Is 'kind lying' part of the social agreement?

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05 Feb 2022 14:32 - 07 Feb 2022 13:59 #366023 by Edan
If someone asks you if they look good, and you actually think they look like they've just dragged themselves out of the dirty laundry pile, what would you say to them?

Does your answer differ depending on who is asking?

Is it right to tell 'kind lies' to those we don't want to upset or don't know well, when the answer has no bearing on us?

QUESTION YOUR APATHY
Last edit: 07 Feb 2022 13:59 by Carlos.Martinez3.
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05 Feb 2022 15:07 #366024 by Edan
The short discussion River and I had on it today:



QUESTION YOUR APATHY
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05 Feb 2022 17:41 #366025 by Vincent Causse
I am for something in the middle ! A lie will probably not help, in this situation it might even frustrate the person that you re talking to. People are not stupid so somewhere inside they do know that they must look there best as they do not feel their best. So i see it as a properly balanced recipe, a little bit of truth, but one does not have to insiste on how bad that person look, a little bit of humour, not too much because there must be some love mix with it, some help offered, again with tact and mindfulness so more love.
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06 Feb 2022 01:03 #366035 by Adder
All things are relative, eg good compared to what was and is possible for the person (eg good effort compared to good result), or good compared to an ideal (much harder and not often useful), or good compared to what one thinks is good (a bit rude but it depends on the relationship I suppose lol). But generally unless someone is your dependent... 'kind lying' is lazy, misleading and probably at some level self serving, IMO.

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06 Feb 2022 01:14 #366036 by Diana W
it reminds me of when I asked my friend THAT question "does this make me look fat?" His reply was "yup. You look like a 4 ton elephant."

If you don't want an honest - or over exaggerated reply to a stupid question, don't ask. It puts people in an uncomfortable situation. Most will "kindly lie" to avoid conflict.


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06 Feb 2022 21:12 #366057 by Alexandre Orion
I'm the sort of sneaky git who will say : "You look fine", meaning that the person does, even if his/her attire looks like s/he just escaped from the laundry bin.

It's situational though ; I'll be more honest - though still quite kind about it - if s/he's headed out to a job interview than if just going to the supermarket.
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07 Feb 2022 09:44 #366069 by Loudzoo
Kind lying is definitely part of the social agreement (contract). How many people otherwise 'committed to truth' convince their children that Santa Claus exists? What looks 'good' vs what looks like a 'laundry pile' is also part of the social agreement - and very dependent on the social situation. What looks 'good' in a cyberpunk club may look like 'laundry pile' for a business meeting.

I think we tend to use someone's ability to steer through this minefield as a (fairly accurate) proxy for social intelligence. Do you understand our relationship? Do you understand the social environment we are in? Do you respect me? Do you have my back? Can I rely on you? Are you on my team?

When we get asked questions like "do I look good?" we need a fairly high degree of social intelligence to work out what question is actually being asked. Even more social intelligence is required to answer appropriately.

The morally correct answer will depend on whether the person wants a superficial truth, an existential truth, reassurance, or whether the question is a test of your ability to deliver all of these things at once! What makes the whole interchange even more complicated is that your intent is also likely to be assessed ("A truth told with bad intent, beats all the lies you can invent" - William Blake).

I really like River's distinction between 'kind lying' and 'compassionate truth' but my intuition is that in many situations, they may well be the same thing. When Obi-wan told Luke that Vader had killed his father was that a kind lie, or a compassionate truth?

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07 Feb 2022 11:17 - 07 Feb 2022 11:19 #366070 by River
I have diagnoses that mean my social intelligence is fairly low, though I've worked really hard to learn what comes naturally for others, so take this as you will, lol...

I don't believe lying is necessary, even these kinds of "social grease" lies. But that doesn't mean that we can't be tactful about it. Let's go with the clothes thing for a few examples:

If a person headed for a job interview wearing too-casual clothing asks me how they look, I might say something like "that is a cute outfit, but I think they might be looking for something more professional for an interview. What about (suggest appropriate outfit here)?"

If a person asks if an unflattering dress looks good on them, maybe "that one's a nice color (or some other true positive aspect) but I think the purple one looks best on you." Or "I'm not sure that cut accents your best qualities; I really like how the purple one looks on you."

If the clothing is quite wrinkled, I don't have to go with "its so wrinkled, you look like old laundry" even if that's true from my perspective. I could go with "wow, that fabric really holds wrinkles, doesn't it. If that bothers you, you may want to choose something else to wear until you have time to iron that."

All of these examples are totally truthful, and make the point, without being harsh. I feel like there's always a way to be truthful and honest while still being considerate, even if sometimes that means saying "I'm not really sure how to answer that right now" until we can think of how. Being able to trust someone is very important to me, and for me that means every aspect. If a partner would lie about how my outfit looks, i feel that means they might lie about where they were last night as well. I know one is more impactful than the other but to me they're both just a lie. I hold myself to that same standard, because I want to be completely trustworthy.
Last edit: 07 Feb 2022 11:19 by River.

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07 Feb 2022 13:53 - 07 Feb 2022 14:01 #366073 by Carlos.Martinez3
EDIT AFTER POSTING: Sorry for the hitting of the wrong buttons there, I did. Hopefully, I fixed it, my fault.

If someone asks you if they look good, and you actually think they look like they've just dragged themselves out of the dirty laundry pile, what would you say to them?

Does your answer differ depending on who is asking?

Is it right to tell 'kind lies' to those we don't want to upset or don't know well, when the answer has no bearing on us?



I am a liar. I try not to lie. In my own conversation, I have chosen not to lie. My conversation and forms of communication have led me to a place where I choose to re word my words and things I say. I cant say the same things anymore. I choose to not use a lie in any way anymore. Been burned so much its just there is not even a little lie for me anymore. My life had been build on lies and deceit. No more.
I compliment people more often and when we meet. Having this in my "Jedi belt" can help me to not lie to others in the old forms. When we meet if you are complimented, when do you have time to ask if you look ok or if something make you look some way? When some one looks like junk I usually say would you like some time to freshen up or can I help ya pick out a good shirt? When we find our communication lacking, it can be up to us to change it and or grow it. I am never a fan of lies. My choice. If you wanna say something, there are ALWAYS more than ONE way to say it.

In my own path I have never told a lie that didn't effect me directly. Aint worth it anymore. Im making much much more without the lies. Is it harder to relay somthing than telling the truth, no I was just never used to it. Get used to telling the truth, differently and see if something different dont come out. Just a challenge is all. They are our words, why cant we change em?
Hope this helps
Carlos

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Last edit: 07 Feb 2022 14:01 by Carlos.Martinez3.
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07 Feb 2022 16:50 - 07 Feb 2022 16:51 #366078 by River
I realized I didn't reply to the "does your response vary depending on who the person is" part.

Yes, but only in terms of bluntness. For my wife I may say "those leggings do make your calves look kind of chonky" whereas to an acquaintance I might say "I think another style might flatter you even more." It's pretty directly related to how close I am to a person, and how much history we have built up together. My wife knows that I love her and that I don't judge her based on how her calves look in thst pair of leggings. An acquaintance probably isn't as aware of my traits and we wouldn't have the foundation of respect and caring built.
Last edit: 07 Feb 2022 16:51 by River.

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