Reflect on this: Manners vs. honesty

I was mulling over the concepts of manners and honesty the other day. I was trying to think about how I felt about the importance of manners verses being completely {and brutally} honest when interacting with others. When I say manners, I am not referring to elbows off the table or covering your mouth when you sneeze. I am referring to the half-truths we tell each other to be polite and cordial.

I’m still reflecting on this concept and I wanted to know what you all thought. Is it more important to be honest at all times, even if that means hurting someone’s feelings? Or is it more important to place manners above all else to ease people into the truth {even if it means lying}?

I consider the feelings of others to be a great factor in how I behave or interact with someone. However, the more I think about it, the more I believe that to truly have good manners, one must have an open and honest heart. To me, being honest with ourselves and our own feelings allows our behaviors to be kind, polite, gracious, and cordial towards others.

I firmly believe there is a time for brutal honesty. We must be honest in our relationships for them to flourish. For example, if someone hurts our feelings, we should be able to pull him or her aside to discuss them. Or if a loved one is making bad decisions, we must be able to approach them with love and honesty. However, I believe that brutal honesty should not be used as a way to humiliate someone when good manners should be used instead.

I am on the fence when it comes to making an either/or pronouncement. I think I lean more towards approaching each unique situation and then deciding.

What are your thoughts on manners and cordiality verses complete honesty?