"People don't want to hear to the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Oxford Language dictionary defines true as "in accordance with fact or reality." It defines honest as "free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere." Blunt is defined as "(of a person or remark) uncompromisingly forthright." All three of these definitions come into play when I interact with others. When I was younger, I was known for being blunt. Joining the workforce I have been acculturated to be more sensitive to my tone. Truth can be weaponized so I believe one's intention when speaking matters. Looking at my history, sometimes my tone absolutely needed to be policed because it did not come from a good place. Where I struggle is when I am coming from a place of love and I am honest with people. "I could have handled that better," often comes up for me when I tell the truth, well a truth; my truth. When I shoot from the hip, I own what I say. I can't blame the devil, because it is me. What percentage do I play and what percentage is how someone chooses to interpret what I say? I have to ensure that I am working from a place of high executive functioning when I choose to be honest. I do not want to cause blunt force trauma with my words.
In the book Useful Delusions by Shankar Vedantam, the author posits that we lie to those we love and tell the truth to people we don't care about. I think it is true that we often bend the truth for those we love. As for people I don't care about, I gift them nothing except perhaps courtesy. Am I being nice because I am a nice person or have I been conditioned to observe niceties? I am less likely to be blunt with people I don't care about because when I am honest, it generally is because I want to help someone. In her book, 'Radical Candor', Kim Scott talks about Ruinous Empathy™. In the past, I have definite been guilty because I have not wanted to hurt someone's feelings. What hurts more? I love the example of walking around with spinach in my teeth. Please tell me there is spinach in my teeth instead of letting me walk around smiling at others with a big green splotch marring my killer smile. I need to worry about the right people; the ones I care about.
Trolls are trolls because they do not like themselves. They don't want to admit this because it is easier to throw garbage at others instead of looking in the mirror. Because, I have not fully looked at the mirror, I am vulnerable to these people. I admire those who know themselves and unapologetically speak their truth. I am building up the courage to be fully myself and untamed. I second guess myself because even though I worry about hurting others, I am also that petty person that will break a connection because someone spelled my name wrong and I'm in a mood. Both things are true. The difference between me and the trolls is that I will self-reflect and try to course correct. Trolls are not honest with themselves though they claim to be telling hard truths.
Is it true? That is always the question I ask myself when I look at the stories I tell myself. If I were in the other person's shoes, would I want to hear it? What are my triggers? Are they coming out when I speak to others? All of these questions do have answers. The trick is to slow down enough to listen. I said some things yesterday that were honest and were blunt and were the truth. Thankfully they did not tear the other person down, but I absolutely could have handled it better. In writing this blog, I finally was able to answer what colored my truth. I am firm believer that what I tell others are the things I need to hear. Am I ready for the truth? Do I love myself enough to be honest? Namaste