Obviously, human relationships are far more complicated than they actually would have to be. I, for one, like to be clear and direct as concerns my thoughts and feelings towards those I interact with. Unfortunately, this does not hold good vice versa. And although many people are far clearer of their own cognitions and emotions than they would ever actually acknowledge, they appear to prefer playing games to simply telling the truth.
This very tendency fairs most of the time under the banner of politeness. As the famous saying has it, ‘The truth hurts.’ Some people like to say, ‘If you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all’, or some variant of it. There even is, at least in the English language, the concept of the so-called ‘white lies’. Albeit, strictly speaking, considered lies, ‘white lies’ are supposed not only not to hurt anyone, but, even more so, to benefit those who are told these lies.
Ironically, in most cases nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, lies do hurt people in manifold manners, and often enough, they complicate things further. Indeed, especially those filthy white lies, which are deemed most harmless, tend to cause chains of further lies, so as to conceal the initial ones and those following them. Notice that while an initial white lie may in fact be unconsidered and harmless for the moment, the further process will involve more and more deliberate lying.
Admittedly, people may initially intend to protect someone by omitting the truth from them; in the long run, however, the truth tends to prevail more often than not – and now consider what hurts more: to be confronted with an unpleasant truth, while having a fair chance to deal with it, or to find out about such an unpleasant truth in the aftermath of other unpleasant events, accompanied by the awkward realization that one has been lied to by the very people one has always trusted for a long time.
All the white lies people tend to tell not only do not protect others, are not just a polite manner of rejecting an offer, or even a person, but really and at their very core are a sign of great disrespect.
I readily acknowledge that there certainly are people who prefer playing these mind games, as they deem it easier, mostly for themselves. The truth may hurt for the moment, yet it can only hurt one as far as it applies. Lies that turn out as such, on the other hand, add to the pain, or are even more hurtful than the originally omitted truth.
Personally, I can cope with almost anything; I am disappointed only by lies, and infuriated by disrespect. You may argue that I were too idealistic, that I expected too much of humans, but this, methinks, is mainly owing to a misunderstanding. I do not expect humans to be perfect, and I do not consider myself perfect, either. What I expect – or at least wish for – is a considerably basic and easily practicable principle to be put to use: tell the truth, as much as I tell you the truth, granting us both – and everyone else – a fair chance to cope with whatsoever it may be and to react accordingly.