“If you find yourself saying ‘But I’m just being honest,’ chances are you’ve just been unkind. Honesty doesn’t heal. Empathy does.” ~ Dan Waldschmidt
Honesty is one thing. Being an asshole is quite another. Lol ;-D
So many people brag about “telling it like it is” or how they are “brutally honest” or love when people are “honest to a fault.” Like that’s a good thing. But I don’t see how it necessarily is.
Maybe it’s cute when a three year old blabs everything that’s on her mind but for adults…not so much. Honesty is a good quality and a good thing in general or in theory but it’s not always necessary. Too many people, in my opinion, have jumped on this bandwagon or trend of “I tell it like it is” or “speak my mind without hesitation” and “if I don’t like you, you’ll know it” and act like it’s a good or cool thing when it’s really often just an excuse to be insulting or say uncalled for things at the expense of others. That’s a turn off to me. What is so cool about it? What is good about it? How is that a good quality to possess to make it a point to always make it known you don’t like someone or something about someone? It’s ok not to like someone. And not to like things about people. But we don’t have to be vicious about it. As adults we can not like people and not like things but suck it up and be civil when we have to encounter them. It’s not being fake; it’s being mature and being kind. So, yes honesty in itself is surely a good thing. But it’s not always necessary to express something merely for the sake of honesty. I’m not saying never, but just not always. And in many cases, I don’t believe it’s really about honesty but about being rude just because someone feels like being rude but not owning up to it and pushing it off on being “real” or honest.
For example, commenting on someone’s picture of her new haircut or new dress or glasses with something rude like “meh” or “this isn’t one of your best outfits or pictures…” or “wow you put on some weight!” or “what happened you used to be so hot, you really let yourself go!(yup, I actually saw a man write this on his girlfriend’s old pictures of herself a while ago!)” in the name of honesty. Is it really necessary for your honesty in this case? This is just a random example, not meant for any specific incident or person now. But I have seen these comments and heard similar things in person to/about various people.
It’s uncalled for in my opinion.
I love the brilliant quote above. Empathy helps heal. If we don’t like someone’s new haircut or someone’s new clothes or whatever someone does, we can still be happy for that person for getting something s/he likes or being happy. If someone puts on weight, so what, and don’t you think saying that to a woman is very rude and can be damaging? If we don’t like how someone acts, we can tap into our empathy and try to better understand.
I think when people are “brutally honest” in a rude way, it’s probably often because they aren’t happy either with themselves or current circumstances or just in a bad mood that day and want to try to drag others down or get out their unpleasant emotions being rude to others. So instead of calling them an asshole (like I just did lol), we can try to also show compassion and tap into our empathy for them. I don’t always do this. Sometimes when someone is unkind, I react with more unkindness(either to the person directly or complaining about the person to someone else), which is tempting sometimes but not helpful. I’m much better with reacting to negativity and unkindness with patience and love either being kind in the face of it or just holding my tongue (which can also be an act of love) so as not to further fuel the negativity, pain, or anger of someone. But I’m still not perfect at it.
So this is a good reminder to me as well!
Let’s chuck that brutal honesty out the window once in a while, kick it to the curb and give empathy a try instead!
Here is a beautiful and heartwrenching song and video about holding off on the unpleasant words and letting love lead the way!
“So what do you say in a moment like this
When you can’t find the words to tell it like it is
Just bite your tongue and let your heart lead the way…”
Hugs & love,
Xoxo Kim ❤