We human beings are funny and contradictory creatures, sometimes.
As a rule, we hate liars and try to avoid people who don't tell the truth. We don't like deception, and we don't like manipulation.
That said, many people also don't want to hear the truth... perhaps because the truth often isn't something we want to hear, especially if the topic at hand is "personal" or relates to a closely held belief. In fact, sometimes facts are seen as insults, even though they are basically just... facts. And when someone shares a fact we don't like, we may even go as far as to call them "liars" because of what they are saying.
I'll be the first to admit that truth is often subjective and situational, while facts tend to be pretty stationary. Of course, there are people in the world who believe truth is always just as "absolute" as facts, but I am not one of those. Instead, I tend to agree with 19th century French writer Gustave Flaubert (author of "Madame Bovary," among other things) who asserted "There IS no truth, there is only PERCEPTION."
Much of the time what we call "the truth" is more of a statement about our own perceptions and opinions about something, rather than something absolute.
Take a simple example like rain.
Is rain "good" or "bad?" Well, if you're going to have an outdoor wedding reception and the rain starts pouring down, you'd probably call it "bad." And if it rains so much your house washes away, you'd probably call it really bad. On the other hand, if there's a drought and everything in your garden is parched, brown and dying, then rain is probably "good." What are the "facts" about rain, though? It's just water falling from the sky... everything else is the specific perception we assign to it.
When people don't want to know the facts surrounding a situation, the problem usually is that some closely held belief of theirs which they consider to be "the truth" is being challenged... and if they listen to — and accept — the actual facts being share, not only will they have to change some kind of fundamental belief (often about themselves), they may also have to say the words that seem the single most difficult for people to say: "I was mistaken. I was wrong."
It's understandable, of course — the "factual truth" often can be painful, because we've invested ourselves in something that's not exactly part of "reality" as most people are experiencing it.
If a good friend musters the courage (for example) to answer your lament "But I'm a NICE person, why do all my relationships end so quickly?" with "Well... actually, you're kind of clingy, self-absorbed and manipulative," it tends to hurt our ego and sense of self in a way we'll go to almost any lengths to avoid. And often, we simply don't want to hear such possibilities. Hence the psychological precept of "cognitive dissonance."
Think of the people on "American Idol" and other talent shows who absolutely believe they are the greatest singers to ever walk the surface of the Earth... and yet they couldn't sing their way out of a paper bag.
Personally, I prefer to "trade" in facts because it leaves me with no "fabrications" I might be called out on. It may not always be what I want to hear, but there's no denying it's sometimes something I need to hear. Meanwhile, I try to keep in mind that much ostensible "truth" is actually "opinion," but I keep an open mind. I also try to remember another old saying: "The truth will set you free... but first it will pi$$ you off!"
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!
How about YOU? What is YOUR approach to dealing with "truth" and facts? When you ask someone to "tell you the truth" about something, do you actually WANT to hear the truth? If someone tells you a truth you don't really like, are you open to their impression, or do you get defensive and try to attack them? As always, comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
(All text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is ORIGINAL CONTENT, created expressly for this platform — NOT A CROSSPOST!!!)
Created at 20210115 22:44 PST