When is Honesty too Much?

Everytime you ask someone what they want in a relationship, whether it is romantic or not, one of the responses is always: honesty. Honesty has become one of the things that people can’t live without. I am not arguing with that fact but I do want to pose a question. How much honesty is to much honesty?

I have asked several people about their relationships, specifically friendships and they all say they want honesty. The thing about honesty though is that the level of honesty they expect differs based on the relationship. According to the people I spoke with, the only people who can be completely honest with them are their best friends and family. This does not mean that they don’t get offended, but they are at least willing to listen.  What you must know is that they don’t feel like all family members and friends can be completely honest with them. They only want people who they feel have their well-being at heart and who will not purposely hurt them. So this did not include everyone. The people that are honest with them the most, are the people who they are closest with.

So a person they don’t disclose to, does not have the right to be completely honest to them. They don’t want a person they consider only a friend to tell them their honest opinion about their current relationship or their opinion about a major decision they are about to make.  They only want as much honesty as they give to them. This amount of honesty is normally quite superficial and most likely will not hurt anyones feelings. Does this apply to everyone, of course not.  Some people want others to tell them the truth regardless of their relationship. I have not encountered too many people who feel this way.  Honesty is one of those traits that we ask for, but we don’t really explain how honest we would like other to be with us.

Another thing about honesty is that we don’t always respond to it in a constructive way because it may not be what we want to hear at the time.  The thing we have to remember is that if we can’t mindfully listen and consider what others are telling us when they are being honest, then it could get to the place where people are no longer honest to us. You will have to set boundaries about topics and areas where you feel that person can be honest with you.  If no boundaries are set and that person offers their opinion on the situation, you may respond negatively and potentially damage the relationship.

So the question that asked when is honesty to much? The answer is that it is up to you and how you respond to it. If you don’t want everyone being completely honest with you, then you have to set boundaries. You also do not need to disclose information to people whose honesty will not be valued. So if honesty is important to you and you do not want everyone to be completely honest to you, then you have to control who you disclose to.

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