Would you do something to hurt someone if you thought it was for their own good?

Such as betraying a secret you had promised to keep... just for example.

Updates:
I'm the one being hurt 'for my ow good.'

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  • I used to do this but it got me into huge troubles one day. One of my very best guy friends admitted to me that he had been cheating on his long-term girlfriend for a few weeks (some affair with a girl he knew from childhood). He felt extremely bad about it but he also didn't want to stop it because the sex with his girlfriend apparently sucked and the sex with that other girl was amazing.
    Now, back then I was this long-term single person and I got pretty pissed at him. I didn't tell him that I was pissed but I thought to myself "This is so unfair. For the past 4-5 years I've been desperately looking to find a girlfriend or at least have casual sex with a girl, all to no avail. This guy has everything I dream about and yet he would risk losing his amazing girlfriend over some sex." Also, in addition to my pretty extreme envy, I was also young (early 20s) and quite a bit of a moral priest. I still believe that cheating is wrong but now that I am in a 6-year relationship myself, I know what it means to be sexually bored. It's not that the sex in my relationships sucks. I love my girlfriend very, very much. But when you've been dating the same person for many years, it's just not the same as it was in the honeymoon phase (first 2 years of a relationship). You can't have sex with the same girl/guy for thousands of times, see them naked every day for years, shower together hundreds of times etc. and still feel the same passion as in the beginning. It's just not possible. Unfortunately, young and inexperienced people are a little dumb and they don't get this (that's also true for TONS of young people here on GaG). So they get all cocky and obnoxiously moralistic. Like I said: I don't condone cheating but now that I'm in a long-term relationship, I can understand why people do it. I can emotionally empathize with them.

    Back then when my best friend told me about his cheating, I wasn't able to empathize with him. Instead I called his girlfriend behind his back and told her everything. I didn't intend to be a jerk but that's basically what I was. I just firmly believed it would be for my friend's own best interest if it all came out.
    Well, the whole thing royally backfired on me.
    Obviously, my friend was extremely angry at me. He had told me about his secret because he believed me to be trustworthy. However, his girlfriend was ALSO pissed at me because she felt like I'm meddling in with stuff that isn't my business. Eventually, they worked through the

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    • troubles, saved their relationship and managed to stay together. Myself on the other hand, I lost two important people. I lost her friendship and, more tragically, I lost the friendship of one of my best friends. Still today do I regret having made such an awfully bad decision. Especially because my decisions are usually well-thought through and good.
      So the life lesson I learned from this experience is this: I don't stick my nose into people's business anymore. I've adopted a complete neutrality, similar to my home country Switzerland ;-). This means being neutral under ALL circumstances, whether it might be good or bad for other people. People can tell me their secrets and I will listen to them and give them advice etc. but I will not tell it to anyone, nor will I become proactive in changing their actions. If they want to fuck up their life, I will tell them my worries but I will not stop them.

What Girls Said 13

  • No, I'd just let things go.
    I'm not saying that thought would not cross my mind... it very well would in a moment of anger...(after all I am human), but I wouldn't act on it.
    The lesson I'd take out of the whole situation is that eventually what this person is doing, will turn and bite them in the ass itself. I don't have to get my hands dirty for that to happen.

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  • No I would never do that, I would ask their permission to "help" in that case. But I would never hurt anyone "to help them". To hurt is not to help.

    I have been hurt many times and I know it is a part of life... But I don't get why I have to feel everything so deeply. I feel it so deep I would never want anyone else to feel like it because of me.
    'Treat people like you wanna be treated' is a good saying.

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    • Some people instead say, 'you'll thank me for this eventually!

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    • It is so selfish, they can't compare your feelings. They can't tell who it hurts more! There is no measurement for pain.

    • Thanks so much for the line: there is no measurement for pain.

      Ask me for help anytime, you're clearly very insightful!

  • It depends on the situation. If it's something very serious like serious depression or even suicidal thoughts, I would tell, but I would be careful who I would tell it to. I would only tell a trusted adult who won't spread the news around in this case.

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  • The only way I could possibly perceive doing so as being "for their own good" would be in the event that they had mentioned something about hurting themselves or someone else and I feared for their safety. Otherwise I can't see a justification for betraying someone's trust like that.

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  • Yes I would. My friend was cheating on a mutual friend of ours. She has a horrible habit of sleeping around and not taking responsibility for her actions. She lied to me and him about cheating on him. I found out from a different source and told our mutual friend. Both of them are better off

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    • Probably the right thing, but when you're on the receiving end of 'for your own good'''''...

  • Yes, I'm willing to risk them hating me if I know it will help them in the long run.

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  • My brother described stuff like that to me as being called "Morally grey"

    And yes, I probably would.

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  • I mean if someone was suicidal, I would absolutely betray their secret and let someone close to them know. Or if they were self harming.

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  • Just be smart about it , if it's vital to a persons life and will do more good than bad. Then I would , but don't go telling someone they're adopted or something you know. It depends on the situation

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  • Ni I couldn't do such a thing.

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  • i would have a hard time making that decision. i wouldn't do it every time.

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    • Any example s come to mind?

    • Like in DARK KNIGHT RISES when Alfred tells Bruce Wayne that Katie had picked Harvey, not him.

  • Yes if it was for their own good

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    • That's not good

    • Tell me about it!

  • Yes, but not the secret betrayal. You could make it worse for them even w the best intentions.

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What Guys Said 10

  • Personal integrity is a difficult thing to hold on to and harder to gain back. If someone tells you a secret you promised to keep, but it would be better for them for the secret to come out, it may be better to tell the secret.

    I. e., suicidal ideations, homicidal ideations, abusive relationships, generally anything where they could be personally harmed or harm themselves if help is not sought.

    Other times are less obvious. Maybe your buddy is cheating on his girlfriend/boyfriend and you want to tell the person getting cheated on. Those kind of things depend on whether or not you feel that you have to do something as a person in order to maintain who you are. Whatever you choose to do, though, be consistent with it.

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  • Depends on the secret. I'd weigh all the options before going back on my word. Very very carefully. Because even if it were a serious matter and they needed to be exposed, such as if they did some horrible crime; the idea that my word lost some of its value would haunt me.

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  • Well I suppose the classic examples are health/psychological dilemmas - If someone divulged to you they had a serious eating disorder, wouldn't you be obliged to tell their family - Or if someone said "I want to commit suicide and I am going to do it tonight" - Or in this horrible day and age, "I am sick of X people, I am going to get a gun and kill as many X people as I can"

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  • Yeah, I do it all the time, it's called being a parent... ;-)

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  • Probably

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  • Not physically.

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  • I would try, but it would be very hard...

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  • That's the reason why I never make promises. But if I had and had to make that decision.

    I will stick to my promise.

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  • Do you mean like scolding a child for doing wrong? I couldn't see any reason why one wouldn't.

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  • Never underestimate the value of STFU.
    Seriously, just shut it.

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