General Question

Indy318's avatar

Is it better to say what you what or say what people want to hear?

Asked by Indy318 (1012points) July 22nd, 2008 from iPhone

long story short, I read a book called a street named named desire in which their was a character who said only things that people wanted to hear. This ended up being her tragic flaw. So is it better to say what is on your mind (potentially causing more harm than heal) than saying what you know others want to hear (causing a lack of honesty and character)? Is appeasment the best route to take?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

What you what you what?

osullivanbr's avatar

It’s always better to say what you mean in my opinion. You cannot go through life just thinking about what you think others want, or what others need. Also, it’s very similar to telling a lie isn’t it. You tell a lie, you have to remember that lie, similarly, you tell someone what “they want to hear, you have to remember what it was, in case it comes up again.

Stress. Life is hard enough at times already.

PupnTaco's avatar

Tell the truth but be kind about it.

Spargett's avatar

Prob best to say what you want in a way people want to hear.

marinelife's avatar

It depends on the circumstances. It is not a good idea to hurt someone needlessly by being blunt if a small white lie will smooth things over. For example, “Of course, you look young for your age, grandma.”

Most of the time, however, it is best to speak the truth. You may choose to speak the truth only to yourself sometimes, but it is best to speak it. Telling people what they want to hear does not help them in the long run or you.

flyawayxxballoon's avatar

This depends on the situation. Let’s say a friend’s getting ready for a date and wants to know if something looks good on her. If it makes her look fat, the color isn’t good on her, etc., although she might be upset, you should tell her the truth, because in the long run, going to her date looking badly would upset her more. However, you should still break it to her kindly.

But suppose that someone from your school a few years ago recognizes you but you have no idea who they are, just pretend that you remember them because it won’t hurt either of you to do so. Just look them up in your old yearbook when you get home.

susanc's avatar

Oh my gosh. When people say hello to me and I don’t recognize them, I ask them to remind me.
It’s never hurt anyone. After all, I’m more interesting than they are. Naturally they would remember me. That doesn’t make me responsible for remembering them.
just kidding
My therapist told me last week that sometimes the most honest thing you can do is lie. I’m still thinking that over.

charliecompany34's avatar

saying what people want to hear is for BS’ers, some clergy leaders and some (SOME) politicians. people want to hear sensational things, but actually saying what you “want” to say is better as long as you say it with wittiness and great thought. the truth is the truth. how you tell the truth gains respect and credibility. sometimes saying what you “want” to say can get you in trouble, so speak with wisdom and good timing. it makes all the difference.

wildflower's avatar

All things being equal, honesty is the best policy.
However, depending on the situation, the risks, emotions, interests and consequences involved, you will often need to taylor your message with positioning and diplomacy. And sometimes you may need to pass a little white lie, stay silent or omit certain parts of the truth.
Example: your honest opinion may be that your best friend’s new shoes, that she’s so happy about, are dreadful, but since that particular opinion may not be helpful (after she spent a lot of money on them and they’re trendy), you could say they’re “interesting”, “different”, “not what you’d have expected” or even “you wear them really well”

fabulous's avatar

I think its always best to say whats on your mind just use some tact when you say it as to not offend anyone.

scamp's avatar

I believe it’s best to be honest but temper it with diplomacy.

gailcalled's avatar

Ah have always relied on the kandness of strangers.

YARNLADY's avatar

It depends on your goal. If you want to please your listener, you would say what you think they want to hear.

If you want to impress your listener, you would say what you think would impress them.

If you want them to hear your opinion on something and you don’t care how they take it, say what you want.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther