Posts Tagged ‘fallacy’

scary3“You just can’t handle me because I’m honest and tell it like it is!”

How many times have you heard that one from the so-called friend or acquaintance who prides themselves on “telling it like it is?” If they’re not saying it, they’re boasting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Their penchant for blurting out unsolicited opinions about you and/or your life is usually lacking in truth and tact, but that doesn’t stop them. If you don’t like it, they’ll rudely say that you just “can’t handle the truth.” They might call it “brutal honesty,” but they’re only half right … and honesty ain’t got nothin’ to do with it!

Perhaps the biggest pitfall of the Honesty Fallacy is that those who commit it often mistake being honest for telling the truth. Full of themselves, these people sincerely believe that their honest opinion is equivalent to an incontrovertible fact or truth about a person, place, or situation. An honest opinion is still just that – an opinion – so those who engage in the Honesty Fallacy are doing nothing more than playing the part of the proverbial “armchair quarterback.”

Those who engage in the Honesty Fallacy aren’t honest at all, especially with themselves. Ever wonder why these folks are so eager to share their unedited, unfiltered thoughts about you? Is it that they’re trying to help you by cluing you in to some of your flaws? Hardly! These folks are being brutally honest because they want to hurt you, and they’re usually motivated by jealousy or a deep-seated – and often denied – hatred toward you. This brutal honesty of theirs is nothing more than a passive-aggressive way of lashing out at their frenemies in a thinly-veiled, socially-acceptable manner. It’s a game they play with you and they continually up the ante to see just how much further they can push the meanness envelope.

And may the gods help you if you ever snap on these bastions of honesty!

The Honesty Fallacy doesn’t go both ways. Though it might seem to be the irony of ironies, those who revel in being brutally honest are usually extremely sensitive when it comes to things said about them. “You’re just being mean!” they scream, as they struggle to choke back the torrents of tears and baleful sobbing that are sure to follow. Try it and see! You’ll wound them ever so deeply while simultaneously exposing the fact that their so-called brutal honesty was nothing more than their ego overcompensating for their insecurities.

While I typically don’t advocate capriciously harming others, I’ve always seen those who engage in the Honesty Fallacy as bullies, and bullies deserve the retribution that they inspire in their victims. And for those who think that someone can only be a bully if they’re violent, keep in mind that verbal assault is violence too … that’s why it’s called an “assault.”

*Artwork generously donated by Steven Michael Pace of Flint, MI.