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Importance of Honesty

A friend of mine and I were discussing honesty the other day. I am firmly of the belief that sound relationships and solid friendships are based on complete honesty. She doesn't fully agree. She thinks honesty is quite overrated in certain cases.

I believe if I am going out wearing something that makes me look bad it's my friend's duty to warn me. She believes that if I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw and my friend's opinion differed, that doesn't mean her opinion is worth more than mine. As such, my friend shouldn't say anything. If I ask, then she can offer her opinion, but otherwise it's not needed. She claimed that especially in cases where the problem is not resolvable (for example, I meet my friend at a restaurant and she doesn't approve of what I am wearing) that honesty would only serve to make me upset or frustrated and it wouldn't help one bit. Wasn't it better to keep your words to yourself?

I am not sure where I stand. Obviously, my friend and I are allowed to disagree on opinion-oriented issues like a piece of clothing or a career move. Then again, almost every difficult decision one has to face has opinion-oriented aspects to it. I might agree that if it's after the fact or too late to turn back, my friend maybe shouldn't share her differing opinion. But even then, isn't it better for me to know how she feels for next time? Just because she shares her differing thoughts doesn't mean I will do what she says over how I feel. But isn't it better to know the thoughts of someone I trust?

I guess it all depends on how strong and well-balanced the friendship is. If I consider this person a true friend and know that she would never say things out of jealousy or competition, and if I can trust myself and my own choices, I would like to know the truth about her thoughts. If she's capable of being catty or if I am so weak that I would blindly take her choices over mine, it's best for her to keep her thoughts to herself.

But, then again, at that point, she's not really my friend, is she?

May 26, 2004 | friendship | share[]
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