Angst Girl

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Honesty

on July 29, 2013

A fellow blogger recently posted about something that made me think about honesty. Her post wasn’t really about honesty but it put me in mind of sharing opinions about things. I am not talking about the kind of honesty you offer as a result of being asked an opinion; I am talking about sharing your honest feelings that were not solicited. First of all, I value an honest opinion when I ask for one. If I don’t want an opinion, I don’t ask. But the latter kind of honesty is tricky. Unless it’s positive, feedback that was not asked for is rarely received well and you run the risk of alienating people. I have a friend who is very honest and generally says exactly what she’s thinking; there’s very little filter there. I value her honesty but there are times when it is not very welcome. I’m a very sensitive person (something I’m working on improving) and sometimes her feedback hurts my feelings. So when do you just keep your mouth shut? And when do you share an opinion that you feel is for the persons own good? I have a pretty strong filter and am able to, mostly, keep my opinions to myself unless asked. Because of this, people generally feel very comfortable telling me their deep, dark secrets. I love that people feel that comfortable with me. But there are times I wish I had the courage to stick my neck out and risk a little anger on the other person’s part. I think there are times when unsolicited feedback is necessary and you need to have a thick enough skin to handle a negative reaction. At least I think I think that. This is all coming out in a jumble because I have so many mixed emotions about it. I’m very much a “live and let live” kind of person and rarely stick in my nose where it doesn’t belong. Am I just being a wimp? I should clarify that I DO say something if someone is being bigoted. I firmly believe that saying nothing in those situations is just like being a bigot yourself.

One thing I hate is when someone gives an honest reaction to something that does nothing other than hurting someone’s feelings. I have an example. I make greeting cards that I either sell or give to friends and family. I once made a card for a woman and I believe she thanked me (I recognize that I probably have selected memories of the situation) but she followed up with a negative comment about part of the card. Now why was that negative comment necessary? It did nothing but hurt me and, obviously, that’s stuck with me. Again, I realize I am overly sensitive at times but I refuse to believe that a comment like that would do anything but cause hurt feelings. That kind of honesty is unnecessary in my opinion. I never ask people if they like my cards because I don’t want to put them in the position of either having to lie and say they like them or be honest and risk hurting my feelings. I did not ask this person for feedback so I was surprised when I got it. I’m hoping if I write about it I can let go of it because it’s not doing me any good to hang on to the negative feelings it causes.

What are your feelings about honesty? How about opinions that are not asked for? Are you able to take feedback well, even if it wasn’t asked for? Perhaps this is a weakness of mine and I need to work on it. Or maybe I am being conscientious about their feelings and that is a valued trait. I don’t know; I’m confused. I’m now asking for your feedback.

 

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