Hurtful truth or white lie?

When faced between two choices -hurtful truth or white lie- which one would you choose?


You know, it is a characteristic commonly found among Asians (and I'm not stereotyping here) to say white lies in order to blanket the unpleasant verity within the limit of pleasantries.

For example, when you are hosted into someone else's residence and served a Tom Yam soup which is too salty... Would you say the truth to the cook; or tell him/her a white lie instead?

As for the case of myself, I think it's best to tell him/her the truth. He/she may get offended, but at least it would do him/her some good to advice him/her into putting less salt in the soup next time.

Of course I've never been a gourmet cognoscente myself, hence I never commented anything bad on anyone else's cookings.

I must admit that sometimes I also fall for such pleasantries too. In order to avoid hurting people, I tell them white lies.

However, don't you know that sooner or later the person concerned could eventually find out the truth by himself/herself? Knowing that people are going to such lengths to cover your fallacies with pleasing remarks may not often be the best choice to do... I myself would get deeply hurt by that kind of treatment.

Deriving from such a reflection, I think it's best to be a truthful-yet-hurting kind of person (which is a Western feature) instead of a white-liar-yet-nice one (which is Asian).

As for myself, I fall more on the latter category. Would love to become a more of the first category, though.

Rob Baiton  – (5 October 2008 at 03:08)  


Don't kid yourself that a "Western" feature is truthful but hurting or that Asians are not forthright and blunt in their assessments of things.

This is the problem of stereotypes, there are increasing numbers of exceptions to the rule. It probably depends on what circles you mix in and whether it is business or personal.

Sometimes people say things that are untrue but designed to hurt.

The best policy in life is to be honest. For me if the Tom Yam is salty, and too salty to boot, I would say so.

toshi  – (5 October 2008 at 13:39)  


yes, honesty is basically what i'm talking about on this post, which is why i argue FOR it :)

and uhh.. i think i might've done a bit of stereotype up there but umm.. haha nvm :D

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