Is There a Time to Not Be Honest in a Relationship?


Is there a time to not be honest in a relationship?

There are times when honesty is not helpful. One type of honesty that is not helpful is the so called brutal honesty. This kind of harsh honesty is something that does not belong in a relationship. Brutal is not a word synonymous with healthy relationships.

An example of Brutal Honesty would be telling someone you “never were very attracted to them”. Yes, it may be honest. No, its not helpful. It’s just cruel. Being brutally honest is just that, brutal.

Another place where honesty is often not helpful in relationships is when a relationship is ending.  If the relationship is coming to an end, there is no reason to say any truths which are really just opinions or criticisms. Some honest truths are best left unsaid when you are no longer interested in improving your relationship with someone.  

Professional Relationship Counselors suggest that you not tell a parting lover things like; “you should know, I hate your mom”, “you need to not be so anxious all the time”, or “you don’t know how to love”.

Under the circumstances of a breakup, these are at minimum rude. Also take into consideration that the relationship is over, you are now biased. Your view of this person came from how they behaved in a failed relationship they had with you. You don’t really know how they would be in a different relationship. Avoid the temptation to believe that you are just being helpful. There may be some things to share, but challenge yourself to consider if it is more hurtful than it is helpful.

Another time to not be honest is when it puts at risk your safety or the safety of someone else as in an abusive or potentially abusive relationship or with a partner that you feel could be violent or volatile under stressful circumstances.

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