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a minute of manners and musings
Honesty? Not always.
March 7, 2011Posted by on
This may come as a shock to some, but honesty is not always what people want or need to hear.
You heard me.
It’s your not plight in life to make sure people know your innermost thoughts. It’s not your place to “offer advice” to your co-worker on her hairstyle or clothes choices or, heaven forbid, husband choices.
Honesty has been a hot topic over the last couple of weeks. I’ve seen some online conversations about it and someone posted a question about honesty on my Facebook wall. Here is the question and my response:
Question: Dear Kate T. Lewis…[Let me just interrupt for a second. Feel free to call me Kate. You don’t have to say the T. I know it can be confusing. An interviewer once referred to me as KT throughout an entire TV segment. I’ve often wondered if she thought I was rapper.] I have a question for you to ponder… listening to a popular radio program yesterday they were asking the question, should you give your friends/family unsolicated criticism especially about the way they look or are dressed? (ie… your dress is just a little too tight, or that hair style you’re going for isn’t working for you) I give it to my husband often, but he never gives it to me — so I ask… should we keep our thoughts to ourselves and let those dear to us look bad, or should we intervene?
Answer: I would ask you this: Does the person dear to you “look bad” because it’s your opinion that what she is wearing isn’t becoming? Or, do they “look bad” because they are struggling with something and it’s affecting their appearance? If your sister shows up at a family dinner looking rumpled and unclean, it’s your duty as someone who cares for her to find out if she’s ok. That’s a very different conversation than if you were to approach her with “your hair looks terrible and you need to iron your shirt.” Rather than unsolicited criticism, that’s inquiring about her well-being. If you are bothered by someone’s appearance because you would simply choose something different…well…there are some things that are none of your business. Great question!!
Got it? Good.