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This is partially inspired by one of @sylvirfoxx 's quotes in the ENFP forum:

I personally don't tell people they did the right thing for the sake of their feelings when they actually didn't, but that's me. I'm honest - if I think they did something stupid but recognize that they're in a fragile emotional state and there's no way I can put it nicely, I just don't address that part of it directly until they're in the clear emotionally. Lying to them doesn't help them grow as a person any more than crushing them does.
What do you think? Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?

Asking in this forum because INTJ & I have talked about this topic many times and I'd like to know what other INTJs think.
 

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I've run into problems in the past telling people the truth when they didn't want to hear it. Now I mostly keep what I think to myself, so I don't have to put up with the headache of confronting endless rationalization and factually untrue claims that are only backed by effusions of emotion. Talking to people is extremely fatiguing, and it is not worth my while to have to deal with hurt or angry people yelling at me for contradicting them when I can go do something else on my own.
 

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you do materially alter the course of a person's life when you withhold information that would have an effect if you gave it to them. and personally, i'm kind of auto-wired towards full disclosure, just because my mind is so automatically all about 'give everyone all the information and let them decide'. i really dislike the responsibility of making decisions like that [indirectly] on someone else's behalf. it robs them of agency, or at the very best it tries to engineer the path that their agency's going to take, so it feels very morally questionable.

and yet, with that said. there are things right now that i'm keeping to myself because i can't see any true benefit to saying them. but just getting myself into the people-reading and the mental outcome-modelling of making decisions like that is a) draining and b) very uncomfortable because it makes me feel as if i'm playing god.
 

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What do you think? Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?
As Giovanni Boccaccio said in The Decameron, "Nothing is so indecent that it cannot be said to another person if the proper words are used to convey it."
 

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This is partially inspired by one of @sylvirfoxx 's quotes in the ENFP forum:



What do you think? Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?

Asking in this forum because INTJ & I have talked about this topic many times and I'd like to know what other INTJs think.
You know what I already think of it (obviously LOL), but there's actually a verse in the Bible I just remembered a minute ago that sums up what I think about telling the truth...

"Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." Matthew 7:6

In this case Jesus was referring specifically the Gospel, but it actually applies to truth in general. The truth is a good thing, but not everyone is always ready for it. So you save it for a time and place when they are ready to hear it. It doesn't mean you lie in the meantime - it just means you hold your peace and wait for the right time and place.

(I'm curious - what's your and the INTJ in question's take on it?)
 

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What do you think? Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?
"Right" in what sense? If you're interested in achieving something practical (helping someone, communicating your thoughts in a way that's likely to lead to the outcome that you want in a group decision-making context, etc) - there is a right time, place, and method of communicating truth. Being able to deliver truth in a way that communicates to people you are offering something of value because you think it will help makes a big difference - of course, whether we have the finer soft skills to pull it off is another question.

How much of the truth is appropriate for a particular context is a separate but fair question. I don't come out of the bathroom and tell everyone what I just did in there, and similarly it's not always appropriate to give people a run-down of information that is brutal, unhelpful, unnecessary or particularly: not actionable.

IMHO - the time for truth is when it can improve an outcome or you're talking to someone who is receptive enough that it may move their understanding forward. Otherwise, I wouldn't lie... But why bother unloading a truth-bomb? What is accomplished, other than wasting time and effort, potentially alienating people, and maybe reinforcing your belief that you're some kind of arbiter of knowledge?
 

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What do you think? Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?

Asking in this forum because INTJ & I have talked about this topic many times and I'd like to know what other INTJs think.
I think there's a right way and a right motivation for telling the truth, not a right time. I mean the right time is right now, but the right way is the way which helps rather than hurts. Just like a medicine for a sick person - there's no right time to take medicine when you're sick, but there's right and wrong medicine. The right medicine will heal you, the wrong medicine will make you worse.

And just like the truth spoken in the right way, sometimes the right medicine will have horrible taste, or way of administration, or side effects or in fact all of the above. These are usually the situations where you can't afford to wait for right time too.
 

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Truth does, in a way, have a self-purpose, I suppose. An interesting question I didn't look into yet is what the original default was. When people developed language, was lying always part of the deal, or did everyone tell the truth, and the lie was invented somewhere down the line? I think I'd like that. It would make truth the "right", natural thing, anyway.

Anyway, Vitamin, if you propose this, even the second part,
Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?
you already assume that truth only exists in order to do something, and not for its own sake. Because if it only was an end in itself, the outcome -- good or bad -- would be irrelevant. All that would matter was having said the truth.

Personally, I think I wouldn't mind if the world worked that way. And indeed, I often just tell the truth. It offends people, it saddens them, it gets them angry, it makes them happy. I don't pick and chose. The caveat is, of course, that that's not how the world works, and that you have to consider what that sort of behaviour means for you. While I don't care how it affects most people, I care how it affects me, because I have things I want to do, and so truth gets relegated to another tool of getting there.

Practice is probably a balance between the two extremes ... as usual. Extremes are rarely healthy.
 

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Ultimately, the truth is so absolutely good that no matter the time and place it will still work for the best. Since we fundamentally exist outside of time and have many opportunities to pay the truth attention.

The truth is always available, so there is no right time except now. There is a certain skill in delivering the truth however, and that normally comes at a seed level expression whereby the user can grow it into a tree at will. Like the saying goes; give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
 

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None of us are lords of time. There may not be a next year, a tomorrow, a 'later' right time for us. Or for the other person. For us, there is only the present. The now is all we have, for sure.
 

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Plague Doctor
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While I think a sense of timing may be needed for emotionally vulnerable people, I think that it is always the right time for truth. I don't really see this as a gradient. I don't even know if I understand the question. Why would I withhold the truth from someone unless I was trying to hide something from them? I don't understand "games" like this.

However, I think, perhaps, the essence which you speak of is the "right" time for realization. My dad had been battling cancer for 5 years when, in February of the year in question, he started to fall ill and had increased hospital visits. He had his gall bladder removed, had many infections which were life threatening, and, by May, was in near-debilitating pain.

I told him that I hoped they were going to be able to manage this and get him to a new normal. At this point, he sort of spaced out, the way he did when he was attempting to keep his emotions to himself, and said, "I don't know about that this time." I understood then that he was coming to terms with his death and he was more than just prepared as I had seen him up until that moment, but more that he was ready.

He got very sick the following June, and my brother flew in from Chicago. His [Dad's] immune system was incredibly low and my sister was a bit sick. We had a father's day dinner when he was released from the hospital that weekend, and my sister threw a fit about being asked not to come. So, my dad finally let in and allowed her to come. I started realizing that sister was not seeing the same thing that me and my brother were seeing.

In early July, he got sick and was admitted to the hospital again for the last time. By the time I got there, he was barely conscious and it just *felt* like it was time. My brother flew again from Chicago. During this time my sister and Stepmom were unnaturally upbeat and happy, as if they were completely dissociated from the world. It bothered me as I could see that they didn't realize what was happening. The fact that I had 8 days to sit by his bed and talk to him, experience this natural phenomenon with him, and face what was happening was very therapeutic to me. I know my brother was in a similar space.

One night, about 3 days before he died, I told [sister] that it was getting close. I figured she had realized what was going on at that point, but she didn't. She looked at me like I was somehow making it happen by thinking of it and seemed angry with me for saying that. Up until the moment he died, I don't think my sister or Step mom ever came to terms with the idea that it was really happening this time around.

To be fair, my sister was 24 being 10 years my junior, and perhaps her lack of experience with death and severe illness hadn't properly prepared her. However, my step mom, who had lost a child when I was 16 [our step brother], seemed completely stunned by this new development.

It was hard to see them lying to themselves about something that I thought should have been self-evident and would be so much a more enriching experience had they faced the truth. How arrogant of me to assume that their path during that time would have been made easier if they had accepted what was happening, but it just seems to me that it might have put a bit of perspective on it.

So, that's the nuance I think between the ask (when to TELL the truth) and the answer (the timing of realization of the truth).
 

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The time is always right. The person you're being honest with is the determining factor with the amount of fluff surrounding the idea being second.

Also, I've learned that when speaking to another person, "the truth" is merely my opinion. I try to remember this when folks react badly to whatever blunt thing I have to say.
 

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While I think a sense of timing may be needed for emotionally vulnerable people, I think that it is always the right time for truth. I don't really see this as a gradient. I don't even know if I understand the question. Why would I withhold the truth from someone unless I was trying to hide something from them? I don't understand "games" like this.
Any motivation. Spare other people pain, anger, sadness. That was what I meant by pick and chose. Or gain an own advantage, by timing it just right. Truth can very much be used as a weapon, that's the issue with declaring it generally and under all circumstances "right". It invokes powerful feelings in the persons it's directed at, and having the ability to control those is very much an advantage.

So just declaring truth good and valid any time does not absolve you of the responsibility of the reactions your words caused, does it? A world where there was only merciless truth would be just that -- merciless. Like I said, extremes never work out well.
 

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Plague Doctor
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Any motivation. Spare other people pain, anger, sadness. That was what I meant by pick and chose. Or gain an own advantage, by timing it just right. Truth can very much be used as a weapon, that's the issue with declaring it generally and under all circumstances "right". It invokes powerful feelings in the persons it's directed at, and having the ability to control those is very much an advantage.

So just declaring truth good and valid any time does not absolve you of the responsibility of the reactions your words caused, does it? A world where there was only merciless truth would be just that -- merciless. Like I said, extremes never work out well.
I'm responsible for my own feelings; other people are responsible for theirs. Why would I need to be "absolved" for telling the truth? If someone can't handle it, that's their problem with their relationship with reality; not mine. This implies I'd be doing a disservice to someone for telling them the truth. I tend to avoid interacting with people, but if someone asks, I'll tell directly.

I find the truth refreshing. I don't understand how "truth" could be used as a weapon. You talk about other people as if they're pawns in a scheme, fragile and about to break, and as if they are something I should be responsible for. People are resilient and there's nothing healthy about the inability to face reality.

I don't even really see the truth as good or bad, but as a neutral entity that one can look at with different attitudes.

Anyway, I'd be much more interested in what you'd have to say about the rest of my post, but perhaps it wasn't very interesting.

Edit to add: Are you, perhaps talking about hurtful opinions instead? Like telling someone you think they're ugly? That's all relative, in my mind. Just want to make certain I have my bases covered.
 
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This is partially inspired by one of @sylvirfoxx 's quotes in the ENFP forum:



What do you think? Is there a right time and place, even for truth, to produce its desired effect? Or is truth so absolutely good, that no matter the time and place, it will still work out for the best?

Asking in this forum because INTJ & I have talked about this topic many times and I'd like to know what other INTJs think.
Truth is not separate from the person sharing it or the one receiving it, so yes, timing is important, 'and' so is the 'ability' of the one talking and the one listening, so sometimes not sharing the truth at all is the better way to go, e.g. some people learn best by doing, making mistakes; others do well if an articulate person who knows them well shares news with a delivery likely (no guarantee) to produce the best result for the person hearing it and anyone else on whom it might have an effect.

There are no real black-n-white, in all situations kind of advice.

Use good judgment, and that requires 'think first, then maybe act.'
 

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I believe in dispensing the truth when a problem has been persisting for a long time...or when the problem can lead to a disastrous end.

I don't know if other INTJs are like this, but I do use some temperance when I give out the harsh reality. That being said, I do stress the severity of the situation when I do this and I don't like sugar-coating facts for its own sake.
 

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Plague Doctor
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@BranchMonkey Could you give me an example of when it would be better to use discernment which doesn't involve sharing an opinion (you're mean; you're idea is stupid), but actually involves actual objective truth (2+2 =4, your father is Nicolas Cage)?
 
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Throughout my life people have come to me, men and women, gay and straight, black, white, other, et cetera to complain about poor treatment by a significant other, usually very emotional, wanting advice for how to move out, or make their own position clear, and really?

They wanted to vent, but I thought they wanted solutions, which is what I offer (not the best 'put your head on my shoulder person), and when I've given advice, some of the people who came crying to me blamed me for what I noted about their relationship, and I learned in that--and other situations--listen or say I had something I had to attend to, because it was something for the 'couple' to work out, no 'truth' from me was going to help, and giving it has hurt me.

I have other examples, but that's a standard:

If I cannot listen and be the sounding board or shoulder to cry on, bow out, 'wait it out, it'll blow over, and eventually?

If it was a bad relationship, the couple will come to that conclusion in their own time, not in my time, according to my sense of urgency, common sense or what I thought I was doing:

Giving what was asked for: Trustworthy advice.
 

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Plague Doctor
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Throughout my life people have come to me, men and women, gay and straight, black, white, other, et cetera to complain about poor treatment by a significant other, usually very emotional, wanting advice for how to move out, or make their own position clear, and really?

They wanted to vent, but I thought they wanted solutions...
Ok, that's understandable, but it's still your opinion that they should leave the situation. If I were faced with this problem, I'd ask them what they get out of staying and ask them why they are putting themselves in so much danger. [I'd also tell them that their partner is engaging in criminal behavior and can be arrested and put in jail for it]. I admit to learning this in University and in the field in talking to trauma victims, but I never told them that it was "wrong" for them to stay or "right" for them to leave (if they were in danger of being hurt, I'd have to report, though as I'm a mandated reporter). That still seems opinion-based to me. The truth isn't absolute in that situation; it's more about what is safe and what isn't safe which may vary depending on opinions. For example, someone who doesn't believe in divorce, may think it's terribly unsafe for a person's soul to exit a marriage no matter what the circumstances.

[My opinion, however, would be that the person should leave the situation and run as fast as they can. In a clinical setting, I wouldn't be able to say this, but in a friendship, I'd have no problem letting them know what I thought. Still, it wouldn't be a "true" thought; it would be what I, personally, think. I'd still have to report it, though, as if anyone found out that I didn't I could lose licensing. My opinion would be that they are in danger. My fear would be that they could be killed. My ration would attempt to appeal to their ration.]

I'm not trying to pick on you; I ask you for examples because I sincerely respect you and I love interacting with you. I think perhaps that's what I can't wrap my mind around. My definition of the truth isn't what I think is safe, what I think is right, but what I know to be true: it's objective and not up for dispute. [That's why I said that it was neutral and hardly anything I need to absolve myself from if I decide to tell it.] If someone thought that my dog was a cat, I'd correct them. It's a provable, objective fact that my dog is a dog. That's what is true. I guess I'm having trouble finding out how I'm responsible for any emotional repercussions of someone sensitive to being corrected about which species they're looking at.

Like I said to begin with, I don't see a gradient. The truth is true and everything else is informed opinions (or not), etc...

[I suppose that when people are talking about the truth in this context, they're talking about something else. I don't know what it is called, but it's not the way I define truth. To me, truth is objective.]
 

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As Giovanni Boccaccio said in The Decameron, "Nothing is so indecent that it cannot be said to another person if the proper words are used to convey it."
This.

Truth is an "absolute good", but absolute goods are the last thing you want to apply absolutely. Absolute goods like "truth" and "wisdom", taken as some kind of commodity with personal representatives, can cause a lot of damage when they're applied indiscriminately.

In more practical terms, a person has to be in the right mindset to be receptive to the truth. It also depends on how relevant any given truth is to the person (no reason to go spreading around your interpretation of "the truth" just for the sake of getting it out there, when it might not be on most people's radar in the first place... that's counterproductive).

In the example of someone screwing up, that's more a matter of separating the reality from the value judgments. For example therapists do this a lot. They don't wrongly approve of bad behavior or stupid decisions, and they will at the very least acknowledge it if not openly discuss the context around it. But they also want the patient to reason through their own actions. There is the issue of agency here, as has already been mentioned. So outright telling someone they made a bad decision when they haven't arrived at that themselves, is sort of like... giving away the answers to the math homework without ever attempting the problem. :tongue: In those cases I usually keep it to myself, unless I really think there's some danger in them not being aware, and that my not making them aware would make me partially responsible if something bad happened from repeated mistakes, lack of personal growth, etc.

However, the larger "truth" in that quoted bit (often missed by those who claim to represent "the truth"), is there are likely many factors that led that person to do something stupid. So whether it was stupid or not is just a piece of the truth. But the "truth" is not as simple as "was this stupid or not?" I guess I see it more as a narrative, kind of like in a court case you're getting entire testimonies and the truth is really about the entire sequence of events, not just guilty/not guilty.

Also, you can acknowledge stupidity/regrets in general much more easily if maybe it only seems wrong after the fact and there was no way to realize it beforehand. So considering the entire situation makes it much easier to be honest.

There are cases where people are just plain dumb but then again, they're less likely to be self-aware enough that you'll have to reach this point with them, lol.
 
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