TED Conversations

Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

TEDCRED 30+

This conversation is closed.

If someone you knew was a pathological truth-teller; how would you react to this person?

Most of you have probably hear the term "pathological liar", meaning they lie all the time, from dusk til dawn. We all lie though, but too much lies can ruin any relationship. If there was no lies, but pure truth 24/7 360days a year for the rest of that persons' life, how would you react to this person?

Some have argued with me that we need lies to live for example, 'your best friends mother on her death bed asks you where her son is, and you couldn't tell her that her son has just died on an air plane that blew up just before landing, so you lie and tell her that his flight was cancelled and he says he loves you very much and you fill in the blanks with fond memories....now let's change that situation a bit....

Your best friend mother on her death bed asks for her son, but you know he just died on that exploding plane, so you give her the low down and tell her that his flight didn't make it here because his plane blew up, though he really loves you and he told me this before we got off the phone.

Two scenarios, both end the same, she passes away, but the details may be different depending on the individual.

A pathological truth-teller doesn't blurt things out though, like if they see something/someone they hate, they won't go I hate that thing over there and then proceed to tell the thing or person they hate it/them, though if they were asked to give an opinion they would tell the truth.

If you asked this person a question, they would answer you extremely truthfully and at times it might even seem offensive. For instance, you ask them "do I look good in this" and the pathological truth-teller says "it looks hideous on you, but you already tried all the clothes in this store and they all don't look good on you, so let's go to a store with a different style?".

How would you react to this person?

Update: This is a scenario of a world with pathological truth tellers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-H2dNfx-Uw

Share:

Closing Statement from Dyed All Hues

All I could think of is "thank you for participating and hope the remnance of this discussion will shed light upon your life", though this topic is far from reaching any type of consensus; we can all strive to respect one another and live earnestly and honestly.

May you take positive leaps and bounds in your life.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 25 2012: I have known many people who would say they never lie, but they actually mislead in situations where others might lie. I would not feel confident in such a person's trustworthiness. An example is someone who conceals inconvenient information that people would normally expect a person to share if he had it.
    I suspect a certain amount of concealing information rather than out and out lying, or including true and pertinent information in very fine print or difficult language, is the kind of not lying that was sometimes a part of the financial crisis surrounding home mortgages.
    There is a difference between not lying and conveying the truth openly.
    • thumb
      Jun 26 2012: Ah, very true. I agree and too often do people withhold "truth". Sometimes the situations may call for withholding something, but does constantly conveying the truth openly cause any problems?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.