Social Question

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Do you believe people would rather hear a truth they don’t like, or live with a lie they know isn’t true?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) June 13th, 2011

Seems when it comes to truthfulness and honesty people are a little disingenuous, it appears many would rather live hearing something they know is not true and treating it as fact than to hear the truth even if it not what they want to hear or is unfavorable. Do you believe people would rather go alone with a fact that wasn’t true over a truth that was painful or unpleasant to admit? For example, a woman would live believing she got the promotion because she was better qualified when she knows there were others way more qualified than her but the real fact was one of the pawn brokers had the hots for her and pulled some string. A boy believes he didn’t make the track team because budget cuts shorten the team roster and not because of the true fact he just couldn’t run fast enough because he was 58lb overweight. What do you think, live with the truth no matter what, or hide behind an untrue fact, what would most people do?

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15 Answers

Stinley's avatar

Most people shield themselves from pain, which may be hypocritical but necessary to be able to move on and still enjoy life and not be crippled by self loathing. People could never learn anything from bad situations but some may justify their beliefs with elements of the truth – in your example the woman may know that she got there by favours but now that she’s there she’ll work hard to prove that she did deserve it. Likewise your athlete may chose to think that it was external circumstances that meant he wasn’t picked but will know inside that if he wants to get picked next time he’ll have to stay fit/get fitter and lose the weight and up his game.

i don’t think that we should judge people too harshly because having a positive outlook on life is much better for your mental health than a pessimistic or negative world view. It may not be the truth but it may be as much truth as they can handle at that time. Everything in moderation…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Some people will bury their haeds in the sand because it’s easier…for the moment.
Speaking for myself,I would rather hear a truth I don’t like because it enables me to get on with things alot quicker.

Cruiser's avatar

I have learned the most about life by getting the full on version of the truth. But there are times when you know you aren’t getting it and I am not one to force someone to tell me what it is. I will never understand why some people choose or prefer to live behind a curtain of secrets and lies than to speak the truth. To each his own. ;)

marinelife's avatar

This very topic was the topic of a lively real discussion here just the other day.

The consensus was that most people would rather hear the unpleasant truth if it concerned themselves.

phoebusg's avatar

Yes, I do think people often result to this – wanting to hear a good-sounding lie instead of the truth. It’s a defense mechanism, only that it often fails to “defend”. As in it may save one’s self-esteem temporarily but it ends up being a crutch that stops your leg from healing.

Another example in which this is rampant is dating. We’re generally quick to reject truth-sayers – (who share the true version of themselves, faults and positives) – holding on to the faults and using those as rationalization to choose someone else. That someone else, may in fact have more faults but admits to none. Spends more time entertaining us (humor what not) – sure some intelligent conversation either, but shying away from actual intimacy. People generally prefer the more entertaining route in dating, regardless of the pitfalls. It’s a little concerning to see some of your friends make the same dating choices with the same outcome – again and again.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, serve me the truth please.

There has been a couple of discussions along these lines here the last few days, and I just don’t understand how some prefer living with duplicity over truth, but hey, each to his own.

In my case, I don’t care how painful it might be, I want to dwell in reality. :-)

cookieman's avatar

I’m also a fan of the truth.

I know people who prefer the lies. I don’t communicate or spend time with those people.

graynett's avatar

Mental health is truth!. The fact that getting the full version of the truth from others is flawed by their perspective of you ( from their point of view). If one person tells you that you are a donkey disregard them, if ten do it then get a saddle. If you have a problem that’s good because you can fix it. You need information all through life. The truth is the only way to get it.

Coloma's avatar


Excellent analogy!

Welcome to fluther…I dig your perspective! :-)

wundayatta's avatar

There are unfixable problems. In such cases it is easier to not know the truth than to be faced with a painful truth and be unable to do anything about it. Mental health is not truth. It is acceptance of the life you have chosen to live.

6rant6's avatar

If you ask someone if they would want to know if their partner was cheating on them, most will say yes without even thinking.

But it’s obviously not the truth. They can be happy with their mate if they never find out. They can be ignorantly blissful. What they really don’t want is to find out LATER that they’ve been duped. They don’t want to learn that someone bested them, or that friends or strangers pitied or mocked them.

If you’re happy with your mate, there is no sensical reason to voluntarily be made unhappy.

My speculation is that when each of us has learned something in our lives that hurt us, we wished we known it sooner. Why? Well because obviously we would have been able to do something earlier to make things right and we’d be better off now. But the reality is that we only learn things in the present time. And the hurt they are likely to cause doesn’t continually increase over time. So if we can never find out, we’re actually better off. Just doesn’t seem that way.

snowberry's avatar

I’d rather hear the truth, usually. But it also depends on who is giving me the “truth”. There are some who would swear the information they are giving is true, but since I know their character and/or their agenda, and I’m very happy to live with out it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Depends on the person. My mom always told Dad that if he was cheating, he shouldn’t tell her and she’d rather not know.

ratboy's avatar

Truth is greatly overrated. I’m smart enough not to realize that the lies that I believe are false.

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