Is it always better to know the truth, even when it hurts? Or is ignorance bliss? Or are they both true some of the time?
guess if I have to choose one, it would be the last statement. Depending on the situation either could be true. I’ve often heard people say, don’t ask a question if you really don’t want to know the truth. I guess that would be a situation where ignorance is bliss. Where you want to know but you really don’t. One of those situations where you know that once you learned the truth, things would never be the same.
The situation that immediately comes to mind would be infidelity. I mean, would you really, really want to know the whole truth? When all that’s going to happen is you’re gonna be hurt and your life as you know it will never be the same again. Unless you’re prepared for your whole life to change, do you really want the whole truth?
Or another situation was brought up this morning. I saw an old friend over the weekend that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. She went to the doctor because she had been having some health problems and eventually after several tests, her doctor informed her that she had a mass on her pancreas and bottom line was she was probably looking at 2 to 8 months to live. She said he basically told her “You need to get your affairs in order.” WTH??? Would you want to know?
Hubby and I debated this for a while. He was like “I don’t think I would want to know” and I was all like “Well, I think I’d like to know I needed to prepare and get things in order but I don’t necessarily want to know a time limit I don’t think.” I think you might defeat yourself if you are given a time limit. Maybe you’d give up? Maybe you wouldn’t want to try to overcome the inevitable? Maybe you’d feel too sorry for yourself and have a defeatist attitude. Or would you be like Randy Pausch and decide to do the most you can for your family with the time you have left.
On the reverse side, hubby also said he wouldn’t want anyone else to know if he had something “bad wrong” with him as he put it. I would want to know (if it were someone I loved) because I’d want to be able to make the most of the time we had left. I’d want to be able to spend as much time as possible with that person. Yes, maybe we should feel like that about the ones we love anyway but it’s not always feasible. I would be willing to put the rest of my life on hold for a while in order to spend more time with someone I love if I knew my time with them was limited. And I also think the people who love you have a right to know what is going on with you.
On another note, not quite so serious… if I was wearing something that made me look hideous, I’d want someone to tell me, but in a loving manner. I don’t want someone just blurting out “You look like Sh**!” (which coincidentally I did have someone tell me once, which reduced me to tears!) I would want them to tell me lovingly so I didn’t have a meltdown. Or if I were acting like a total *B* or diva, I’d want them to tell me. Call me out on my crap if I’m getting too big for my britches, just remember I do have feelings.
I once had another woman say some very ugly and hurtful things to me about my weight and when I looked at her incredulously she responded with “What? You know how fat you are!” I told her yes, I did in fact know I was fat, but, that didn’t mean that I wanted to be reminded of it by someone else or that I didn’t have feelings. Then I went home and cried like a baby and I was in my mid thirties. So, yes, just because someone knows something about themselves, doesn’t mean you don’t have to be tactful when reminding them of said fact. So in that case, truth can be tempered with tact.
Even though it seems like I’m contracting myself I’m really not. I always say I don’t want to be lied to and that I can’t stand to be lied to. I guess I really can if it’s to spare my feelings. But not if it’s something that’s really important. I know, I know… I just contradicted myself again.
I had a friend actually get mad at me and accuse me of not being a friend because I told her I had NOT told her the 100% truth because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She said I wasn’t really a friend if I wasn’t 100% brutally honest and I tried to explain to her that I thought tempering the truth WAS being a friend. She told me I obviously didn’t know how to be a friend. I really don’t know if she still feels that way because she hasn’t spoken to me since. I think friends can have differing opinions and still be friends. You just don’t have to tell each other something you know is going to hurt them. If it was something that was important and would matter in the future, then yes, I would have told her but it wasn’t something that was going to affect the situation in the least and the only thing it would have accomplished was her being hurt on top of being mad. In that case it probably wouldn’t have mattered because either way, I would have lost her friendship.
Bottom line, I guess I’m still sticking with the third option, that whether or not you are 100 % honest would depend on the situation. In some cases ignorance is bliss and in other instances truth is gold. You just have to go with your heart and hope for the best.