Sam Holstein

There Is No Such Thing As ”My Truth”

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Today’s article is short but sweet. This is the thesis: There is no such thing as “my truth.”

“My truth” is something people like to say these days. You hear it in the mouths of millennials when they are discussing their life experiences.

“I’ve been trying to live my truth lately.”

“We disagree. Your truth is your truth and my truth is mine.”

“I admire the way you speak your truth.”

The phrase “my truth” is usually meant to mean some combination of ‘my opinion’ and ‘my experience.’

Unlike either of these phrases, the phrase “my truth” implies an unarguable quality. You can’t contradict me, because this is my truth.

Except that I can, because there is no such thing as my truth.

Let’s refer to the definition of the word truth:

TRUTH according to

1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true. 
5. actuality or actual existence. 
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude. 
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness. 
8. (often initial capital letter) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9. agreement with a standard or original. 
10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.

None of these definitions allow for a subjective interpretation. Many of them explicitly state an objective reality.

This misuse of the word truth creates a problem when people do want to speak of objective truth. If all our words appeal to a subjective reality, we will lack the language of objectivity when we need to drill down to the truth. Our hands will be tied.

It’s an admirable quality to state your opinion and stick by it. But when you twist the definition of truth to imply that you have an unarguable position, you’re abusing the English language.