I have always been allergic to anyone i feel is trying to tell me what i want to hear. There are a lot of people that will tell you what you want and not what you need to hear. For me, these people are immediately excluded from my trust circle.
On a wider scope, it is important to let people know the truth, so that they can work on getting better. Hence this quote by Thomas Sowell.
When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.– Thomas Sowell
When the intention is to genuinely support and assist others, being honest and truthful is crucial. Telling the truth, even if it may be uncomfortable or difficult, is seen as an act of care and respect. Providing honest feedback, advice, or information allows individuals to make informed decisions, learn and grow from the truth, and navigate challenges more effectively.
On the other hand, when the primary objective shifts towards personal gain or self-interest, some people may be inclined to tell others what they want to hear. In these situations, the focus may be on pleasing others, avoiding conflict, or gaining favour or approval. This approach may involve withholding certain information or presenting a version of the truth that aligns with the desires or expectations of the other person.
For example: Someone smell bad. Instead of providing the feedback, allowing him to correct this issue, you complement him on his hair.
The quote highlights the potential conflict between honesty and self-interest when it comes to communication. While being honest can be beneficial for the growth and well-being of others, there may be instances where personal motivations lead to prioritizing self-preservation or short-term benefits over complete transparency.
Check this small animation video :