Today I am thinking about honesty. To me it is paramount in any relationship. Whether that is a friendship, a professional relationship or the extra special genital smashing relationship. Why is it so hard for people to just tell the truth?
What is so scary about reality? We seem to be obsessed with reality culture, we will watch the most z list of celebrities brush their teeth and moan on about any old shite. We watch people make each other dinner, do up their houses or even just sit and watch TV. So why then in our own lives do people try and hide truths from each other?
It is done in so many different ways. The favourite and most troublesome, lying by omission. If you just, leave that bit out, it won’t do any harm. Yes it will. The old adage “the truth will always out” is so very true. You don’t want to tell your super smashing new bed fellow that you slept with one of your mates? You guys put it behind you years ago and there is no left over smouldering desire. Fine, but when you go to a boozy get together with a group of your friends and your new beau, one of your besties will invariably do it for you. And then you have an unnecessarily stressful situation on your hands. Why did you not mention it if it was no big deal?
It was just a little white lie. Who made that stupid thing up? The person who has been “white lied” to will not see it that way. They just won’t. They will feel crushed by being lied to.
Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship, but it is as fragile as a glass piano at a toddler recital. And once broken it will never be the same again. You can get the best superglue on the market and stick all of the bits back together, but the cracks are visable to anyone who looks at it.
Why can’t people say that they just couldn’t be bothered to get dressed that day to come and see you? Why make up a fake illness or appointment?
I did this to myself in a way years ago. I quite like fairies, I think that they are pretty and just a plausible as aliens. I have a big one tattooed on my back, it’s awesome. My friends saw this and from then on, every birthday and Christmas I got fairy books, statues, plates, mugs, pens, tea towels etc… This was good for a while. It reached the stage that every shelf, mantelpiece and window sill was covered. I still like some fairies, especially a good Brian Froud squashed fairy (if you haven’t seen them check them out) But it was getting a bit much. The people who loved me, were in fact wasting their hard earned money on things that I was opening and exclaiming with joy how pleased I was to have them, that secretly I was wishing were still in the shop. Liar liar pants on fire. I didn’t mean “Oh my gosh, how darling, I haven’t got a cross eyed fairy!” “I have always wanted three identical fairy snow globes! they will punctuate this shelf perfectly!”
So I manned up. And told everyone that I didn’t want anymore. Not as I was opening gifts, but through out the year. And then each time I moved house more would go to the charity shop. I have a box of my favourites upstairs, but I haven’t unpacked them as I can’t be bothered to dust them and I am a bit worried that my giant puppy will eat them. That’s the truth.
I don’t think that we should all be walking about shouting all of our innermost thoughts at anyone in ear shot “your nose is enormous!” “I think your new skirt makes your bum look as big as a bus!” “your new hair cut makes you look like a bad transvestite!” Because people don’t want to hear that shit uninvited. But if my friend comes downstairs in a new dress that looks like she is a badly packed sausage, and asks if she should wear it that night and she still has time to change, then yes, I will tell her that she looks much nicer in the blue one.
You don’t need to be like an offensive brick in flight, but you don’t need to totally disassociate yourself with the truth either. Maybe then people would learn to not ask questions that they don’t want answers to. I don’t ask if I look nice just to have my ego polished, I am genuinely checking that I am not about to leave the house looking like a drunk monkey dressed me.
I love my friends and want to have a real friendship with them. Not a strange one where nothing between us is based on reality. And I am lucky to have common minded people in my friendship group. I hope you are too. If not, why not try calling them on bullshit. It makes me wish that Karl Pilkington’s bullshit man existed sometimes. Instead of sitting there, staring into your drink and thinking “there is no way that this is true, why are you saying that?” Having Karl fly in, point a finger and exclaim “Bullshit!” and then fly off to save another awkward social situation, would be awesome. And also make nights out at the pub AMAZING. It could be a new drinking game.
So the next time that you are thinking that you are sparing someone’s feelings, or that the truth might make things a bit awkward for ten minutes. Stop and think whether or not you would be prepared to potentially sacrifice that relationship forever if they found out. Or worse that bullshit man will catch on.