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Should You Always Tell The Truth?

We are always told that trust in relationships is very important. But does ‘trust’ mean always telling the truth? What happens if you aren’t truthful, and might there be times when it’s okay to tell a lie?
Find out about:
  • What is ‘truth’?
  • Being truthful with yourself
  • Times when it might be better to lie




You may think it’s obvious what truth is, and on the face of it it’s often clear what’s true and not true. But truth, when you really look at it, is how you see something. It’s well known by detectives that when an incident occurs, every witness will have a slightly different account of it – and they all swear in total sincerity that they are telling the truth.
Philosophers have debated the nature of ‘truth’ for thousands of years, and there are some that say ‘truth’ or ‘reality’ is what you experience, and has no independent existence from you! This raises crazy questions such as ‘Is your cup of coffee still there when you turn away and no-one is looking at it?’ In others words, does anything have an objective, independent existence, or is everything ‘in the mind’? And if this is the case, then ‘truth’ also could be something you make up!
All this may sound mixed-up and even weird. It’s just worth noting that the nature of reality, and therefore ‘truth’ is open to question. So if you think that truth is something rigid and definite, maybe you could think again. Perhaps truth is fluid, changing from day to day, viewpoint to viewpoint. So keep an open mind about the value of truth, in itself, and be prepared to look at each situation individually, when it comes to relationships.


When it comes to good relationships, and indeed happiness in general, one person you do need to tell the truth to is yourself. Try to be honest with yourself about how you feel, what keeps you in – or out – of your relationship, what you really want, what you’ve done in the past and what you hope for in the future.
Sometimes being honest with yourself can be quite a challenge. For instance, your love may have died but you can’t bear to upset the other person and/or disrupt your life by admitting this. It might seem easiest to tell yourself that you are still in love, rather than face the implications.
For a while you may convince yourself, yet wonder why you are in a bad mood, lack energy or feel depressed. In the end this lack of self-honesty helps no-one and isn’t fair to you or your partner. Your true feelings, even if they are subconscious, are bound to show in your relationship, in some way, and can undermine you both.
Always remember that being honest with yourself does not necessarily compel you to any action – at least not immediately. And you may have a choice of action. For instance, if you face up to falling out of love, perhaps there are ways to find other values in your relationship. You don’t have to rush to tell anyone how you feel – and remember feelings often change.
Facing up to your own ‘truth’ in the privacy of your soul is the way to being strong and genuine. From there you can find your way.
If you’re prepared to consider the idea that telling lies may be okay, here are a few circumstances where they may be advisable, for the good of your relationship.
YOUR LOVER ASKS ‘DO YOU LOVE ME?’ Hopefully, the truthful answer is generally ‘yes’. But what if you’re in a really bad mood, angry or worried about something? That feeling of love and closeness may be miles from your mind – maybe you just can’t connect with it right now. So, do you answer ‘Not really, not at this moment’ or do you remember the ‘bigger picture’ of your relationship and say ‘Yes, of course I do!’
YOUR LOVER OR FRIEND ASKS HOW THEY LOOK IN AN OUTFIT. If you’re asked for an honest opinion, well before the occasion on which the outfit is going to be worn, and you don’t think it looks good, then by all means say so. You could do this tactfully, pointing out how their good points aren’t enhanced by the clothes. However, if you’re just on the way out and there’s no time to change, what good would it do to criticize? Could this be an occasion where it’s best at least to mask the truth, to find some positive comment to make and avoid destroying your friend’s confidence ahead of an important engagement? Sometimes the greatest ‘truth’ might be to support the person you care for.
YOUR LOVER OR FRIEND ASKS IF YOU THINK THEY WILL PASS THEIR DRIVING TEST, OR DO WELL IN AN INTERVIEW. You may have little confidence in their ability to succeed, but if you say you believe they will fail, that could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if they see you do not believe in them they can lose belief in themselves, therefore leading to inevitable failure. Your ‘truth’ could have the power to create something disappointing for you both, whereas a convincing ‘lie’ could be just what’s needed to ensure success!
YOU’VE BEEN UNFAITHFUL AND YOUR PARTNER IS SUSPICIOUS. This circumstance really confronts something crucial about truth. If you decide to withhold this, then you really are lying in a big way. Is there any excuse for this?
No-one can really say what’s right or wrong in such a situation, but there are several points to bear in mind. If you decide to ‘fess up, why are you doing this? Is it to make you feel cleansed, to have your ‘sin’ accepted (even though it will hurt your partner deeply) and feel you can go forward with a clean slate? If you have made a bad mistake and truly love your partner, might it be best to contain the information and work with the ‘truth’ of your love?
A long and happy life together might be sacrificed by spilling the literal truth of infidelity, obscuring the greater truth of your love. Many people choose to lie under these circumstances. Maybe you are one of them – and who is to say it’s the wrong thing?

We’ve looked at what truth is, the importance of being truthful with yourself and occasions when it might be worth considering a lie. This is a complex and debatable subject, and the way forward is not always clear. If you feel confused and uncertain, needing advice and guidance this is always readily available with our wise Readers, so call today and set your mind at rest.



PUBLISHED: 23 May 2018

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