Why we don’t tell the truth.

The hardest thing in the world is telling the truth. Not because we are liars or scum bags or monsters but because we’re human — and a major aspect of being human is not wanting to hurt other human’s feelings.

Growing up, your parents and teachers and pastors told you to tell the truth. Yet, when their wives walked out in the dress that made them look fat and asked if the dress made them look fat, they lied to their faces. Every single time.

Even they had trouble telling the truth. Not because they were hypocrites but because they were human and as I mentioned earlier — a major aspect of being human is not wanting to hurt other human’s feelings (especially the humans that we love).

Unfortunately, while our lying (or finagling of the truth) momentarily avoids an uncomfortable conversation and a few hurt feelings, it eventually leads to something far more serious — bankruptcy, toxic relationships, unfulfilling careers and sometimes even death.

Your best friend has a serious spending problemhe spends more than he makes on an annual basis. You’re watching as he is throwing away his money, digging himself deeper and deeper into debt. As his best friend, when do you sit him down and say, “Chuck, I love you brother and I am going to be here for you no matter what… but I think you need to cut back on how much you’re spending.”

Your other best friend has cheated on every boyfriend she has ever had. And, while she always acts upset after doing so, it doesn’t stop her from making the same mistake the next go around. As her best friend, when do you sit her down and say, “Linda, I am asking this because you’re my best friend in the world and I care about you… why do you cheat on every boyfriend you have?”

Your wife hates her job. She works 50+ hour weeks and is constantly complaining about her manager and her manager’s manager and an annoying employee that eats stinky tuna sandwiches at his desk. As her husband, when do you sit her down and say, “Sweetheart, this job isn’t for you. Let’s find another one where you will be happier.”

And lastly, I often wonder if the 45 year old man who died of the massive heart attack because he was one hundred pounds over weight, could have lived to see his daughter walk down the aisle if his wife at some point in their two and half decades of marriage, would have stepped up and said — “honey, I love you with all my heart, but you’re fat and you’re going to die if we don’t do something about it.”

Now, upon reading this article, you might be thinking… Cole is harsh. To which I would argue, I think massive heart attacks at the age of 45 are harsher.

Tell the damn truth — whether it hurts someone’s feelings or not.

By Cole Schafer.

Cole is the copy chief at Honey Copy, where he helps startups make more money through emails and landing pages that read like poetry and sell like Ogilvy. When he isn’t slinging copy, he is right here on Medium sharing ideas about life, business, marketing and being honest. Or riding alpacas.

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things. https://coleschafer.com/subscribe

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