Say Anything… Except…

I’ve never been good at hiding my thoughts and feelings.

NEVER.

When I was  a child my mother used to call me Poker Face. Not because I had one but because I didn’t.

If I didn’t like someone or something, everyone knew it.

Not much has changed in the past few decades.

I’ve tried pretending. I’ve tried changing the subject. I’ve even tried wearing sunglasses during  meetings so people couldn’t see my eyes roll.

But regardless, in the end I feel compelled to be genuine. In other words, eventually I always end up letting people know what I REALLY think.

Not that I’m trying to be mean.  I generally trying to be helpful by being truthful.

The problem is, a lot of people don’t appreciate it.

I  used to worry about that, but, like with so many other things that come with age,  I’m over it.

Maybe that’s because I’ve had friends tell that they always know where they stand with me.  And if they don’t want to know? Than they probably aren’t really my friend anyway.

Maybe it’s because when I give a compliment, it comes from the heart. It  isn’t intended just to ingratiate myself to others.

Or maybe it’s because  I’m afraid if I hold my true thoughts in, I’ll eventually implode.  At least it feels that way.

But just because I’m o.k. with how I am, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be who I am.

I’m constantly battling to survive in a world where appearances  are often appreciated more than reality.  Where people ask for feedback when all they really want is a compliment.  And where people prefer to complain behind someone’s back while pretending everything is fine to their face.

But I understand you can’t change people or systems overnight.  So all I can do is encourage people to at least be honest with me. Since I’m so blunt, I expect others to be the same.

If I ask for feedback, I want genuine feedback.. not just approval.  If I say or do something ridiculous? Let me know.  And if I ask  if my outfit makes me look fat?  Consult with my husband.

He’ll tell you the truth about how well I  do when people are  brutally honest with me.

About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a theater kid in high school, a band kid at West Virginia University and a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization or being a mom, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog and stirring things up.

Posted on September 4, 2011, in My life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This reminds me of some wisdom I heard once from a seasoned attorney.

    He told me that most people don’t come to a lawyer for advice. They come to get support to do what they’ve already decided to do. Over time, I’ve learned this seems to be true of most people who ask others what they think….they don’t really want to know. They want support.

    My lawyer friend said he developed a 3-way test. “If it’s not 1) clearly illegal, 2) flagrantly immoral, or 3) physically dangerous, I tell them to go ahead and do it.”

    Of course, legal relationships are not friendships. Or marriages.

    Food for thought. 🙂

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