Free «Telling on a Friend in Time of Need» Essay
Friends can help a person greatly whenever he or she is studying or preparing some important project. Friends can support and provide an individual with much valuable information, study together, and motivate him or her. However, sometimes friends are not willing to act this way because they are not interested in the learning process or have something else in mind. They do not study much or have a hard time remembering information, and, as a result, they cheat in order to receive a better grade. In this situation, it is important to report the problem and end or prevent cheating, otherwise the friend will perform an immoral deed, worsening the relations between people. Telling on a friend who is cheating on the exams should be viewed as necessary because it prevents a person from acting immorally and unethically, saves friendship and strengthens relations between people.
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There are many people who have a different opinion on the issue, and they have their reasons for that. After all, telling on a friend is difficult especially because of the close relations one may enjoy with a person or the feeling of loyalty (Waytz, Dungan, and Young 1027). Many people may think that telling on a friend is a betrayal because, instead of helping a person or pretending nothing has happened, an individual causes trouble since the cheater gets into a very uncomfortable position. These actions make a friend a disrespected liar because he or she is cheating on a test. Besides, whoever tells on a friend feels doubts regarding life choices because there is always an issue of prioritizing the rules before relations, so the person does not want to be someone who cannot cherish a real friendship. These are the main arguments the opponents of telling may have. For them, revealing the truth is a negative thing because of the damage the friend may suffer. The opponents would say that doing something like that is beneath human dignity. Although cheating is bad, the well-being of a friend is much more important. Therefore, telling on a friend remains an ethical dilemma for many people who are unable to determine the right priorities and worry about losing friends even though a lifelong friendship will not be harmed in this situation. An emotional spectrum influences their position because they analyze their feelings and sympathy for a friend. What is more, the thought of help they have received from this particular person complicates the situation. It is especially difficult for adolescents who fear peer pressure (Henningsen, Valde, and Denbow 148), and whose friendship may be affected by the environment and other influences (Galloway 378).
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However, not telling on a friend because of inner fears and doubts has no factual basis and, therefore, cannot be viewed as a strong opposition. The opponents often do not say that many people refuse to reveal the truth not because of damaging consequences a friend may face, but because of the possible harms for themselves. They fear the anger a friend may have toward them. As a result, they try to prevent any negative issues that may arise while having the communication and maintaining a friendship. However, a true friend will appreciate what a person does when he or she tells the truth and identifies the problem. In case a person gets angry and upset, he or she is not a true friend, and a friendship is not that valuable and meaningful for a person in the first place.
It is important to understand that cheating harms people around. What is more, the cheater suffers the most since he or she acts immorally and affects one’s perception of life choices. In other words, an individual does something unethical and justifies cheating as an act that brings benefits. It may be a small problem in the beginning. However, a person may make mistakes and perform wrong actions in the future because he or she may get used to behaving this way. People who commit fraud and financial machinations that involve large sums of money might have started with cheating at school and there was no one who could tell on them. They thought it was possible to avoid the punishment for unethical acts, and that led to their unhappy future. Therefore, when a person tells on a friend who is cheating, he or she is actually doing a favor to this person.
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Telling on a friend is an essential tool to strengthen the friendship and improve the relations. It is an opportunity to be honest and make a friend adhere to this principle as well in order to ensure a lifelong friendship. Such friendship is impossible when two friends are not honest and just people. For example, a person sees a friend cheating on a test to get something he or she does not deserve. Thanks to cheating, a friend gets a high grade, which guarantees him or her a significantly higher rate. This way, the cheater may get a scholarship or a particular reward, and his or her friend will not. The latter may try to overcome the pain and anger, but the truth is that he or she will secretly blame a cheater and express negative feelings toward this person. They may be unconscious or barely noticeable, but they will affect the person’s perception and attitudes toward an individual. As a result, it would be difficult to trust a person whose cheating affects one negatively. What is more, it would prevent an individual from relying on his or her friends whose behavior violates important moral principles. It is very challenging to be friends with a person who cannot be trusted and who does not understand the importance of being honest. It proves that telling on a friend and making him or her realize own mistakes is a way to avoid repeating this situation in the future and to save friendship.
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In case a person tells on a friend, he or she will be honest with him or herself as well as the friend, so there will be no inner struggles and doubts. A person would not suffer from any moral tortures because he or she knows that morals and ethics are followed. Telling the truth is an ethical act, thus helping a friend avoid immoral behavior is the right thing to do. Therefore, as a researcher puts it, there are no and should not be any ethical dilemmas with blowing the whistle and telling the truth (Varelius 263). In this situation, a person should state the reasons for telling the truth and explain that he or she has made a decision based on particular principles. These principles define the person’s ethics and moral decisions. There is a universal principle that values honesty and deems lies and cheating as immoral acts that are wrong and should not be committed (Bureau et al. 121). This way, everywhere in the world, people value honesty and judge liars as well as those who cheat to get whatever they want. Therefore, since cheating violates the principle of honesty, this act is wrong and should not be committed. In this case, it is important to tell on a friend.
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Telling on a friend is necessary judging from the negative consequences cheating causes. For example, a person may cheat and, as a result, get a certain reward. As it was mentioned before, a friend who was studying and doing the test honestly may not receive an award because of the cheater. Therefore, in case a cheater is not exposed, an honest student may suffer. The latter may get angry and even pessimistic about studying. This may lead to losing motivation for learning. Thus, this shows how cheating can have negative consequences for a person who would have achieved much more. In this situation, a friend has to make a moral decision. He or she has to analyze the outcomes and determine whether one can accept such state of affairs.
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Telling on a friend enables a person to get rid of inner negativity that may be directed toward a friend who has committed cheating. Even if an individual decides to hide the truth and communicate with a friend as if nothing has happened, he or she will still have many unresolved issues and be unable to treat the friend the way he or she treated this close person before cheating. According to researchers, people tend to harbor negative feelings toward cheaters when they do not reveal them (Deutz, Lansu, and Cillessen 40); thus, it has a harmful effect on friendship. As a result, a friend will begin to question the future of a person who acts immorally in order to achieve something in life. On the contrary, telling on a friend can be considered as an act that excludes hidden dislike from future relations. After that, both friends can talk about it and make the friendship stronger because there will be an opportunity to explain the principles and reasons for telling the truth and convince the friend of harm cheating causes. This way, it will be possible to avoid hurting anybody’s feeling and have a healthy communication just as it should be between the friends. Actually, having such an honest conversation may be a way to make the friendship stronger and overcome some of the barriers that existed before. For instance, the friends will finally see how they feel about different things and whether they can come to a compromise. As a result, it will be possible to develop more mutual interests and have frank talks. Besides, being provided with a clear explanation, a person who cheats will be able to understand the consequences this dishonest act may cause in the future in case a friend will keep on cheating. Therefore, understanding it, a person will have a great opportunity to analyze and reevaluate own actions and behavior. He or she will come to some reasonable conclusions regarding the future. More importantly, a cheater will be thankful that a friend has prevented him or her from any further harm.
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Another important reason for telling on a friend is to stop cheating in general because it has a negative impact on a person’s intellect. A person who is used to cheating does not rely on his or her intelligence, skills or memory. On the contrary, he or she relies on sneakiness and the opportunity to cheat. This way, a person may receive good grades, but he or she would not be improving or strengthening his or her capacities, and later on, his or her intellectual abilities will decrease due to the lack of practice. Since brains can be compared with body muscles, which need exercise to be fit, a person who cheats does not exercise, thus weakening them. Therefore, telling on friends and preventing them from cheating and degrading is extremely important. Without doubt, when cheating, a person betrays ethical principles, which leads to his or her intellectual and moral degradation. Besides, cheating is connected to procrastinating and poor time management skills (Clariana et al. 738). It means that telling on friends can help them deal with these bad habits.
It is never easy to see friends cheating, but it is essential to stay true to one’s moral principles and help friends do the same by telling on them and influencing them eventually. Revealing the truth will show friends genuine care and desire to help while hiding the truth will create an ethical dilemma and weaken friendship. That is the reason why telling the truth is the best decision in this situation. It enables both friends to benefit from this action and enjoy stronger ties, better communication as well as personal growth and development. It is also a way to protect a friend and prove the importance and necessity to be honest.