“A statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?
It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.” – Gautama Buddha
Some things don’t warrant words. If words are intended to hurt, it is probably time to hold back. However, if holding back is produced by fear of outcome, it is probably time to speak. It’s easy to justify “white lies.” But where do the lies slide into the grey area? And when do they become outright betrayal?
Sometimes the prospect of coming clean is intimidating: “Hey, I accidentally saw that you’re getting e-mails from your ex, and I’m feeling intimidated,” may feel petty, or even paranoid, to mention.
“Hey, I’m getting e-mails from my ex, and even though I totally love you, I’m feeling confused in my heart about loving you and still loving him,” may feel scary to share.
“Hey, I’ve been talking with this guy I know, and I’m finding myself really attracted to him,” may feel like dynamite in your hand.
But better a controlled detonation then an out-of-control time bomb. In the words of the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, “The cruelest lies are often told in silence.” As a general rule of thumb; if you wonder if you should tell him what’s weighing on your mind or heart, you probably should.
Using the precepts offered by the Buddha – timing, truth, kindness, benefit, and goodwill – you will find the way to speak compassionately, and share the truth of your heart and soul with pure intention.