snapshots of an idle mind

June 25, 2007

playing nice

Filed under: anxiety,friendship,life — sassinak @ 8:24 am


you know

if there’s one thing i hate it’s people who won’t tell the truth.

that’s not quite what i mean. i mean that thing where people don’t tell you the truth because they think it will hurt you. that thing where they never think about the fact that in the long run you’ll get hurt so much more when you find out what’s really going on.

we’ve all done it.

we’ve said that some piece of clothing or haircut was nice because someone desperately wanted us to like it even though we didn’t. we’ve been noncommittal when it was easier than being clear and we’ve hedged and hemmed rather than say what we were thinking.

and most of the time it’s okay.

but sometimes it’s really not.

sometimes, no matter how hurtful you think it will be, you need to just tell the truth. especially when it’s the hardest.

exactly when you think it’s going to hurt the most.

that’s nearly always when the actual truth is the most important.

there was a man once who didn’t tell me the truth when i told him that i liked him. he obfuscated and teased me and i hadn’t read ‘he’s just not that into you’ yet. so i fell down the rabbit hole.

if he had told me the truth i would never have had such trouble. i would have just known not to get my hopes up and been able to move on.

that’s the easiest example because it’s the one that happens the most often. it’s the one place that it’s hard to be honest because we know that someone’s emotions are involved. it’s so hard to tell someone a hard truth when you care about them.

i’ve done this to my friends before in certain ways. gotten so fed up with them and their crap that it’s finally been worth just telling them what i thought and you know what?

it’s universally gone well.

every single time. for some reason people are always really grateful when i tell them the hardest things. they’ve thanked me and appreciated it every single time.

but why is it that it doesn’t get any easier?

it’s always so damm hard to just open your mouth and say the things that are true. it’s easy to just say things that are non-committal and hem and haw and hope that it goes away.

but i’m really learning that it’s when it’s the hardest that it’s the most important. that it’s those times that make you want to ache with despair that are the ones when you need to get your truth telling on.

what’s amazing is how few people do it.

i know a lot of people who pride themselves on their truth telling and yet those same people seem just as likely to disseminate when the truth telling time comes and it’s weird.

i get it, don’t get me wrong.

i get it because i too have done it and tried not to do it and still do it on occasion. i just wish more people would try to be truthful more often.

myself included.

it’s so hard not to just say the nice thing. not to just go along with the status quo. not to let it slide one more day.

but i almost always regret not telling the truth.

don’t be nice to me, please, i beg you, don’t be nice to me. you can sugarcoat a little or maybe be a little less harsh but nonetheless, don’t pull your punches. wear a boxing glove sure but if you care for me at all?

just tell me the truth.



  1. I try to tell the truth always. And succeed most of the time. I was thinking if I should tell this one person what I think cause I don’t think anyone has been honest with this person about how corrosive this person can be. But then again, why bother? The corrosive person is no longer my problem. And I think that if I were to express why, the corrosive person wouldn’t get it anyway. Does that make sense? Anyway, if anyone ever asked me what I felt about them or anyone else, I’d tell the truth.


    Comment by Natalia — June 25, 2007 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  2. nat: i do too but that doesn’t mean that i always manage it.

    i’m not sure with your corrossive person what you should do about them, if they’ve disappeared though and are no longer in your life then i think there isn’t much point but if they come back hey, maybe it’s worth it right?

    i would tell the truth also but i might put on the padded gloves first.

    Comment by sassinak — June 25, 2007 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  3. You are so dead on with this. It’s very difficult to be frank with people, especially the ones you care about, because you don’t want to hurt them.

    With clothing or haircut… I don’t think it’s wrong to try & be nice (unless it’s simply atrocious, and then you have duty as a friend to say so… but still, in a nice way).

    Comment by Jim McKee — June 25, 2007 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  4. So, will you and / or Othercat be willing / able to make a Leo Fest on the weekend of August 25 07 ?? I will have lots of fresh tomatoes and corn by then. Likely a small group. more regrets than affirmatives, so far. What do you say?

    Comment by # 6 — June 29, 2007 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  5. jim: i know i am, and i’ve lost more friends because of their unwillingness to tell me the truth (another one on wednesday even) than for any other reason i can think of.

    hair and clothing are different but there is a gentle truth required nonetheless. ‘great skirt but it’s not really date material is it?’ is just as good as ‘oh my that’s hideous’ ;>

    be gentle but honest.

    6: so funny, i was answering your email AS you were leaving this comment!

    Comment by sassinak — June 29, 2007 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  6. you want the truth? you can’t HANDLE the truth!

    the truth is, what you don’t talk about at your dinner parties, is that you want me on my blog, you NEED me on your blog!

    heh … sorry … recently watched “A Few Good Men”

    Comment by DZER — July 2, 2007 @ 10:27 am | Reply

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