We’re supposed to be honest. We’re also supposed to be nice. Here lies a real dilemma. Many times honesty is not nice. So we find ourselves stuck in a bizarre limbo between what we say and what we actually want to say. For example…
Parenting advice is frequently unsolicited. Unwanted and unneeded advice leads to defensiveness. However is you reply with honesty in these situations the conversation would likely take a dive towards the dark side.
What you say: “Oh, I’ll definitely consider that.”
What you want to say: “You screw up your kids your way and I’ll screw up my kids my way.”
Hey girl! How have you been? Want to try (insert BS product)?:
Everyone is just trying to make a living. I get that. We all have a hustle of our own in one way or another. But there has developed an instinctual suspicion when you are contacted on social media by a long lost acquaintance. It seems that more times than not this contact is not an attempt to reconnect but an attempt to offload some inventory.
What you want to say: “Screw off Sophie. No one wants your freaking skin patches.”
What you actually say: “Oh jeez, thanks. I’ll think about it.” *Quickly followed by blocking them from contacting you again.*
How are you?:
This one has become a part of the script for general greetings. Does the person really care how you are? Likely not. In moments like these a meaningless reply is the typical go-to.
What you say: “Good.”
What you want to say: “Well Karen, I pee when I sneeze now. So I’m damp.”
Hearing about your child at a parent-teacher conference is an unusual experience. Often times it feels like you need to verify the identity of the child the teacher is actually talking about. You smile and attempt to conceal your confusion.
What you say: “Oh yes, we are very proud of little Timmy. We strongly encourage learning in the home.”
What you want to say: “Are we talking about the same Timmy who wears his underwear backwards to vent his farts?”
Obviously you wouldn’t go through the stress of an interview if you weren’t going to try and nail it. Bringing your honest self into the equation is typically a disaster of an interview strategy and strongly frowned upon.
What you say: “My strengths include organization, crisis management, and the ability to be flexible.”
What you want to say: “My strengths include finding things for my husband, separating fist fighting children, and trying not to tip over when I put on underwear.”
Maneuvering the limbo of honesty and politeness is a true skill. Keeping our inner dialogue from the general public is an art that really should be better appreciated.