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  1. #21
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I think Fia and Coriolis are really digging into the meat of this question on either side.

    As an informative type, i tend to focus on sharing information, up to the point where i think it will be useful and have the desired effect. I think it's easy for "truth-telling" or "truth-cloaking" to end up serving the person sharing the truth more than the person in need of the information; I have to monitor whether I'm sharing something because I'm simply frustrated myself or whether I'm doing it for the right reasons.

    All that being said, as a process it's still kind of messy regardless and none of us are perfect at it. It's more a matter of trying not to screw up big-time on the initial exchange, keeping ears open, and adjusting as you go. And remembering truth-telling goes both ways, so to be fair you have to be open to that feedback and maybe any truth that gets sent your way.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyyukon View Post
    Meh, this question isn't so simple.

    "Hey did you like my christmas gift? I just love decorative mouse pads."
    Arrrg. I usually feed those to my decorative cat pad. <-- harsh truth
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #22
    Male johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyyukon View Post
    Meh, this question isn't so simple.

    "Hey did you like my christmas gift? I just love decorative mouse pads."
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post


    Arrrg. I usually feed those to my decorative cat pad. <-- harsh truth


    I just used the one I gave my girlfriend for christmas as a doormat (I got her other stuff! and my mom and brother use theirs! but ok, shitty girlfriend gift).



















    I've had this ice cream bar, since I was a child!

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  3. #23
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    About the highlighted: First, some of us do poorly at trying to predict other people's perceptions of what we say. Guessing wrong can be worse than not trying to guess at all. When I am on the receving end of this, it makes the other person appear disrespectful or even manipulative. Don't assume what my reaction will be; make your case, then listen for the real thing. Second, I disagree that the other person's perception must match my intention for communication to have occurred. I may give someone what I think is a compliment, but if they don't value that quality, they may receive it neutrally or even negatively. I have still communicated that I think they possess that quality.

    I should back up here and ask what exactly is "harsh truth". What about it makes it harsh: disrespectful or aggressive presentation, excessive brevity, or simply lack of sugar-coating? I have no patience with namecalling or shouting, but almost as little with the often formulaic packaging some people insist on or recommend when rendering criticisms or other truths that may be difficult to hear. At the same time, a brief, bare statement without elaboration or supporting evidence is not much use. So, strip away the sugarcoating and the vitriol and replace them with enough information that the other person can actually use the information, if he/she is so inclined.
    I'm definitely not talking about manipulation because the focus is communicating in such a way that the other person understands what you are saying. It isn't about trying to change someone's mind or getting them to act. Manipulation tends to be results oriented. It seeks something in response from the other person, and it isn't trying to make information more clear, but less clear. Interestingly I have had people manipulate me by gauging how certain words would impact me emotionally and deliberately making their communication less clear to get that result of a negative emotional impact.

    It doesn't even have to be about perfection in communication, but at least some attempt to consider one's words before speaking. What I am trying to say tends more towards common sense. When someone is severely injured we describe it differently to an EMT than to a child. They will process the information differently. We all have strengths and weaknesses in our communication, but I am pushing back against our current cultural glorification of rudeness. It doesn't clarify information, but confuses the issue.

    Perhaps a better example than the injured person one can be taken from my daily work as a piano teacher. If I want to communicate a concept to an adult, child, teenager, etc. I will approach it differently depending on the students' age, ability, personality, etc. This is an instance of desiring the result of the person understanding what I am saying. I don't expect to have one monologue description and everyone has to fend for themselves to comprehend what I'm saying. I change the approach so it fits with each person's brain as best I can. It's never a perfect process, and it is never intended to trick anyone in any way, but only to clarify the information in my brain to someone listening.
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  4. #24
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    The harsh truth or comforting lies?
    Nothing but the comforting truth. If it's harsh, it must be lies

  5. #25
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Sometimes I just prefer not to know. I don't watch the news often for this reason - though for the most part I don't think of popular news outlets as cold hard truth so much as sensationalized negative entertainment based on reality. I have a few seemingly-more-neutral go-tos (BBC, NPR).

    I guess my point here is that I would just like the truth, preferably with a gentle skew if the person feels comfortable applying it. Comforting truths. I like to have my cake and eat it too.

  6. #26
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I'm definitely not talking about manipulation because the focus is communicating in such a way that the other person understands what you are saying. It isn't about trying to change someone's mind or getting them to act. Manipulation tends to be results oriented. It seeks something in response from the other person, and it isn't trying to make information more clear, but less clear. Interestingly I have had people manipulate me by gauging how certain words would impact me emotionally and deliberately making their communication less clear to get that result of a negative emotional impact.

    It doesn't even have to be about perfection in communication, but at least some attempt to consider one's words before speaking. What I am trying to say tends more towards common sense. When someone is severely injured we describe it differently to an EMT than to a child. They will process the information differently. We all have strengths and weaknesses in our communication, but I am pushing back against our current cultural glorification of rudeness. It doesn't clarify information, but confuses the issue.

    Perhaps a better example than the injured person one can be taken from my daily work as a piano teacher. If I want to communicate a concept to an adult, child, teenager, etc. I will approach it differently depending on the students' age, ability, personality, etc. This is an instance of desiring the result of the person understanding what I am saying. I don't expect to have one monologue description and everyone has to fend for themselves to comprehend what I'm saying. I change the approach so it fits with each person's brain as best I can. It's never a perfect process, and it is never intended to trick anyone in any way, but only to clarify the information in my brain to someone listening.
    I agree that rudeness does not clarify anything, but I don't equate rudeness with "harsh truth", especially after the OP's clarification above. As I specified, truth is best conveyed without rudeness or sugar coating, as objectively and neutrally as possible.

    It is much easier to understand that a child will not have the vocabulary and knowledge base of an adult, or an ordinary adult that of a trained EMT, than to predict what kind of personal baggage each of us carries around that will color how we interpret things. Errors in these cases are also easy to correct, as when the child stares back blankly and we explain again using simpler words. I face something similar to your piano lesson example now and then, and usually start by asking the person how much background they have in the subject I am about to discuss. Again, an easy solution, but unlikely to address the kind of situation I think the OP is describing.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Sometimes I just prefer not to know. I don't watch the news often for this reason - though for the most part I don't think of popular news outlets as cold hard truth so much as sensationalized negative entertainment based on reality. I have a few seemingly-more-neutral go-tos (BBC, NPR).
    An unfortunately accurate assessment. Mainstream news media are an inefficient source for what is really going on in the world. I agree about NPR, and especially BBC.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  7. #27
    Member corpseparty's Avatar
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    Which would I rather have? Comforting lies.

    Which one do I need? Harsh truths.

    I guess the first is also provided I don't discover said lies.

    Even further I resent the idea that a truth should ever be considered harsh or painful in the first place.

  8. #28
    across the universe Olm the Water King's Avatar
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    95% of the time the "harsh truth" isn't all that accurate anyway. People usually operate with faulty information and everyone sees the world through some sort of filter. It's rarely possible to get all the facts you need about someone to make a precise assessment.

    Most of the time, "objective criticism" isn't very objective.
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  9. #29
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    A friend was told several months ago that her cancer had returned. I would consider that truth fairly harsh, however it was packaged. But she needs to know, as quickly and plainly as possible, so she can address it as best she can.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    A friend was told several months ago that her cancer had returned. I would consider that truth fairly harsh, however it was packaged. But she needs to know, as quickly and plainly as possible, so she can address it as best she can.
    Who is her doctor to say what is the truth? Just because its true for the doctor that she has cancer, does that mean it's true for her? Can the doctors not recognize the subjectivity of their own data? Nobody can truly access the objective truth. they should learn to be a bit more humble about speaking up their so called "truth". Did her doctor not stop to consider how telling her she has cancer would make her feel?

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