Similarly to the phrase, “We need to talk,” another set of words that instantly put stress on a man’s heart and mind is, “Just tell me the truth; I won’t be mad.” Now regardless of what expression you have on your face as you say these words, be it a smile, stone face or a scowl, most men usually think to themselves and hopefully not aloud, “Bullsh*t!”
First, when you say “Just tell me the truth,” it implies that you believe that we are lying or that there’s more to the story. Now if we’re already telling the truth, any assertion that we’re being dishonest is extremely frustrating and makes us want to shut down.
Secondly, the “ I won’t get mad” part is a lie on your part; 99 times out of 100 you will get mad and if you don’t, it means you care and we’re really in trouble. It places us between a rock and a hard place. We quickly have to make a slew of no-win decisions. Many times we try to ignore the question or skip it and move on to something else quickly, but if you persist then we have to quickly weigh out the possibilities and figure out which loss we want to take.
When asked to tell the truth, because you won’t get mad (side eye), we have to figure out whether to tell the unapologetic truth or a sweetened lie. With a sweetened lie, we run the risk of it coming back to bite us in the arse later. With unapologetic truth, we run the risk of you getting mad right then and staying mad the rest of the day.
If you’ve ever heard a man say he lies to save your feelings, this is one of those times. But when a man decides to be brutally honest he usually either doesn’t care or he’s just realized that you’re going to be mad anyway and he’ll just let you deal with it. Men are usually brutally honest because we have nothing to lose and you’re not going to believe us anyway so we may as well not compound the anger by lying. The problem is that our honesty will be punished by us being called insensitive, yet if we sweeten it up it’s a lie.
For example, let’s say you ask your man how you look in an outfit or if you gained weight followed by saying, “Just tell me the truth. I won’t get mad” (side eye). Then, he says, “Hell naw, you need to change. It’s not quite working out.” Even if he tries to say it lightheartedly, it’s gonna be a problem. Now if one of your girls said it like that, you’d thank her for keeping it real. On the other hand, if he answers “It’s okay,” and allows you to go out, and then you get clowned in the street by someone, there will be hell to pay for not keeping it 100.
It’s not just brutal honesty that gets penalized; women are so skeptical of men these days that they seem to expect lies. When we constantly tell the truth, we are often met with skepticism and labeled we are too good to be true. I guess women prefer bad enough to be believable. So we quickly must decide our reputation in these moments.
Ladies when asking us to tell the truth, what would be really nice is for you to weigh out which is more important: your feelings or the truth. If you can’t handle the truth, please don’t ask. If our opinion will not be valued/used, and you’re going to do what you want anyway, please don’t put the stress on us. If we don’t believe you won’t get mad, you have to give us the benefit of the doubt. If we say you can’t handle the truth, just leave it alone. If we answer and you get mad, respect that he warned you first and/or told you the truth.
Written By: Johnny Brownlee II
Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath