Chatterbox #14 – White lies

Sometimes we don’t want to be rude and so we need to tell a little white lie. Other times it may be important to be completely honest, and this is called brutal honesty. When is it OK to tell a white lie and when is it necessary to be brutally honest? Harp and Maura discuss this, and talk about honesty in relationships and with kids. How important is it to be honest your culture?



Sample transcript:

Maura: Maybe you go to someone’s house for dinner and they make pizza and you really don’t like onions and they put onions on the pizza. They ask if you like the pizza and you say, “Yeah, it’s delicious” because you don’t like onions but you don’t want to tell them that. You don’t want to be rude or impolite.

Harp: Yeah, exactly, that’s a little white lie. So a little white lie is usually to protect someone’s feelings, I would say.
Maura: Right, you want to be polite, you don’t want to be rude. So what is the other one? Brutal honesty. So brutal honesty is when you tell the complete truth and it can be rude or impolite.
Harp: Exactly. Sometimes people don’t want to hear brutal honesty.
Maura: Right. You don’t care about manners, but you completely say the truth.
Harp: I love this expression because it’s so interesting when you think of the two words together. So, if something is “brutal,” like, for example, you could say that exam was brutal. That means it was very hard, it was very … it was extreme, it was not nice, it was … it’s just very hard word.
Maura: Yeah, it’s kind of a violent word.
Harp: Yeah, exactly. And then honesty, you think of a very positive thing, someone told me the truth. It was … yeah, someone who is being truthful and so when you put the two words together, brutal honesty. It’s an interesting little expression.
Maura: Right, because sometimes when you’re honest it is rude or it hurts someone’s feelings. There are a lot of things that you can say that are the truth, but they’re not nice.

Podcast/ Lipservice: Culips ESL Podcast