1. MainerMikeBrown
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    MainerMikeBrown Contributing Member

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    Sometimes You Must Be Honest With Others

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MainerMikeBrown, Jun 17, 2014.

    Helping people can be rewarding. And motivating a person who is trying to reach one or more goals with encouraging words can be quite helpful to them. It's a part of the often enjoyable experience of trying to help others.

    However, sometimes a positive message for an individual you are trying to help is not the answer. Sometimes you have to be honest with a person you're trying to help.

    For example, say a person you are trying to help has unrealistic goals. Sooner or later the person will find out anyway that his or her goals aren't realistic. So it can sometimes be better to make the person realize this before he or she gets in over their head.

    Another example is maybe someone you are trying to help isn't doing enough to help themselves achieve a goal they want to achieve. Maybe they aren't doing enough to help themselves because they are too afraid to do what they'd like to do in life. Letting the person become aware of this can often get them to see that they need to do more to help themselves.
     
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  2. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I agree...and this forum is great about keeping it real. The only issue I ever have is when someone is a jerk-wad for no reason and the "honesty" given is mean spirited and not helpful. Honesty is important but so is respect. I'm not a fan of sugar coating but do appreciate tact.
     
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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    We're a fairly honest bunch here, especially with regards to the publishing process and fame. We know how hard it is to publish a book, and we make sure new members know this. The same thing goes for becoming a famous writer (which takes a bit of luck).
     
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  4. Chesster
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    Chesster Member

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    I agree with sunsplash. This forum is brilliant for writers to face any fears they have with the quality of their work, because even if you are given a harsh critique, as long as it echo's with other members, you know that your feedback is on a general consensus level and you are in a much better place to step back and take heed.
    I also agree in the sense that there are people out there, and most probably on this forum, who from time to time, will deal a rough hand for no feasible reason, but I think as long as you pool your critiques that carry repetition, and ignore stale attacks, you will generally progress as a writer.
     
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  5. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Before the great crash of WF, I wrote a terribly long paragraph explaining why I like honesty and why it should be adopted everywhere.

    So now all I am going to say is: I think everyone should adopt a policy of truth. No more white lies. A coat of sugar helps the medicine go down, but then when you find out sugar was added then it becomes a sticky situation. [no pun intended]
     
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  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Complex social activity does not function, or at least does not function in a way we would probably find agreeable, without social lying. Strangely enough, in primatology, lying, purposeful misdirection and premeditated subterfuge are the holy grails of evidence for researchers as regards sentience in non-humans.

    Regardless, if we are to use the forum and critiquing as the model by which to give shape to this idea, I would say that blowing smoke up a member's butt is not only purposeless for the butt-smoke-receiving member, but a heinous waste of your time. If you give a pollyanna critique, then you learned nothing from the experience, you researched nothing in order to give constructive examples, you questioned nothing about your own understanding of the other person's work. Though one does learn through the receiving of critiques, I believe that the greater path is in the giving of them. If you do it dishonestly, then you just threw away however many minutes it took you to write that fluff.
     
  7. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    Honesty is wonderful, but to be effective it needs to be delivered in a palatable way - if sugar is what's needed to make the medicine go down then so be it. Some people, myself included, can happily take the bluntest of criticism and get use out of it, but others are more sensitive and become defensive or see criticism as an attack if it isn't worded in a way they recognise as constructive.

    I find that on the Internet many people will critique/comment however they like and say that if the receiver doesn't like it then tough - truth hurts and all that - but I see that as an almost equal waste of time as giving a pollyanna review. If you want to be helpful then you need to make sure your advice can sink in, otherwise you're just being a smartarse for the fun of it. Of course nothing will help a person who thinks they are perfect and won't accept any criticism at all, but I find it's good to flex the diplomacy muscles and try!
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think you ought to provide a way forward as well as an honest assessment of whatever the present state of affairs might be.

    Being constructive isn't the same as sugar-coating the truth.
     
  9. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    In all honesty I'd rather have people be honest with me in the long run even if I hate what I hear but in some circumstances phrasing the truth gently is beneficial. A while back when I was going through some stuff I still valued blunt honesty but sometimes people being too honest on one of my bad days could just have things become too much and pull me into a really negative mood that was hard to get out of.
     

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