“But I’m just being honest!”
That’s right. You are JUST being honest. You are not being compassionate, or considerate, or thoughtful, or loving, or polite, or even pleasant. Just. Honest.
There are times when someone has to deliver an unpleasant truth. There may even be times when that person is the “just being honest” fanatic. But so much more often, unvarnished honesty is unnecessary, unkind, and unwarranted, and a little thought put into the delivery of the message would go such a long way toward making it valuable and constructive feedback rather than a shattering blow that can only be forgiven, not forgotten.
—Unknown, Most people who insist on being “brutally honest” enjoy the brutality much more than the honesty.
I find it hard to believe that some people truly think that by ‘just being honest’ that they’re doing the other person a favour. One of the things that I learnt from my previous therapist was that anytime you have an interaction with someone, anytime you say something, or do something, you’re looking for a reaction. There is no such thing as ‘saying it for the sake of saying it’. If you’re doing that, then you’re not trying to create something meaningful and productive, you’re just being a blunt asshole because you don’t care about the other person’s feelings or reactions. Or more to the point, you’re not really caring about the other person at all.
Now, here’s something that most blunt assholes don’t realise – and you’ll know who they are cos they’ll be the ones saying ‘it just doesn’t pay to be honest’ or ‘I guess that means I can’t say what I want to say’ – is that everything is all in how you say it.
I’ll repeat that. Everything is in how you say it, and not on what you’re saying.
There’s ‘God, your clothes are getting so shabby, you’re starting to look homeless.’ versus ‘Hey, you must love these pieces a lot but it looks like that’s taking a toll on ’em! Wanna go pick up more basics to add to your wardrobe?’
There’s ‘*Grabs your stomach rolls and wiggles them* You really need to start losing this.’ versus ‘Have you had much time to do exercise since the baby was born? I know a couple of websites that are great for some quick and easy exercises you can get done throughout the day.’
Acting like a blunt asshole means two things – what you want to actually say is lost, because the only thing the other person is feeling is hurt. They’ve stopped listening to what your message is, because why should they? It doesn’t make them feel good, and you’ve basically shown you don’t care. And it just proves you’re a blunt asshole.
So the next time you have something you need to say to someone, just stop and think – if someone else was saying the same thing to you, what sort of a reaction would you have? You’ll be surprised (or not), to find out that those who are ‘just being honest’ are the ones who can’t take that honesty when it’s given back to them.