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Luis Javier Salvador

Translator English to Spanish / Spanish to English,

TEDCRED 30+

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Is it always possible to be honest and polite at the same time?

One could argue that honesty and politeness are mutually exclusive in certain circumstances, especially when you are pressed to share your opinion on a particular subject/person. We all know that sometimes the truth hurts (or at least, "your truth").

Some people may think that the only way to get along with everybody is by not being completely honest (or by downright lying) and compliment them, as this way they would then think highly of you.

It's also curious that we tend to like the people we agree with more than the ones we disagree with. Certainly, It's really difficult to make friends with somebody who disagrees with you on almost every matter (even if on trivialities), which is a shame, as this person could be a potential friend full of love, generosity and good advice.

Are we living in a fake society where honest people are being penalized for sharing his true feelings/opinions?

Where is the line between honesty and rudeness? Is it fair to be untrue to your feelings for the sake of good manners? Are there some truths that should never be told?

What do you think?

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  • Feb 6 2013: Yes, I have always found a way to stay polite and courteous, even in the most challenging of situations...but perhaps this is because it has always been a high priority for me? It matters a great deal to me..I am extremely upset by rudeness, and therefore I speak as I would be spoken to.

    If it is a question of taste, or belief, and I really cannot agree, and feel it is a matter of principle where I cannot be untrue to this principle...I find a way to say nothing, say something obliquely ( for example regarding a painting ..'that is such a strong green, it is just like the grass in spring ' etc), or say something general that is non-judgemental.
    I would take the point of view that if someone is 'a truth-seeker', for want of a better phrase - if they are open to learning more about what is, then they will find it, will hear it, eventually. Contrary wise, if they do not wish to hear another side of truth, they will not, whatever is said.
    That is why I believe in being quiet at times.
    A simple example : many years ago, a friend asked me what I thought of his new name for his band. I didn't like ...but then it wasn't my band, or my idea. I said nothing, and tried to find a polite comment.. But before I could, he said immediately, ' I can see from your face you don't like it at all!'
    However, he still used it, and the first song he wrote under the name was about something I said (about Love).... the song became famous, and is still a classic.
    So I feel by being polite and honest together, something good was achieved, - his respect for me.

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