The truth can make people angrier than a lie. Tell it anyway. – Teresa Carpenter
What does that mean?
This is an interesting quote, and quite appropriate, considering the source is an editor and investigative writer.
While she probably learned the hard way, I hope we can muster the strength to benefit from her experience and actually do what she suggests.
The truth is often less than pleasant. This is a fact. We then have a choice. Do we hide the truth, do we lie about it, or do we tell the truth, knowing it will not be well received?
The quote urges us to do the right thing, and tell the truth, however unpleasant it might be, and however unpopular it might be. They may be angry for a while, but at least the truth is out.
Why is telling the truth important?
Since we know the truth will eventually find its way out, all we can do is delay the inevitable. What will they think of you when they find out you lied to them, or completely hid it from them? Is that the way you want your friendship to end? Yes, telling the truth can be that important, even if it may also be that painful.
It’s true, they may not want to hear it, especially if it comes from you, but if you know the truth, you have to say it. It might be unpopular because of the topic, or it may be because the subject is less than accepted by society. It may put a person in a bad light or it might cost someone a business opportunity or even their job.
But eventually that truth will come out. Rarely is it better to wait. Yes, one can construct scenarios where it remains hidden, but how do you feel, having kept the secret? What of the others who were sworn to keep the secret? How well does it work for them? While there will always be exceptions, let’s stay focused on the normal path.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Have you ever been in the position where someone told you the truth, even though it made you angry? How well did that work for you, compared to if they had lied to you instead? Would the truth come out eventually? If it had, how would you have treated that person, once it was known, and you realized that they had lied to you in the past? Take a moment to really think it through.
What about the other way around, where you were the person who told someone the truth, one that they didn’t want to hear? Had you told a lie to them before, and were now finally telling it to them, or was this the first time you had a chance to tell them? How did they react, and how do you think they would have reacted later, if you had not told the truth at first?
What about other combinations, where someone told you a lie at first, and then told you the truth. What about times when you heard it from someone else instead? How did that make you feel towards both the liar and the teller of truth? Or if you were the one, how did it feel to actually have to tell it to them after lying a few times, or to go behind someone else’s back and tell the truth to their lies?
I don’t imagine any of those scenarios were particularly pleasant to remember or re-live. But, if your experiences were like mine, telling the truth was the better path, as was sooner (rather than later) for the telling of it to them. Yet many people try to hide it from others.
what about you? Do you rush out to tell the truth, or do you do so only with trepidation? What in your past experiences tells you that things will go badly if you tell them? What about when you lie, or otherwise withhold it from them? How much better do things go at the end, when it catches up with you?
If you compare the pain of telling the truth to the ease of the lie, you will find it easier to lie. If you compare the pain of telling the truth sooner with the pain of telling it later, or having someone else tell it, then I imagine you’ll find telling the truth a little easier, and sooner as well.
One last thing to consider. If you found out the truth, so will others, eventually. How does it feel to have to insist or force others to keep the secret because you lied? Or how does it feel to have someone else insist or force you to keep quiet (or participate with the lie) because they lied already?
It is always our choice to make, to tell the truth, or to lie. Telling the truth isn’t always popular, and can make people angry. But there are costs to lying, which can be far worse. It won’t always be easy, but I believe we should try to strive to