If we think the truth is too shocking, we find a skillful and loving
way to tell the truth. But we have to respect the truth. There are
those who verbally abuse people and make them suffer and then
say, ‘I’m only telling the truth.’ But they tell the ‘truth’ in a violent
and attacking way. Sometimes it can even cause the other person to
feel great suffering….
There can be goodness in suffering, but we don’t want to make the
other person suffer needlessly. We can minimize the shock and the
pain. We try to convey the truth in such a way that other people can
hear us without suffering too much. The important thing is that they
Sometimes you can begin by telling another story, the story of
someone else whose situation is similar to the person you are
speaking to, so that he or she can get accustomed to the idea. It’s
easier to listen to the story of another person…. Sometimes the
person you are speaking to will come to the conclusion
independently and learn from the case of the other person. It takes
a lot of practice to tell the truth in a way that the other person can
Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Art of Communicating,” p.p. 54-56.
This. 100 times over, I wish more people understood this.