Is honesty always the best policy?
It is my belief that it is. I had a very strong Methodist upbringing, you know the sort of thing – Church three times on a Sunday, daily activities at the Church after tea, all except Friday, when the football team did their training. Starting Sunday school at a very young age, telling the truth , even if it hurt, became ingrained.
It’s only when you get older, you realise complete honesty can sometimes cause harm and hurt to other people. While I try and avoid telling a lie. My husband talks about bending the facts, he never flinches from this if it makes his story or version of the truth more palatable. I think now, at an advanced age I agree with him.
There are ways to say ‘that dress looks awful’ or ‘you never paid for that hair do, did you?’ When other people ask after my health, my stock reply is ‘I’m fine’ even if my face is pinched and grey looking. People don’t want to know how rough you really feel – and besides sometimes they only ask about your health so they can talk about their own.
Having chatted round the subject, my conclusion is, in broad principle telling the truth is best, but it needs to be done carefully, depending who the other person is, and how they are likely to take it. You can get away with most things, with a gentle hand on arm, wearing a smile that shows on mouth and in eyes. Oh yes, with love in your heart too!