Truth Hurts, Doesn’t It?

One day years back my husband read this little anecdote to me, written by a fellow who shares our last name, and we both had chuckle.

With a bit of time to waste one day, the fellow who wrote it had wandered into a pinball arcade. He stepped up to one of the machines and was about to put money in the slot when he noticed a little sign on the machine. It read: “Why are you wasting your money playing this dumb game?”

The thought has a sting of truth to it. Pricked in conscience and annoyed with the guy who’d taped on this sign, he tore the note off the machine. Underneath was another note: “Truth hurts, doesn’t it?”

In the end he must have gotten a chuckle out of it, or he wouldn’t have written this and told on himself.

Telling the truth is risky!

So many times I wish I’d been more tactful when someone got huffy because of what I said! Other times I regret that I didn’t speak up, but was afraid of giving offense. But “beating around the bush,” as we say, may not have changed the outcome. Looking back, I appreciate the times when someone gave it to me straight up, rather than hinting so tactfully that I didn’t grasp the truth until years later.

If the words we say, wanting to be helpful, deliver a bit of sting in their truth, the hearer’s going to feel it and may respond angrily. But sometimes only the truth served straight up — as it was in this account — will get the point across. 🙂

Have you ever upset someone by telling them the truth? Did they appreciate your straight-forward honesty in the end?

5 thoughts on “Truth Hurts, Doesn’t It?

    1. Thanks for your comment. 🙂 I just read a great article on this topic. You may want to read it, too.

      So what to you tell a “needy” client who’s about to go back into an abusive situation because, “I can’t make it alone”?
      I read where one woman—in trouble for pestering her ex-husband and his new love—told her counselor, “I can’t live without him!” The counselor bluntly replied, “That’s not love; that’s being a parasite.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What I usually hear is “But I love him!” And what I tell that woman, after striving mightily to convince her that he DOESN’T have a good heart and that he will NOT change, is that I have a list of shelters and phone numbers she can call when she’s had enough. If she lives through it. I always try to be gentle in the beginning with these traumatized women, but there comes a time when I have to say, “Look, I can help you only if you decide to help yourself.”


  1. Ah, I have just had such an experience this week, a week of truth telling and angry response. It was given to another and that other gave me the same truth telling in their anger. At first we vowed to distance ourselves from each other and stayed angry both of us, holding on to our anger. Eventually I saw the truth…we made contact, and repaired this anger outburst with the promise to continue being who were are and accepting it as is. Of course this leaves us with lots of room for change where it needs to happen.


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