Friends are great to have around, through both the good times and the bad. We often trust them to look after our best interests and sometimes rely on them to tell us things we may not want to hear, even if it’s uncomfortable. YouGov, as one of the world’s leading market research firm, tests the limits of what hard truths Australians are (and are not) happy to tell their friends.
The truth that most people are prepared to confront and tell close friends is when they disagree with a friend on something they feel strongly about (66%). Respondents also feel comfortable telling friends that they drink too much (60%), their partner is cheating on them (58%), they have bad body odour (50%), and they have bad breath (46%).
This YouGov research also reveals the taboos that exist, even between close friends. The uncomfortable truth those polled are least prepared to tell their friends is that they give bad presents (64%). Other truths that people wouldn’t be prepared to tell their friends are that they and their partner are not a good match (59%), they’re a bad parent (56%), they don’t like their friend’s partner (54%), and that they’re overweight (53%).
Men appear to be more ready to break bad news to their friends than women when it comes to appearance. 41% of men would be prepared to tell their friends that they are overweight, compared to just 25% of women. Similarly, almost half of the men polled (48%) would be prepared to tell friends that they’ve had a bad haircut, whereas a lower percentage of women polled (39%) would.
Conversely, women are more prepared than men to confront friends over their relationships. Most women would be able to tell close friends that their partner is cheating (59%), while a lower percentage of men would do so (57%). Likewise, 34% of women would tell a friend that they don’t like their partner, while only 27% of men would.
Age also plays a factor in which truths those polled are prepared to share with their friends, with younger generations generally more prepared to be brutally honest with close friends than older generations. The most polarised instance is when it comes to infidelity. Only 14% of those aged between 18-34 would not tell friends their partner was cheating on them. By contrast, twice as many (28%) of those aged between 35-64 would not tell friends their partner was cheating on them.