Most shy away from telling awkward truths

November 30, 2016, 7:48 PM GMT+0

Americans are most likely to level with their friends about excessive alcohol use, but avoid criticizing bad presents

The sign of a close relationship is the ability to tell truths that others leave unsaid. Unfortunately, telling a friend the truth can be one of the most awkward experiences in life, and one that we frequently duck anyway.

Research from YouGov shows that approaches to honesty with friends vary hugely according to the subject at hand. 66% of the public would tell their friends that they drink too much, but only 20% would tell a friend that they give bad presents. Most Americans would only drop truth bombs with their friends when it comes to alcohol, a cheating partner (55%) and bad breath (53%). People are also more likely than not to be honest about bad haircuts (44%) and them not being funny (43%).

For many issues, however, people tend to say it is better to keep quiet. Only 24% would point out bad parenting, while 27% would let someone know they slept with their current partner before they started going out.

Overall, men are more likely than women to let their friends in on potentially uncomfortable truths. The biggest divide is on weight, where 37% of men would tell their friend he is overweight, but only 19% of women would tell their friend that she is overweight. Only when it comes to alcohol (67% to 65%) are women slightly more likely than men to be honest.