I pride myself on being a truth teller. I try my best to tell the truth most of the time. At times, I can be brutally honest. As I have gotten older I have seen the damage that telling the truth can inflict when it is told to the wrong person, at the wrong time.
We have all heard, “The truth will set you free” and I believe that to be true. The problem with the truth is while it will set you free, it can imprison someone else. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, here’s an example . . .
Let’s say you are in love with someone. I mean can’t eat, can’t sleep, you’re always on my mind, in love. But the person you love belongs to someone else and they are blissfully ignorant of your intimate devotion. Keeping it to yourself is driving you crazy! So one day you say forget it and you spill the beans. You tell them every detail of how you just can’t go one more day without expressing your infinitely deep love for them.
How do you feel afterward? You feel great! Their response is not even important (not right now anyway). All that matters is that you have freed yourself of the burden you were forced to carry. Now let’s look at it from the other person’s perspective.
They were going about their business, living their life like it’s golden and then you drop this atomic love bomb on them. At first they are disoriented. They don’t fully understand what just happened. They need a minute to take it all in. Once they are able to comprehend the situation they go into hyper drive. They have a million questions. What? Where? When? How? Why? Huh? Slowly they calm down and it all sinks in.
You love them. You are in love with them. You want to be with them the way they are with the person they already belong to. Then what happens? They think about it, a lot! Now if they had no idea and never thought of you in that way, the thoughts could be pretty benign. If they had an inkling of an idea how you felt and the idea of being with you has crossed their mind, we have skipped from benign cyst to full blown cancer!
That is what the information becomes. It is a cancer slowly eating away at the person. Now they are having thoughts they were not having before. Now they are questioning their relationship in ways they had not thought to question it before. Now they know they have options!
Options give them power because now the person they are with has to be concerned about them trying out their options. That puts a strain on the relationship. A strain the relationship had not known before you decided to open your big, fat mouth!
Now I am not saying this is all your fault. The person you told your truth to had the option of shutting you down and stopping you from divulging the depths of your untamed love for them. They could have walked away and left you to talk to yourself, but who does that? They stayed and they listened and now they know. Once you know something like that you can’t unknow it. Even if they stay with the person they are with, there will always be that little voice in the back of their mind, reminding them that there is someone else out there in the world who loves them with reckless abandon. There is a chink in the armor and if it is not tended to, one day the whole thing is going to fall apart.
Your truth becomes the nail in the coffin of their relationship. So I say to you, tell the truth. Not to everybody, not all of the time and not when you know it will be detrimental to the other party involved. Tell the truth responsibly!