).

People probably don’t expect honest responses to certain types of questions -the expectation is no longer there because the question has become a formality.  

[/quote]

well asking anyone how their day is going is just as expected as saying Merry Christmas on Christmas.  But it's definitely different (for me at least) when my best friend, or anyone who I'm pretty close to, asks me how I am. If I'm fine I'll say so. If I'm sad I'll talk all about it.this doesn't happen all the time. I tend to hold anxiety or anger in  but just saying what's really up is worth it. This is only true for my best friend,really..
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: The Angel Raliel on August 06, 2011, 02:02:21 AM
my typical response to "how are you?" is "yes"

but brutal honesty is just rude and tactless most of the time.....if someone cooks you dinner and it is ..a tad not good.....it is simply rude to say so especially if they look stressed...the polite thing is to eat it anyway or make a very polite excuse....if they KNOW they are a rubbish cook then they will probably joke about it first........also if a friend or relative tries really hard to buy you a thoughtful gift (that you happen to already have or you find horrid) simply accept it with good grace.....pretty simple stuff.....
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: hybridhydrogencell on October 26, 2012, 02:37:27 AM
I think it depends on your relationship with the other person, if you know them well and they know you honesty is best most of the time when you care for them, if its a not so close friend kindness is usually better
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Tiervexx on November 02, 2012, 10:07:20 PM
....also if a friend or relative tries really hard to buy you a thoughtful gift (that you happen to already have or you find horrid) simply accept it with good grace.....pretty simple stuff.....

First gift my best friend ever got me was a book.  I admitted I already had it.  I have regretted being honest ever sense.

I think she forgave me but I don't think I did...  fortunately we still exchange gifts and I have not had to deal with that dilemma again.  I would lye about it if it reoccurred!
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Lunar Reflection on November 03, 2012, 05:19:24 PM
Lately, I've tried my utmost best to always be honest, which, we all know is impossible. When I really render it harmful to be honest I just try to shut up.

My golden rule is to never 'attack' a person directly. Saying someone is an idiot is just plain rude, in my opinon. Saying someone is acting like one is being honest.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Miss Sahara on November 03, 2012, 08:46:08 PM
....also if a friend or relative tries really hard to buy you a thoughtful gift (that you happen to already have or you find horrid) simply accept it with good grace.....pretty simple stuff.....

First gift my best friend ever got me was a book.  I admitted I already had it.  I have regretted being honest ever sense.

I think she forgave me but I don't think I did...  fortunately we still exchange gifts and I have not had to deal with that dilemma again.  I would lye about it if it reoccurred!
O.o i got my friend a book once which i was really looking forward to give to her because i thought it might be something she might find interesting. when she told me she had it already and she did indeed love it, it made me proud that i had chosen something that was clearly right for her. (and exchanged it at the shop with the sequel...).
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Indja on November 03, 2012, 08:59:01 PM
....also if a friend or relative tries really hard to buy you a thoughtful gift (that you happen to already have or you find horrid) simply accept it with good grace.....pretty simple stuff.....

First gift my best friend ever got me was a book.  I admitted I already had it.  I have regretted being honest ever sense.

I think she forgave me but I don't think I did...  fortunately we still exchange gifts and I have not had to deal with that dilemma again.  I would lye about it if it reoccurred!
O.o i got my friend a book once which i was really looking forward to give to her because i thought it might be something she might find interesting. when she told me she had it already and she did indeed love it, it made me proud that i had chosen something that was clearly right for her. (and exchanged it at the shop with the sequel...).

I think it depends on how you tell them and what kind of person they are. It is, as ever, all about context.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Shaeon on January 26, 2013, 05:14:34 AM
Interesting topic, guys.

This makes me think of a lot of things, particularly my break up a year and a half ago, and how my ex decided to be dishonest with me because she didn't want to tell me she was out of love with me (essentially, to tell me something that she thought was unkind). I got so angry that she felt like it was kinder to lie to me.

It's not nice to say "I don't love you anymore." That's totally choosing to be the bad guy, and I'm sure it's hard to do. But I wish she'd done the hard thing, because it was also the right thing to do. I can't be friends with her now, because I find that I just don't want to be friends with someone who would lie to me about something so important.

So I'm pretty solidly on the side of honesty. But there's such a thing as things that it's important to be honest about, and things that just don't matter. Particularly on Facebook if someone is being confrontational and challenging people who disagree to speak up, I tend to let it go these days. Sometimes people are just looking for a fight. I don't feel like I'm being dishonest with myself or friends if I recognize that I'd rather leave it alone and not give them the fight they want.
Title: Re: Kindness vs. Honesty
Post by: Balloon Boy on March 19, 2013, 05:55:52 PM
I think it's about degrees. The brutal truth can be hurt, but phrasing it in such a way that it can soften it can be helpful. Ultimately, the truth helps people move on quicker than kindness, and I think there's a certain degree of resentment with kindness.

It's like ripping off a plaster. Quick is sharp and painful but done with, but slow is long and drawn out and really fucking hurts.