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All too often, people fool themselves about telling the truth. When someone says "tell me the truth," are they necessarily saying that out of obligation? IMHO, no. I don't ask someone to tell me the truth unless I really want to hear it]. If I didn't want the truth, then I'd avoid the subject altogether.

So, your friends ask you a personal question- say... "I know my boyfriend sleeps around behing my back, but I love him so much, I just can't leave him. Do you think I'm stupid? ...tell me the truth." How can I possibly say "yes, you're stupid for loving this guy who's eventually going to break you, he doesn't deserve your adoration and you could do 200 times better" ? A thought- if she really loves him, is she going to listen to anything you say? I know I wouldn't. In fact, it would probably cause her more stress. But on the flip side, could you look her straight in the eye and say "it's going to be okay, I promise it'll work out." You know better. She knows better.

So, what can you do? Tell her the truth. I always try to be honest with my friends. Sometimes they get upset, sometimes they get offended, some of them even hate me for it. Sometimes I get hurt more by telling the truth than they do by hearing it. And every once in a blue moon, someone thanks me.

Another example- "Do I look fat in this dress?" I don't fully understand why men shy away in fear when a woman asks him something about weight. Their thoughts- I'm obligated to make her think she's pretty, or else I might lose her favor. But at the same time, she has put on some weight, and that dress just doesn't work at all. Of course, if I say that, she'll get upset and mad at me. And if I say she doesn't look fat, she'll think I'm lying, because she knows that she does. Maybe I should just plead the fifth. But wait! Then she'll think I'm not telling her because I think she's fat... arg. Oh, wait... I am. D'OH! Look at it this way (and I'm sure you've heard this before)- do you think we'd rather go around in a dress that's obviously just a bit too tight and makes us look bad? --No.

*sigh* When I say "be honest with me, you can tell me anything," I meant it. Don't hurt me more by holding something back. And don't bottle things up inside. And please please please don't crucify me for being honest with you. People say I'm too blunt. Too many of us can't handle criticism and the truth. What am I supposed to do? Follow you around, constantly dropping hints and hoping you'll pick it up? Forgive me... I can't do that. It tires me, and I always end up punished for it.

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