How to Tell Someone the Truth

Telling the Truth: The Power of Tact and Timing

You know the old saying, “The truth hurts”? Well, there are times when that is right on the money. Have you ever had someone tell you something about yourself you didn’t want to hear? Even if it was the truth and even if came from a place of caring, it still hurt, right? Being honest can be a painful experience—especially when what you have to say isn’t pretty or isn’t what someone else wants to hear. Still, the importance of being honest (especially about your needs and feelings) cannot be overstated. So how do you tell someone a painful truth? Here are a few guidelines that should help!

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Consider Their Feelings

While it’s easy to only think about your feelings in any given situation (especially one you’ve contemplated deeply), it’s important to give thought to how the other person is going to react to whatever you have to say. Their reaction will depend on what you say and how you say it, so put yourself in their shoes. If they were sharing this truth with you, how would you want them to do it? How would this truth make you feel? If you consider the other person’s feeling before you reveal a truth to them, you may end up hurting them less.

Consider Your Words

Being honest doesn’t have to mean being blunt or cruel. Just because you have to say something that might be rough, it doesn’t mean you have to say it in a rough way. Say it in the kindest way possible. This doesn’t mean you have to sugarcoat your words—just be careful with the words you choose. “I feel” statements are more effective than “You are” statements, so be sure to use them. One is an observation. The other is an accusation. No one can argue with how you feel, but they can protest when you’re blaming them for everything. In the words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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Consider Your Timing

Though you may want to blurt out something in the heat of the moment, an argument is rarely the time to share an unexpected truth. Why add to the heat and the stress that an argument has already created? Instead, choose a quieter, calmer time that is filled with lesson emotion. There is power in knowing when to say what you have to say. Your words will go farther if you know when to tell your truth.

Will your truth help or hurt them? Psychic Monique ext. 6350 knows how they’ll react. 

11 thoughts on “How to Tell Someone the Truth

  1. Diana

    such valuale advice, but sometimes in the heat of the moment we outburst our own feelings of anger and pain to the “opponent”. We have to learn to be ZEN at all times, to keep what we say in Britain, ” a stiff upper lip” and wait for everyone to cool down, easier said than done!
    Some truths are not good to be accepted, the person on receiving order must be mature and open minded enough and knowing that we still love and care for them. But must we not give advice to others even if we see them going straight into a brick wall and let them make their own experiences and mistakes!? This especially concerns our own kids, when to let them do it by themselves and wait and see what they can do. We want to protect that is normal towards someone we care for, but sometimes we have to learn to step back and look on how ever distressing it may be.

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  2. sherpeace

    Great advice! I have spent tears (ha, great typo! I meant “YEARS”) trying to help people by telling them the truth. Usually I make them mad, then defensive, then deaf to anything I have to say.
    It is one thing to want to help someone & a totally different thing for them to be able to hear it & act on it.
    I hope I will be able to report back soon, saying that people are finally TAKING my advice! I also hope that I will STOP taking on other people’s problems & feeling like I have to save them!

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  3. GEMINI

    Thank you Monique, for your article. I know that there is a time and place for telling the
    truth or to say your opinion. But, my friends are pretty cool about me doing so. I tell
    them I rather tell you the truth instead of lying. I also tell them that I will tell them my
    opinion and that they can take it or leave it. That’s why they appreciate me as a friend
    and I have long lasting friendships. But, when it comes to family, Oh! my gosh even
    thou they know how I am, someone always gets angry or hurt its so dumb.

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  4. That was an amazing revelation.

    This information is priceless. All men should read this! As a man, I know it can be difficult to adhere to such a concept. Men simply aren’t wired like this; however, we can adapt. Lastly, the writings need to be shared. At a bare minimum printable.

    Reply
  5. kimmy

    Thought of you with your situation + good for me also, love the saying, “people won’t remeber how you acted or what you did, But They Will Remember How You Made Them FEEL. Aloha, Nancy

    Reply

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