honesty

I tend to be pretty direct in my communication. Yet I’m also an eternal optimist, the one who sees the silver lining, whose glass is always more than half full. And I try to be kind. Add to those that my job often requires me to portray difficult messages in the most positive light.

Add these qualities, habits and conditioning together and sometimes I end up coming off a bit like a spin doctor.

So I’d love to hear what you think:  Should I continue to be kind and “spin” the message — or would it be better, more instructive in the long run, to be completely, blatantly, directly honest?

Consider the fellows I went out with last weekend. I mostly blathered something about not feeling any magic or chemistry between us. But if I shot from the hip, like this?

  • To guy A:  “Honestly, you dress like you come from an outer-ring suburb, you’re a stingy tipper and you eat like a caveman. That’s why.”
  • To guy B:  “You’re a whining infant, and I cannot wait to get as far away from you as humanly possible.”
  • To guy C:  “It’s because you wore shorts with an elastic waistband. The gulf is too wide for me to cross.”

As an aside, I’ve found it very amusing that, in telling my dating stories to male and female friends alike, the men I know actually had stronger reactions to the dude wearing elastic waistband shorts than the women. A girlfriend sympathetically said, “Oh dear.” The guys came up with questions and comments including these:

  • “Did he take you to a buffet?”
  • “Was he planning on gaining a few pounds?”
  • “Wow. That’s not even trying!”

But I digress…

Like I said, I don’t want to be known for spin — and I don’t want to be known for being a bitch. But there may be a nugget of helpful information in my brutal examples for these fellows…

How much honesty is too much? What do you think?

About failedatforty


5 responses to “honesty

  • A Dog With Fleas

    Honesty is always the best policy. I remember reading your post about the man with the “Elastic Pants” and laughiing out loud and commenting on it! :)

  • J.D. St. Michaels

    Ok, here’s the situation. First, consider the Golden Rule. Would you appreciate a man saying something like the following to you across the dinner table? “You know, you’d be really cute if you lost ten pounds and had better teeth. And I’d happily be friends with you except you really don’t have anything interesting to say.” No, of course not. Obviously not the way to go.

    Second point, you are not the keeper of these men. It is not your responsibility to teach them a lesson or make them grow as people. In fact, that that kind of condescending behavior is pretty much the ultimate insult to a man. So you are likely coming off in your words and at minimum mannerisms as extremely offensive and emasculating. You should consider this, reflect back, and be grateful these men did not take such an “honest” position with you.

    Last point, when you do find someone you like an are interested in, meaning, like after a couple months of dating, that is when, where having picked your battles, you sweetly and sensitively bring up whatever behavior of theirs that is upsetting you.

    Always keep in mind, men are extremely sensitive. The male ego is remarkably fragile. If you know this and keep it in mind, you’ll be just fine. As for the clowns you don’t care to see again, just be sweet, enjoy your meal, and should they call you after, let them know you had a very nice time but don’t see it working out. Simple as that.

    In the meantime I suggest you read (or audiobook) Leil Lowndes “How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You.” It is one of the most honest, straight forward discussions of the differences between men and women and what each needs for a successful relationship. Will change your life.

    Best of luck out there, and I am always available for advice.

    Best,

    J.D.

    • failedatforty

      As many of my readers probably know, it’s unlikely that I would ever venture so far into that sort of bluntness — but sometimes it’s fun to think about being just a little mean. ;-)

      Thanks for the book recommendation! Since I tend to spend a lot of time in my masculine energy, I definitely need to continue studying up on how to express my femininity!

    • Suzi Shumaker

      Wow .. that was a pretty thorough reply. Nice to hear a man’s perspective. I once dated a man who complained (on the first date) about his mother, stepmother, and various ex-girlfriends. At the end of the date, I told him, “I like you, but I don’t want to date you.” He asked why (seemed very surprised). I said, “Because you have issues with women and I’m not equipped to deal with that.” He later contacted me and thanked me for my honesty.

  • M.McKellen

    There is, dear, a difference between honesty… and tacky.

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