Everyone values honesty. We want the people around us and in our lives to employ this virtue as much as possible, and we also want to be honest with ourselves.
There is nothing wrong with being honest.
However, there is something wrong with being “brutally honest.”
Brutal honesty is a twisted honesty; it is a poor excuse to be cruel. Yes, it can be challenging and very unpleasant to speak the truth, but, most of the time, it can be done with thoughtfulness and tact.
Brutal honesty holds no regard, no empathy for the person in which the words are intended. The truth will still remain the truth even if you speak it firmly and compassionately.
Indeed, without a doubt, there are times in which being brutal in your honesty is necessary. Though, in the majority of cases, we can effectively communicate what needs to be said to others without fouling the truth with bitter brutality.
Maybe you’re tired of beating around the bush and dancing around a problem? Fine. That is fair, but that is still not an excuse to be passive aggressive, or brutally honest. You can be honest and you can be direct while still being mindful.
Maybe you’re someone who “tells it like it is.” OK, that’s your prerogative. But, you don’t have the right to hurt someone’s feelings all under the obvious guise of being honest.
If you pride yourself on being brutally honest that usually means you pride yourself more on the brutality than the actual honesty. Folks aren’t being defensive, you are being cruel and you seem to be enjoying it.
When your opinion is being solicited, and you begin to form the words in your mind, ask yourself before those words leave your lips, “Am I saying this to be honest or am I saying this to be brutal?”
If it is the latter, then maybe it is time to rethink your brand of “honesty.”