Choose One: Honest Asshole or Kind Liar?

One of the things I like to ask people occasionally is: “Pili ka. Mabait na sinungaling, o tapat na tarantado?” (Choose one. Kind liar or honest asshole?)

Looking Away

Did you choose one?

Hard to choose one, isn’t it? I am pretty sure if you were to choose one, you would rather choose a person who is kind and honest. Here’s the thing. People who are truly kind and very honest are rare. More people who belong to either one of the two above-mentioned stereotypes surround us.

If you are wondering how on earth would I ask this question, it’s just that I know people who are like that. I see them for what they are, that is, after getting burned.

Let me give you an example of such people. Before that, here’s my shameless plug of the day.

When People Are Real

True Friends

Both posts are somehow related to this one.

To continue, I know a person whom I will call Mr. H.A. (Honest Asshole). He is at times arrogant, rude, and can be an asshole. Yet, Mr. H.A. is a caring person too, and he is not a liar. He is the kind of person that can easily be described as what you see is what you get.

The other person I know whom I will call Mr. K.L. (Kind Liar), is really a nice person. People like him because he is kind. Yet, he is a liar, who has lied time and again.

Anyway, you may have experienced or recognize one or both kinds of people. Why don’t you share? While you’re reading this, why don’t you let me know which one you’d choose and why? Please leave your comments below.


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  1. #1 by Arlyn on August 29, 2012 - 5:10 am

    We all have people we don’t like, or done something we don’t like and what I found out is that no one is pure evil… if you wait long enough they will show you their good side. You can’t make them do it in a hurry but you can be patient…

    Excerpt from “Last Lecture” Randy Pausch

  2. #2 by Rembrandt on August 24, 2012 - 8:23 pm

    Tapat na tarantado. What makes this guy an asshole anyway? Is it because (like what Imaginary said: you can’t handle the truth?) We live in a world where everyone is free to express themselves. It is a matter of how well (or not) we take it. What good is a person who is kind to you all the time, but deep inside is the ‘real asshole’? I think ‘kind liar’ is another name for ‘plastic’. But, you can’t just separate people into these two groups. It is quite unfair. Being a tapat na tarantado is not that bad if you really think about it. You say that there are people who are ‘kind and honest’. How sure are you that they are really that kind and honest? Everyone has their moods. Everyone has their ups and downs. A person who is kind and honest can one day either be a ‘kind liar’ to you or even a ‘tapat na tarantado’. (depends on how you look at it) But you cannot judge a person because of what he did (at one time). Not all assholes are rotten to the core. Maybe they are just hurting inside and don’t know how to express themselves. All assholes and liars have been burned before too. I am sure at one time they had been kind and honest human beings. But instead of forgiving them and helping them, we tend to push them deeper into the stink hole. Who are we to judge others? We all have our moods, we all have our ups and downs, it is them who are the tarantados who needs us the most. If we show them enough love and care – no matter what, I am sure this world will be a better place to live in.

    You also mentioned that you see them for what they are. Are you sure? Are you really sure that you really see them for who they are? If you do, you should be able to see that they are hurting and that what they need from you is love and care and not put them down and point your fingers at them thinking that they would never change. But how could they, if there are people who judge them and refuse to see them for who they really are?

    Oh, you forgot the other type of people; “the righteous kind’.

    • #3 by ROBERT LEE on August 25, 2012 - 7:17 am


      Thank you for your observation.

      First things first, people cannot be classified into two distinctive categories. You are correct. However, the purpose of the post was to put readers in a situation that when you have to choose between the two, which one would the readers choose?

      If I may, your point of view is that a person has to be able to see things from the viewpoint of the other person, to understand where the other person is coming from.

      Let me add some more. When one is like that – caring and understanding, and is not reciprocated, be it friendship or love, animosity builds up.

      In cases where there is a clear distinction between what is right or wrong, it is what it is.

      Excellent write up, Rembrandt. What you commented is something to think about. Thanks again.

  3. #4 by Imaginary Friend on August 24, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    I prefer tapat na tarantado. The manner of how the truth was delivered may not be ideal but it still is the truth. It’s up you how to handle it (which reminds me of that scene from A Few Good Men with Jack Nicholson shouting “You can’t handle the truth!” hehe). Meanwhile, whether the person is kind or not, how can you ever trust a liar?

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