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Can You Honestly Handle the Truth?


Problematic Shitlord
I see people say this a lot. They claim they want the truth or they want to "hear it straight" or some other variation of the same statement. Many of us like to joke that there aren't many people that can handle the truth these days, we get lied to and have criticisms of ourselves softened and coated with fluff and get used to these sort of 'hidden truths'. It makes the impact of the truth much weaker and usually more discreet.

The simple question is: Can you handle the truth?

Before you start typing, give it some serious thought. Really this is not a suggestion, I really want to know that you thought about it. Can you handle someone telling you that you're too bossy? Maybe you drink too much? What about your relationship with a sibling, what if you really are a lot meaner than you think? What about being ungrateful? What about needing to eat better? What about being too impulsive? Maybe a good friend thinks you need to take it easy and not sleep around so much. What if they said you need to learn to save your money? What about your ego? Are you too self centered? Maybe the opposite, maybe you're too selfless?

Any of these and plenty more, do you think you could honestly handle the truth about yourself? From a stranger or does it have to be a friend? Have you had any experiences?

I ask with a few recent GF happenings in my mind and no, not as a way to jab people. I myself have had dark times where a friend of mine has said something that got me upset or even mad at them but I realized were true. It takes a lot of work sometimes to understand how right they can be and it requires a serious ability to see yourself. People on this forum are very close with one another yet sometimes we can't even handle criticism from each other, even those we've been friends with for a long time. That is what really prompted this question. So can you? Do you feel you can handle the truth about yourself? This is obviously not to say that everything people say about you is true, but when it's a few people, do you give it thought? What do you do?


You know what?
The only truth I couldn't handle would be something related to a life-risky news or bad health for me or my loved ones.
There's nothing more important than life and health at the same time so all the other truths sound not as important as the truth about your death or an illness.

And I really mean it. Any other thing will be easy to overcome as life goes on.
If people tell you about your flaws, you'll get upset and sad but then you'll learn to take it easy. I don't think it's some truth that can be hardly handled. It'll have some impact on you but then again you'll get used to it.

For example, my mom hardly ever says a good word about me during the day. She's constantly picking on me, and telling me things that lower my self-confidence.
She says that almost everything about me is terrible - starting from the way I eat to how I stand, sleep, talk, look, laugh, behave and think. I've never heard her say she's proud of me about anything. And if you ask her what she likes about me, I'm not sure if she's going to give you an answer.

Is there any worse truth than having someone disdain you, 24 hours a day?

Sure, there are other worse truths I don't' want to hear about like the one I mentioned in the beginning of my post.

So I guess I'm immune to hearing and handling every truth about myself.
When friends tell me about my truths, I'm willing to talk to them ..though it hurts at times.
I have to add that during the years, I have learned to appreciate honesty and accept people's opinions about my flaws.
It's better to know my flaws and accept them, rather than think I'm better than everyone else.
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Registered Member
First I’ll define my terms for discussion: I’m using “handle” to mean “make use of.” If “handle” is to mean, “take criticism without experiencing much emotional upset,” then no—I suppose I don’t handle criticism well. If “handle” is to mean, “to listen to the truth/criticism, exhibit introspection, and then at least try to use it to reform myself even in the face of something I don’t want to hear,” then I think I’m moderately successful at this.

Really this is not a suggestion, I really want to know that you thought about it.

I thought about the differences between truths and opinions as you mentioned.

I think sometimes when people offer, “You want to know the truth?” they’re really saying, “You want to know my unfiltered opinion?”

I thought about the value of hearing the truth as opposed to experiencing the truth.

It’s one thing to be told, “You really need to stop enabling your family member in X." It's another thing to see the upshot of one's actions--I think that latter is more often more powerful.

My own personal choice of living is that I think it's better to receive and learn how to deal with a hard reality than it is to live in an illusion.


Registered Member
As Steg alluded, it kinda depends what you mean by "handle".

But in general, I honestly think I can. When I reached the point where I felt that my religious beliefs no longer made sense to me, it was emotionally very painful, but I went with what I felt was more likely to be true.

Also, my mentor is very honest with me. On top of that, I've told him more about myself than I've told anyone, and he's very perceptive, so he tells me truths about myself that others can't and/or won't. And even if I don't like what he tells me, I almost always see the benefit of listening to what he's said.

I think most people know someone in their life who's really blunt about things, but often people just don't share as much about themselves with those people, and thus they never get to test how well they can handle truth.


Registered Member
Sure I can handle it, and sometimes I can even handle it well.


Registered Member
I like to think I can handle the truths about everything. I certainly think I can handle the truth about myself in someone elses eyes. In that sense, their truth and my truth, or even someone elses, are not always the same. That falls more into opinion I think. There are some truths that when it comes to the person are better left unknown. This conflicts with my 'no lying' policy. I always try my best to be truthful and honest, especially with people close to me. Often times, out of more of a sense of honor than guilt, when I have lied or left something out, I come clean about it. The truth about myself is easy to handle, but there are many truths I would prefere to never face, although if given the option I will, like most people, always ask for and want th truth. An example of a truth I wouldn't want to know, is should something ever happen to one of my boys on a level of brutality or extreme. If one of my kids were kidnapped and killed, I would not need to know every little detail about that. I have done a lot of reading about serial killers and various other atrocities in recent years. I recall one killer I read about, not only kidnapped and tortured small children, but also ate them. To take that further, he wrote detailed letters to the childrens parents about exactly what and how he did this. That is a truth that I personally would not need to or even want to know. Simple truths about myself, or that someone else has lied, or my wife has cheated or a million various other things, I would want the truth. Could I handle it? Not always, but with time and thought, I might be more open to the idea of change or accepting the facts as they are. Honestly is always best, but it is not always right.


Registered Member
Nope, not always. It hurts, or makes me feel defensive. That'll lead to some paranoia like "I wonder what else they think?". So, no, generally I don't handle it well. There's some things about me (ie brash, blunt) that I'm use to hearing. Times when I'm judged as "mean" upsets me. Ok, sure, sometime I feel mean. Mostly though it's my use of different vocabulary than others.


The Hierophant
I can handle the truth about a lot of things. Honestly, I've spent a lot of time soul searching, and that means that I needed to be as completely honest with myself as I possibly could be so that I could figure out who I am.

I'm constantly figuring out things about myself, and if anyone has any type of personal criticism about me as a person, I can handle it. Not to say that I won't get a little upset or something, but that's normal. I wouldn't freak out, anyway.

Now, as far as circumstances out of my control that I haven't had to encounter yet, I'm not sure. Things like, bad medical news (cancer, diabetes, etc..) or tragic events would be harder to handle. I can't say anything for certain because I've never been in the situation, but I feel like I'd try to stay as strong as I can be for as long as possible.

I guess it all depends on what kind of truth it is that I'm being told, would depend on how I'd be able to handle it.


Registered Member
I like EllyDelicious' answer.
But is there really someone who knows a truth?
Life is too complicated to be enclosed in a single truth, above all if we talk about attitudes.
I think inside us there is every kind of attitude, but we use the ones we're used to, because of circumstances and people around us. It's all up to us, we can change gradually by getting used to something else, by making that something ours.
Because of that I'd find useful if someone pointed to me things that hurted/annoyed him/herr.
Still, when someone does, I usually reply with philosophical statements to see how much I can change others' thoughts - just entertainment; but I never get angry or upset or such things.


Creeping On You
I like to think I can.

Its hard granted, but I try to take it with a grain of salt. I never feel hurt per say, but sometimes I do feel frusterated, guilty and sheepish, because normally its a truth that I didn't see for myself, but as soon as someone points it out to me, I suddenly see clearly what I was doing or acting like. Unfortuneatly, those are the emotions I handle horribly, and so sometimes I react in anger. I try not to but like I said, those are my hardest emotions to control.