It was instilled in us at a very early age that lying was bad and we should always tell the truth. At times, we find ourselves having to express ourselves to other people either by answering questions or imparting information the other person should be aware of. Often times we find it difficult to express ourselves truthfully yet in a kind manner.
Honesty is one of the valuable virtues that we need to embody and always practice. Telling or expressing what is real is essential to gain trust and have a good relationship. Honesty is the act of not hiding anything, cheating or stealing in any form. It is important to always be honest and true to yourself and to other people in order to have inner peace.
So, what is the difference between being truthful and being brutally honest? When you are being truthful, you are honest by saying or expressing the truth with kindness and tact. You ensure that when you deliver the message truthfully, it is passed on with courtesy and respect, understanding the emotions and feelings of others. It is more like a constructive criticism and concern about the other person. You offer suggestions for improvement in a positive way because you care about that person. You serve as a helping hand and a support to the other person by letting them know the truth while still showing them respect.
Being brutally honest comes across as harsh and inconsiderate. The one who receives the message may feel they are being attacked rather than being told the truth. The person who is intentionally brutally honest often suddenly says or expresses things without thinking it through or without cushioning their wording to soften the blow.
To be truly honest is to be sincere about ourselves. It must initially begin within us. We should know the very core of our values and stay true at all times. This would entail understanding of our emotions and acceptance of our flaws. We should be genuine with our acts and we should speak the truth carefully so that our words will be valued. The Bible reveals some good “truths” that will help us in this regard – it tells us not to lie, be kind to others and to treat others like we would like to be treated.