What is Truth

Our view of the truth is only that, our view.
My client Maddie was invited to celebrate a friend’s birthday with 12 other women at a beautiful destination spa/resort. In addition to all of the spa treatments, the hotel was on a lake and had all kinds of water activities available. The nearby town had a thriving arts community, cute little shops and a variety of restaurants. All the makings of a fun weekend!
Maddie was a little hesitant about accepting the invitation. She has diabetes and celiac and has to be extremely careful about when and what she eats. She decided that with a little planning she could make it work. She called the hotel restaurant and made sure that they could accommodate her needs, then accepted.  Rayna, the friend arranging the event, panicked. She couldn’t handle the pressure of dealing with Maddie’s issues, but didn’t want backlash from rescinding the invitation. Friend number 3 stepped in and told Maddie about what was happening behind the scene. The last thing that Maddie wanted was to cause anyone unease so she gracefully declined the invitation.
Guest number 4’s view: She told Maddie that she deserved to know the truth. Friend 3 had agreed that it would be a lot to deal with and isn’t the friend that you think that she is.
Maddie’s view:  How wonderful for Rayna to have such a loving friend. Someone that she could always count on to protect and watch out for her. She admired their relationship and wished that she had a friend to share that kind of closeness with. Maddie believed that once Rayna made her mind up, there is no reasoning with her. No matter what she said to her, Rayna would have felt responsible and completely stressed out and that wouldn’t have been fun for anyone.
Rayna’s view: This is just too much pressure. I can’t make all of these arrangements and worry about Maddie’s special needs too.
Three different truths, each believed to be the truth by its viewer.
Comment: If people could just talk to each other instead of through another            
                 party. Perhaps things could be worked out.
Victoria: I agree with you. From past experience Maddie believed that no
                 amount of talking would have benefited anyone and let it go.
Comment: It depends whether a person approaches another person with 
                  curiosity or with clash.
Victoria: Yes, that is so important.  And whether both people are open to seeing 
              another side. In this case and in most of the world’s problems, friction 
              comes from people not being willing to listen and to care about what 
              matters to ​other people
Comment: I absolutely agree.
Comment: Has anything good ever come of someone justifying gossip by 
                 saying “She deserved to know the truth”?
Comment: Much of our experience results from our interpretation of events 
                 rather than fact.  We are better off refraining from judging rather than 
                 ascribing nasty motives or generous motives to others.
Dead People Say: Whether you’re talking about religion, politics or personal relationships, your truth is based on your own frame of reference. When you open yourself to the value of someone else’s truth, you open yourself to a new understanding of life.


  1. Victoria, what a fascinating piece. I have been the person people Made Up Stuff about, and it got complicated. Or damaging to my career. A dynamic I’ve seen the last couple of years is people trying to settle something by text. That’s just not the same as a call, preferably with face view. Thanks for a pithy article.

    • I’ve been the person people have made up stuff about too and sadly it’s cost me friends. Love face to face. I’m so thankful for Zoom during these crazy times!

  2. I love how smart those dead people are, Victoria!

  3. All very true. Truth depends on where you are coming from. Personally I see all is no big deal. Since the hotel restaurant can accommodate Maddie’s special needs, it shouldn’t be a big deal for the organizer. And personally, I don’t think #3 or #4 needed to step in. Maddie and Rayna are the main players.

    • Lily you make a very good point. If no one had stepped in Rayna and Maddie would have been forced to have a conversation.

  4. Truth, like Beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder.
    I agree, if people would just talk to each other…

    Congratulations on completing the UBC!

  5. Seems to me that the problem was that Rayna did not trust Maddie to take care of herself. I also think that no matter what you think justifies it, gossip is never a good idea.

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