Honesty and Friendship

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Honesty and Friendship
5
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 4:33pm

Do you think friends who are not honest w/ you ("No, you don't look like you need to lose weight at all!") are helpful or harmful?  I know they mean well and I often say things like, "I wouldn't have guessed that!" about weight to make the person feel better. I talked to someone today who said she thought she carried her weight well because her friends tell her she doesn't look like she could weigh that much.  Are people doing their friend a disservice when they lie?






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 8:38pm

There are several issues at play, here... 

1.  There are different kinds of friends that go from true, honest, brutally frank friend all the way to acquaintance.  People have different motivations for getting involved in the relationship.

2.  We teach other people how to treat us.  If we bite off someone's head when they are honest, they probably won't be honest anymore, or they won't be your friend anymore.

3.  Sometimes, no matter what someone else says, we are ready to hear it or we are not.  People may be honest but the recipient doesn't listen.

4.  What weight you look good in is an opinion, a judgement  Some people want to be a 2, and others are ok with a 14.

Yes, I think people do others a disservice when they lie, but, that person may not be ready to "hear" the truth.  She might also do nothing different but feel badly if she did hear the truth.  It depends on the person and "where they are" in life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Fri, 04-04-2014 - 11:02pm
I think it is situational. If someone were trying on address and asked if it mDe them look fat, I would be honest. If they were stepping to a microphone to give a speech, I would say 'you look great' no matter what I thought. If someone. Asked about losing weight,I think it is better to explore why they are asking and then. Base. My response on that, and what their motivation is. If they were Looking for advice, I would give it, but in general terms. 'Why are you asking?' Is a good response to determine what they need. Even though I hate liars, I think honesty can be overrated...
Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Sat, 04-05-2014 - 7:22am

Yeah, I think there is a time and place for honesty. I have to say, when she said she didn't feel obese and said her friends tell her she doesn't, I didn't say anything. In my head, I'm thinking, we're so used to people being larger these days that we think being larger is the norm. This was an advice client, btw, not some random stranger. I wouldn't speak up to a random stranger or even a friend who didn't ask for feedback.  I'd never voluntarily give that type of feedback, unlike my mom...






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Sat, 04-05-2014 - 12:04pm

If she asking for your advice, than, perhaps, subconsciously, she knows the factual answer?  Also, perhaps you can tie her weight to cholesterol, BMI, aka health, to bring her back to reality.  Just a thought.

SJ, I like your response.  It boils down to the motivations for asking and the motivations of the person giving the advice/response.

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Sun, 04-06-2014 - 9:36am

This is a client so definintely looking for advice but not necessarily honest feedback on appearance and that's irrelevant to me so I let it go. It doesn't matter what she thinks she looks like for the fitness program I recommend. I wasn't thinking of it in terms of my relationship but in terms of how we treat our friends w/ kid gloves sometimes and how it could end up hurting them.  Or, it could be that her friends are more overweight so she looks great to them...