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Friday, 12 October 2012

People Who... Always Say What They Think



I remember a woman I was friends with in the past.  A woman whose extreme bluntness I had put up with for a long time because I was never on the receiving end of it.  Every hurtful comment to or about someone else was followed by the proud assertion that  "Well, I'm just being honest!".  One day I heard her make hurtful and thoughtless remarks about a fellow friend and when I addressed this she shrugged and again with certain pride said "Look, that's just who I am!  I say what I feel!"   I remember then looking at her as though I was seeing her for the first time and physically turning away from her thinking "If this is truly 'who you are', then you really aren't someone I want to know".

I certainly respect people who are honest, straight forward, and who do say what they truly feel when necessary.  There is integrity and courage in that and to stand up honestly for what you believe is commendable.  Where I feel this philosophy of saying whatever you feel fails greatly is when it becomes an excuse to speak without thought or consideration for others.  When they hold this quality up as though it were some great badge of honor.  Too often I think that saying what you feel is an excuse to be rude.  To cut someone down to size under the guise of "just being honest".  I think sometimes it's also a defense mechanism, a genuine lack of true confidence that one tries to cover up by creating this identity of saying whatever one thinks all the while hoping no one notices their own deep insecurity.. 

I find very little to be proud of in saying exactly what you feel all of the time.  I think rather that it is a mark of immaturity to not speak with consideration, discretion and kindness.  There is something childish about loudly blurting out every thought you have at others expense.
 
I think that a truly mature and confident person says quietly and calmly those things that need to be said and addresses those thing that need to be addressed with dignity and above all, compassion for others.  There are things that need to be said and values and beliefs that need to be stood up for and defended. 

We need less superficiality and more honesty in our dealings with others.  Honesty is something pure and enlightening and speaking with love and honesty means sometimes addressing hard things but in a compassionate and kind manner.  Not throwing ones arms up in the air and saying defensively "Calm down, clam down, I was just being honest!"  No chances are, you were just being hurtful.  There's a big difference there. ;)

Wishing you all peace today.

14 comments:

JANU said...

Completely agree with you...I am like this only with some people...people who are very near to me. I am learning to be more patient and considerate.

Pia said...

I totally agree!

Brian Miller said...

i used to be pretty blunt and just lay out how i felt...i think over time i learned some tact, ha....but there is a fine line between tact and slowly slipping further away from being honest...

BelovedBomber said...

This post is a good reminder for me. I, like Brian, use to be very blunt in my words. Now, I like to believe that I am honest, but I choose to take some things to the Lord instead of blurting them out. I hope that I am seasoned with much more love, grace and gentleness now. Many blessings!

Cheyenne said...

Colleen, you always say things so well. I agree with your wholeheartedly, on everything you say here. Not only is it a sign of maturity, to guide your words intentionally...often people just need some compassion rather than a healthy dose of honesty. It doesn't always happen, but I want to be able to wrap my words around someone like a hug, not stab them in the heart...and I'm not sure how people are almost proud of that sometimes. I wonder if it's just habit?

Rachna said...

So very true, Colleen! I agree. One of the things that irk me the most is the way in which things are said. Dissent, criticism and a contentious opinion are all acceptable if they are conveyed in the right manner. If the intention is to belittle or insult someone, then I am sorry I don't want that honesty. BTW, I used to be like your friend. Then a good male friend of mine walked up to me back when I was doing MBA and told me to my face that I was very blunt and that was hurtful at times. That really made me change my approach. I hope I have improved on that aspect :).

Serene McEntyre said...

Oh my gosh! I'm right there with you! I've known more than a few people who prided themselves on their "honesty" and that they "Call it like they see it" and "Hey, I'm going to tell you the truth". But then I think to myself, "No, you're going to tell the truth about YOUR opinion, but your opinion isn't absolute truth." Unfortunately it seems that the more adamant or hurtful someone says something, the more likely others are to believe it. What we say is our opinion, our perception. No one, except God, has the market cornered on absolute truth. Hugs and love my friend! ~Serene

Corinne @ Everyday Gyaan said...

It's funny that I recently wrote a post about wishing that we could say just what we feel and not have anyone misunderstand. But the truth is people do misunderstand, and people do get hurt. Like you said, we can speak the truth, but with love. Sometimes, it's better to be silent when our words will hurt a person, simply because they're hurting already.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is a post full of wisdom. I agree with you, an honest opinion does not always have to be expressed out in the open. wounded people wound others back. A heart full of bitter waters will somehow spill over and we better not be around when that happens. It is also my belief that we poison the air when we release death words from our mouths, but life giving words bring healing.

So glad I stopped by this early morning.

Love
Lidia

Alicia said...

Incredible insight & wisdom. In full agreement. Thank you! And Cheyenne continues here with "I want to wrap my words around someone like a hug not stab them in the heart" truth! I had a similar friend although the realization that her words hurt deeply came through in the most timely manner. That turned out deepening our friendship because she chose honesty from deep within. But isn't that how we live life sometimes, we experience true compassion she we stop treating the hard obstacles as interruptions to us.

Colleen said...

Thank you for your responses.:) It seems this is a topic that we are all in agreement about.:)

Zion said...

I have to say I agree, up to a point,I am one of those loudly honest people, at least I try to be, but I do live by a simple verse from a song by Third Day, it's probably a bible quote... "if you can't say nothing good don't say nothing at all" - but sometimes that just is too difficult...Ican't keep my mouth shut and I admit it, I'm a terrible person...

Colleen said...

Pffffft S├Žunn, you are NOT terrible! Not the terrible I'm talkin' about Lady! ;)

melissa said...

It reminded me so much of a character in Anne of the Green Gables LOL!

Well, my nieces and my mom are beginning to complain about me on this subject... Charity must always prevail above anything else ;)

Lots of love always.