The Power (and awkwardness) about being completely honest
What do you think life would be like if you were always completely honest?
Like, if you were to go up to the barista that you think is so cute and tell him or her that you have a big, fat crush on them? That is why you go to their coffee shop every Tuesday, right?
Or, would you tell the girl in your chemistry class who randomly hates you that you didn’t do anything to her and you don’t know why she’s mad at you without letting your pride getting in the way? You don’t want her to know that you care about what she thinks- that makes you look weak and scared. But it really does hurt to know that someone who doesn’t even know you that well acts like they hate you and doesn’t tell you why.
Would you be honest when someone asks you what your most embarrassing memory is? Or would you tell them the second or third most embarrassing memory instead?
Many of like to think that we are open and honest with other people.
But to be honest, that’s a lie.
Some people disagree when I say this, but at least in Washington, most of us have quickly learned that there is more value placed on being nice than being honest. Washington is known to be a friendly state, but that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to actually be your friend. In many cases, people try to practice diplomacy, or are passively aggressive at the most.
No one will straight-up tell you that they don’t like you and would rather not talk to you, even if that’s how they actually feel.
In most parts of the U.S., it’s more important to look put together than to look like what you actually feel. I remember a couple of days ago I had a meeting for a project I’m working on but I was really upset. I had to go anyways because I was speaking at this meeting, but in the process of crying, I’d wiped all of my makeup onto my sleeve and I looked like a serial killer clown with all of my black eye-liner and mascara smeared around my eyes.
If I were truly honest, like I tell myself I am, I would have gone to the meeting like that. I would have explained that I really didn’t want to be there. That I would have rather stayed home and pitied myself.
But instead, I wiped all of my makeup off, reapplied, and pretended like everything was fine for the hour-long meeting. Then I came back home and cried again before I went to bed.
I know that I sound like I’ve been hating on common dishonesty. But then again, is it really a problem? Would life in fact get better if we were all totally, brutally honest with each other, even to the point of discomfort? Would anybody even really be comfortable with being that honest?
I guess this is sort of a question that I’m asking out to all of you, who are reading this. Because my answer is- I don’t really know.
I know I would not be comfortable telling a barista that I had a crush on them. I would also not be comfortable confronting a girl who hates me and telling her that she has doesn’t have a right to because I didn’t do anything to her! On the receiving end, I wouldn’t be comfortable with some random person I don’t know coming up to me and telling me that they only came to my workplace because they were dying to ask me out on the inside, or with someone who I don’t like telling me that they didn’t think I had a right not to like them. In either case, I would rather avoid confrontation and have them not talk to me.
Then again, everyone I know gets annoyed in the process of asking “what if…?” and never getting an answer. In that way, life would be a lot simpler with honesty.
What do you think?