10/22/13

Rudeness vs. Politeness vs. Honestness . . .

In my continued effort to fill my life with good people, good food, good times, good music, and good hugs from busty women, I've recently been spending more and more time socializing.

This may not be a revelation for most of you - the human is a social animal, after all. And for MOST of my life I've been near the top of the Social Human Pyramid with a network of people that inspired, challenged, fulfilled, benefited from, and occasionally (busty female or not) hugged me. The last few years? Not always "so much" . . . sure I have had friends during my "Shadow Days" (a colleague today told me this is my theme song - I disagree THIS is my theme song. Not really. THIS is. No. Seriously. This is. Really. This one is.) That last one (two?) really is. I digress . . . there have been lots of great friends that have sort of stuck through things with me but now that I'm starting to feel human again, I'm excited to be meeting new people and starting new relationships. PART of that challenge is sitting down with people and figuring out who people really are.

What do I mean? Enter my arch nemesis . . . social media. We all have these "friends" and "relationships" that are completely facadical (that is not a word - I know it is not - I am using it anyway . . . don't like it? Get your own blog!) and based on what people want you to see, hear, think, experience. Think about how many times a day you just see pictures of cute kids doing cute stuff. No one EVER posts photos of that same kid talking trash, throwing tantrums, and setting fire to the guest room curtains (and if you know people that do - have them send me a "friend" request because kids acting up is near the top of my list of favorite things (just under kids swearing)).

What does this have to do with the price of dryer sheets at the laundromat (that one is going to catch on - I can tell)? Nothing. Oh wait . . . yes it does. It has EVERYTHING to do with the price of static cling repellent for people like me? Why? People think I'm RUDE (apparently). Yes. I know. Sit down. Grab a paper bag. Breath in and out slowly. Let it sink in - as hard as the lie might be to accept. But, I have to say (yes, I occasionally read my own crap and I can admit that I MIGHT come off as very opinionated, black/white, antagonistic, and even critical. Yep. I own all that.)

But here is something I will say that is important . . . I'm HONEST. I share my opinions and I will criticize opinions that are contradictory to mine (particularly if I think the other position needs to be contrasted). I have no real filter. I told a woman earlier today that I thought she was beautiful (and not even in a leading way) and you could have heard a pin drop as she pondered when the other shoe would drop and if it would be innuendo or direct cavemanery. I frequently dislike and mock opinions, actions, words, and deeds. I rarely (more and more all the time) criticize PEOPLE (the flesh, the abilities, etc.). I have no issues having direct and uncomfortable situations. I WELCOME people to bring me their issues with me. I ENCOURAGE dialogue. I INVITE critique (it makes me better and stronger).

I am NOT rude (in an objective way - certainly subjectively I could be very, very guilty) but you know what I think is RUDE? Politeness. No. I'm not talking about simple and good manners or chivalry. I'm talking about the sort of politeness where you pretend to agree and you grit your teeth and you resent what is happening because it would be impolite to speak your mind and be candid.

I, like all my fellow stinky cheeses, am an acquired taste. I get that. And as I try to meet new people and fill my life with people who are also HONEST and DIRECT (and occasionally rude/polite in  context) I am thrilled to sit across a table from someone and have them tell me they may have been wrong about me and that I might be more kind and open and giving and caring than they had presumed. I don't think those confessions are rude at all . . . they are downright polite . . . and honest.

PS - Yes. I also know "honestness" is not really a word. Get your own blog if you don't like it.