When is it (Not) Okay to Lie?
The good people at RoleReboot.com asked for a slightly different take on the notion that honesty is always the best policy. Fancying myself a psychological iconoclast, I chimed in with an article for them. There's an excerpt below and go here for the entire piece. Enjoy. Person A often reveals the truth under the guise of altruism or respect but, in reality, he or she is doing it to relieve his or her own guilt. People often fail to recognize that when they “get things off of their chest,” they often feel better, but they are transferring their pain onto the person who is hearing the words. This leads to a double kick in the teeth: "I’ve done something awful to you AND I’m going to ask you to help me feel better about it." Guilt is an incredibly powerful emotion that most of us will do a lot to eradicate, and it’s particularly easy to do it when you believe that it’s “the right thing to do.” But simply believing that doesn’t make it so. It’s only the evolved person who ponders the question: Who benefits most from the truth and who will suffer because of it?