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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


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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.



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.

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  • Jun 26 2012: Well Derek, I don't know. Probably with some it is just their nature; probably one or both of their parents are that way. For some it might be a way of being able to put a person down in an accepted manner. Another possibility is their parents were chronic liars and they vowed to not be like them. And of course it is difficult to find a middle road as they have not had a good example to follow. What do you think?
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      Jun 27 2012: I think these brazen truth tellers want to trust, but have lost trust in others, so they turn to extemes. Eventually, some may grow out of this stage in life, but the really damaged individuals may be stuck in a forever "truth/honesty" mode, then when that condition arises seeking some professional help may suffice. Someone once told me that "everyone could benefit from a little therapy", I agree.

      Another point is that possibly the brazen truth teller seeks no reason to hide themselves. They may also be the type of person that has a hard time being understood because they used to be constant liars themselves, so after lying so much, they started to change their old ways. Now that they attempt to be the opposite in society, society now marginalizes that ex-liar, though how can this person blame society?

      I think all types of personalities can cater to some group of indviduals in this vast universe, or at least some may hope so.
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        Jun 29 2012: I was initially surprised by the inclusion of the word pathological attached to 'truth teller" and now i am utterly shocked that you think someone should be counselled out of truth telling. Can you help me better understand, please?
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          Jun 29 2012: I think I was trying convery the brazen truth teller as the kind of person that blurts out things. Also, the topic was an idea to bring awareness to a polar opposite to pathological liars, but not necessarily a way to live life, at least in this era of the world.

          I have my own personal values and creeds, but I don't try to stick with them, which allows me to stay open-minded and see two sides to topics, usually. Personally, I don't think a pathological truth teller is realistic, but I do cherish truth and honesty, when I get it. I try to constantly convey honesty/truths, though I am not perfect, and each situation demands a different set knowledge, I think. =)

          I hope I didn't shock you too much Debra, but hey, I am only human, I make many mistakes, though I always try to learn from those mistakes. =)
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        Jun 29 2012: Thank you so much for your reply. It helped me understand. You made no mistake. As proof- just look at the debate you stimulated! Good work! NIce exploration of the topic.
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          Jul 1 2012: Thanks! =)

          I would also like to add that my own opinion on the subjects presented in this conversation has changed throughout reading these well thought comments. It is pretty fascinating to see so many different ideas appear. I am so thankful to have found ted.com! =)

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