Honesty, Candor, and Manners


Yesterday, I did a neat test at tickle about my emotional style called What’s Behind Your Emotions courtesy of the ever marvelous Riihele.  Anyway, the results of this test were:

“your emotions are triggered by your underlying belief in Honesty. In other words, your commitment to leading an honest life, and your belief in the truth, directly affect how, and how often, you experience certain feelings. For example, your test results indicate that you’re most fulfilled when you can share all your thoughts and feelings — good or bad. That factor is directly related to your fundamental belief in honesty and the range of emotions it triggers.”

And then I got to thinking about this conclusion and realized that there is a lot of truth to it (in my honest estimation-hehe), and I think that it’s been both a gift and a curse throughout my life. 

Not too long ago, a blog buddy who I’m thinking more and more of as a friend (nod and wave to Pris) said something about how I wasn’t afraid to say what I think or to be sincere in doing so, and I took that as a marvelous compliment.  Being open and honest has always been one of the things that I do well . . . too well, sometimes.  Anyway, so then Pris asked me how long I’ve been single, and I said forever and probably because I am too open and honest and do say exactly what I think and feel.  Bonus:   people always know where they stand with me.  Downside:  people always know where they stand with me.

So THEN I’m watching Buffy last night (the episode, Tally, in which Anya and Spike hook up at the Magic Box, and the Scoobies see it via the Trio’s hidden cam), and one of the characters–an ex-demon, not so ironically–was talking about how everyone misunderstood her candor and directness.  And I’ve felt that, too (actually, I’ve also felt ex-demony, but I’m guessing we’ve all felt that!  No?  Just me, then.).

Then someone else (not on my friends list, so I won’t name him) blogged on manners, and that got me thinking about how manners are in direct violation of all laws of human honesty, and the people who get the best of my manners rarely get the best of ME.  This is not to say that I don’t say “please” and “thank you” or that I don’t let people in front of me in traffic (I do all that); heck, at the grocery store or Walmart, I even let people with only a few items go ahead of me in line if my cart is full (and talk about getting astounded looks from people!).  This isn’t to say that I’m boorish or rude, just that being polite isn’t always the most honest thing to be, that’s all. 

Manners versus honesty ramble to follow, feel free to scroll past it:  I have quite a few pet peeves, and being all motivated by honesty and such, I do sometimes find it difficult (or even impossible) to bite my tongue.  For example, over the Thanksgiving break, my dad and I went to see a movie (which I blogged about in Movie Night: Flags of Our Fathers).  While we were watching this heart-wrenching, absorbing, and quite breathtaking movie, a woman on the other side of the theater was eating her apparently more delicious than anything ever created popcorn so loudly that she might as well have been sitting on my shoulder.  I turned to look at her (you know that, would you please not eat so loudly look), and her mouth was wide open, her tongue and lips smacking, and the popcorn crunching.  She was too far away and it was too dark for me to tell, but I feel certain that little bits of chewed popcorn and that icky yellow part that gets stuck in your gums were flying out of her huge mouth and onto her lap.   Or back into the bottomless tub of popcorn she had.  She never once shut her mouth, not once, thus the echoing crunch fest. 

The people all around her and me (way on the other side of the theater, remember?) were shifting in their seats and whispering to each other, some (like me) were looking back at her, and she was completely oblivious.  Completely.  Now I get that some people have dental problems that may preclude them eating popcorn or any other inherently crunchy food as quietly as possible, and I get that popcorn and movies go together like hot chocolate and those yummy mini marshmallows, what I don’t get is being so self absorbed that she would infringe on others’ ability to enjoy a film just so that she could enjoy it (how she heard it is a mystery to me).  Me?  I didn’t say anything, but it certainly frustrated and aggravated me.  If I’d been sitting closer, I may have said something, I don’t know.  I kind of doubt it, not because of honesty, but just that it’s sometimes better not to say anything at all.

Me?  I’ve always been a straight shooter, and I’ve always dealt better with reality and truth.  I get confused and upset when I don’t know what’s going on because people are being all secretive or worse when I’m lied to about what’s going on.  People who tell “white lies” confound me; I’ve actually had an exboyfriend tell me that he lied to me to “protect me” and so he wouldn’t “hurt my feelings.”  Shows not only why he’s an ex but also how very little he knew me; nothing hurts me more than being mislead and lied to.  Nothing.  Okay, well, except for that truck, but that was a whole other kind of pain.

There seem to be all these triggers lately for me to do a bit of self-reflection and decide how I want to “be” in the world, and I just don’t see compromising my integrity as an option, nor do I really see how I could change this thing about myself if I wanted to do so.  Maybe it’s okay to ensure that I surround myself with good, honest, and dignified (Rii!!) folk, rather than phoney posers (that ex is long gone, after all)?  And maybe it follows that I’m not interested in what those phoney posers think because I think very little of and about them?  Maybe it’s okay to have strong opinions and not be worried about people’s reactions to my expressing them, as long as they are true to who I am and how I feel?  Maybe.  I hope so.



12 thoughts on “Honesty, Candor, and Manners

  1. I giggled the whole way through the woman-eating-popcorn paragraph. You have a way with words.
    I think I’d have got to the point where I couldn’t restrain myself and would have ended up clearing my throat loudly while looking pointedly at her, if that failed I’d just have said, politely, “i actually can’t hear what’s being said because you’re being so noisy. Could you just…try closing your mouth?”
    I like that episode of Buffy, Spike is so…Spike.
    I appreciate politeness…I give it whenever I can, it was how i was brought up. Manners cost nothing, is what i was always told.
    Have a great week 🙂

  2. teehee, thanks Tally; that was super fun to write, so I’m glad you giggled reading it. As to manners, I think that’s a great way to think about it: they cost nothing, and they really don’t and the pay off can be stupendous. I’m a big fan of good manners, and I really do try to be polite whenever I can. You have a great week, too!! Huggs.

  3. The people who already accepted you as you are will never get offended by your honesty. And for the ones are just getting to know you, they better get used to your honesty or else take the highway. I am an honest person myself, however sometimes I had to hold myself back and bite my tongue in order to achieve things in a more peaceful way (even if I was raging inside). And I do think you can be polite while being honest, these two shouldn’t necessarily clash.
    Happy Tuesday!

  4. Aw, you are so sage and kind, Fanta!! Thank you for your lovely comments, and I think you’re right about being polite while being honest; I should have thought of tact to put in my post! Silly me!! Huggs to you!!

  5. I love this, nodding and waving back to you Fuzzy! Maybe our moral compass is right on target, seems like you quickly weighed in the pros and cons of confronting the woman and came back with the lesser of the two evils…confronting her or letting it slide. Years ago, I offered my opinion to a boss that I thought highly of. Being in a foul mood, he snapped off “I don’t pay you for your opinion.” Talk about ouch…here I thought very highly of him. A few days later he asked me for my opinion, so I replied that I didn’t get paid to give my opinion. So realizing his mistake, he quickly gave me a raise, said he gave up…. and that I was now being paid for my opinion. It certainly made me rethink the how and when I give advice stance. At least standing tall for what we believe in allows us to sleep good at night.

    Ok, so now I know you are single, but what’s your birth sign? I am wondering if your personality is a typical trait. I am an aquarian and we are always looking at the bigger picture and can see both sides of an issue, not unlike you, trying to take consideration and understanding for the woman with the popcorn, even though it was irritating.

  6. Hei Fuzz.

    I was like Tally roaring me way through this blog and your description of the Popcorn-Polly was/is pricelessly hilarious!!
    I would have made the PP-woman know one way or other that she better slow down the rate of pops into her gob so that others round her hear whassup in the movie!! Politely but firmly – and she would have stopped.

    Or Plan B — I’d complain to the Theatre people and get a complimentary ticket to re-view the said show… Hmmm. Is that Dignified or wha?!!
    Take care. HuGGiz from moi to toi! Rii xx

  7. I think most people are honest, until they prove you wrong. I beleive most people, until they lie to me, and I find out. I dont think anyone wo reads yor page, or has read it in the past, would think you are anything but up front with everything you say or do. that is the best policy, i feel. then there are no surprises. I would have thrown a hand full of ice at that popcorn woman. didnt she realise she wasloud. didnt she have anyone with ther that could have told her to slow down and shut up?

  8. Honesty, even critical honesty can be a great thing when tact is a part of the delivery.

    Sometimes even silence is affective honesty!
    (yes I used the educational “affective” there).

    As for me, I am way to much of a gentle natured individual to be brutally honest or outspoken person. Does it cost me…hell yes. Then again, it has made me expressive as well!

  9. What a GREAT story, Pris! That’s so . . . made for television, you know what I mean? It’s one of those real life moments that seems like it should be on film (maybe a movie). Lucky you to be so appreciated and respected in your job! These are keys, to my mind, to being and feeling fulfilled in our work. I’m a Libra, which should mean–I think?–that I’m all about fairness and balance. I guess that makes sense, but I’m not quite as tactful as your average Libra. And like Aquarians very eager to learn both sides of a story and to give the benefit of the doubt, not afraid to change our minds if the evidence available shows that’s necessary. Oh, and vain, creative, and some other Libra traits, too–not too “in love with love” but I think that has to do with my advanced cynicism and not being a Libra! lol Thanks for your fabulous and thoughtful comment!! Huggs and hope all’s well in your neck of the world.

    Rii, you make me smile to think of you way over there in Finland reading my silly tale about the Popcorn Polly and roaring with laughter; isn’t technology fabulous and amazing? I am lucky to have met you!! As to PP, I didn’t even think to complain and get another chance at the movie!! What a good idea, and yep, sounds dignified to me. HH2uDR (Honest huggs to you Dignified Rii . . . lol)

    Thanks for the vote of confidence and support, Lisa!! I think that it’s the best policy too. As to throwing a handful of ice at the woman . . . lmao! I would have loved to do that, but knowing my luck I’d be arrested for assault with a deadly object or some such. teehee!! HUGGS TME!!

    Wow, thanks, Gregg; can’t wait to read your next entry! I get what you are saying about being a gentle person adverse to “brutal” honesty, and I think that’s great for a lot of people, but there are people out there like me, for whom nothing is more brutal or painful or stinging than the sense of betrayal that comes from secrets and lies. Being gentle with us, that rare breed of person who prefers straight shooting, is actually like sticking us with thousands of pointy little pokers that were glowing from leaning in the embers of the pits of hell. Okay, so that’s an overstatement! lmao, but you see what I mean, being “gentle” to me is telling me the straight truth, a fact I could never get through my ex’s head. But he could never get it through my head to keep my mouth shut about this or that, either. Guess that’s where this bitterness of tone is coming from; all that misunderstanding and bad communication that resulted from totally different styles of being in the world; neither of us was wrong or right, but we were just temperamentally unsuited to being together and in very large part because of this fundamental issue. Wow, Gregg, you’re better than high priced therapy any day!! lmao. Huggs Gentle Ranger, you are an amazing man with amazing insights.

  10. You go girl! Mom and I once went to see Miss Saigon…a MUSICAL with LIVE performers. Tell me that people all around us weren’t acting like they were at the movies and crinkling food bags and the like during the performance. GRRRR. It was a great muscial but how rude of people! These were the better seats too. It’s funny, but people were much more polite in the cheap seats! I haven’t been to see a musical in a long time in part because of that and I HATE going to the movie theater any more! People have no sense of common courtesy. Which doesn’t require hiding of the truth simply a respect for other human beings. I hate posers too. I find that I am more and more likely to speak my mind these days. Ain’t 40 grand? 😉

  11. Oooh, LO, I think you might be onto something there about the age thing, you know it!? And I’ve noticed that, too, that middle class folks seem to be far more polite than their upper class (even upper middle class, in some cases) “cousins.” I don’t know why that is, unless too many priviledged people have a sense of entitlement that extends to some excuse for bad manners? I don’t know, but it’s weird, huh? Posers suck. Thanks for the cool and great comments!! Yay!!

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