Friday, January 30, 2015

Pitfalls of Honesty

Red Witch Silenced by Lakota
I attended the morning session of a TEDx event and one of the speakers asked who liked their jobs and saw themselves doing it for the next two decades. Like an idiot i raised my hand and noted the vast sea of unraised hands around me. (To be fair, there were a handful pun intended... who also raised their hands. Out of 500 people.)

She also asked who thought they'd make a good talk show host. Well. Given what i do, I of course raised my hand. In a room full of people sitting on their hands. It struck me then that i was being too honest.  Again. I looked like a dork in a room full of well behaved professionals, who knew better than to raise their hands.

It's this problem i have. If asked a direct question I will automatically answer honestly. Even if the answer is uncomfortable to either myself, the asker, or both. I don't stop and think about that part. Will my answer benefit or harm the person asking? Do they have a right to the answer?

Fed up with the fallout of my over abundant honesty, my family has tried to coach me on evasive answers. My son will even practice with me. It not that he's trying to teach me to lie, so much as he's trying to teach me to keep my mouth shut, and not automatically spill information.... especially when there are circumstances that make truth inappropriate or unwanted.

I've said very inappropriate things in highly sensitive situations. Shocking I know. I have very few boundaries. My brain doesn't work quite like other people's and i don't have a high bar set for what is improper.  Okay  i don't have an improper bar at all. To be honest.

Add to that the fact that I'm a terrible liar. One of those people who trips over their tongue and looks aghast if i try to lie. I ain't fooling no one. So why bother.

But I am trying to learn discretion and the value of keeping my lips zipped, as well as accepting that lies of omission aren't really bad. Not REALLY. Especially when it's no one's goddamn business.

But a lifetime of being bluntly honest is a hard habit to break.

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