Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tactful Honesty

In my first church a woman came to me one day and said "Do you know what your problem is?" I didn't but she proceeded to tell me. I don’t remember what she said but I've always respected her for being straightforward. It took courage and it took compassion. We don't let people we care about live with blindness and she thought I was blind to something.

Before my wife and I married, I asked her to pledge "tactful honesty". I expect her to be honest with me regardless of the pain or discomfort that it may cause me. I asked for "tactful" honesty because I’m human and therefore fragile. I want to hear the truth in loving terms if possible.

From my experience, honesty is rare. I value it greatly.

11 Comments:

Blogger Smarts said...

For me, there are two main things that are key to having a successful marriage:
*always speak your own truth
*listen and digest when the other is doing the same

I have found Truth (as opposed to emotion) has a supernatural quality, if it is really the Truth then it can't be denied, hence we change and grow from it. (no I don't want to get into 'what is thruth'!) :)

12/01/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

Honesty with others, yes. But it all starts with being honest with yourself. No?
"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."
It ain't always pretty, but it's all there is.

12/01/2005 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gaye said...

I like to surround myself with people that I know will be honest with me (about me); that way I always know where I stand with them; no games. Tactful honesty is an "art"--very few possess this talent. Fragile/feelings a simple concept really; I think it goes something like "do unto others..."--a lesson that either isn't taught or isn't learned anymore...i dunno...

12/01/2005 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Honesty is good, but bluntness isn't. Tact and consideration are important.

12/01/2005 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

I'm with anvilcloud. I too like honesty, but like to avoid bluntness. I hope if someone needs to be honest with me about me, that they can be so but in gentle terms. :)

12/01/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Our truths can be so subjective as to be only relative to the particular time; then, with growth they change, and others take their place. For that reason, 'relationship' is more important than 'truths'. Have you ever noticed that in spite of careful rendering of truths, a relationship can be placed second to someone's truths? Whatever I must do to enhance relationship will always be more important to me than my little truths.

12/01/2005 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Tact I sometimes don't understand. A club upside the head and a "Buffalo, you lied to me," is going to get my attention.

To err is human. Buffalo is oft times very human. In spite of what my exes might tell you.

But I don't mean to be bad.

12/01/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger RedBark said...

This is one of the most intersting posts I have seen in a while.

I struggle with this often and I think that the struggle itself is good.

To "do unto others..." means that I tell them when they are on the wrong track, but it also means that I do not hurt them. I am sometimes not able to to both but I keep trying.

I sometimes ask myself "Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?"
(and then settle for two out of three.) oops :)

It is often effective to speak about a ficticious third party when saying something that would be difficult to hear if it was about me.

I also try to never use the word "you" in these situations.

I often lack tact and it is humbling.

Thanks to all of you who are willing to be my eyes and are kind about it. And thank you for your forgiveness when I lack tact.

12/01/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

Honesty is one of the greatest legacies passed to me from my father. He didn't just tell me to be honest, he was an example, even when he didn't know I was watching.

And I agree with Dale that it starts with being honest with ourselves.

12/01/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I agree with most everyone here, but Bonita really struck me in the head.

Of course! Relationships are real, and valuable, and fragil. They should never take second place to something as ephemeral as truth.

12/01/2005 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

I was puzzled how to answer this and last night I had a relevant dream. I wrote it up on my blog today.

12/02/2005 06:32:00 AM  

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