We've all heard it before-- honesty is the best policy. However, I don't want to talk about honesty in its traditional connotation of simply "not lying." I want to talk about a certain social honesty, a bluntness, that some people naturally carry (myself included). I hear many people claiming they would be so much better off if only they had straightforward, honest friends, family, or significant others. At the same time, though, I often see those who are just that, immediately being written off as rude or insensitive. So what's really going on?
This phenomena brings me to pose the question-- are blunt people really rude, or are some people just too sensitive? Of course, I recognize that context and tone play a huge role in this, and really the answer varies across different circumstances, but as someone who is usually labeled off as rude, I would really like to provoke others to really think. Often times I will word my responses tactfully, still saying what I need to say, but saying it politely, and am still met with offense. It's a constant struggle that sometimes leads me to blaming myself; I offended someone, so therefore it is my fault. The catch is, though, is that many people I've encountered this with, almost take advantage of this, allowing me to take the blame for something that may not really be my fault. In addition, sensitivity seems to be supported more rather than honesty. I have been snubbed for the sake of sparing the feelings of others, even if what I was saying were also my honest feelings and opinions, suggesting that some feelings are more valid than others.
So although people want honest, straightforward people in their lives, I genuinely believe that not everyone can handle these types of people. Despite what they say, some people are subconsciously (or consciously) drawn to what is easier to digest-- a watered down version of the truth, or a lie altogether. It becomes a game of smoke and mirrors, and some are willing to play, no matter how much they preach for honesty. Likewise, perhaps these same people cannot take any form of criticism and it is not so much an issue of the other person being rude, but an issue of allowing their fears, anxieties, and insecurities to project themselves as an impenetrable sensitivity.
It's really just food for thought. Sensitivity and tactfulness are so subjective, that it really is an issue that could be debated forever. All I'm saying is, as someone who usually gets the shorter end of the stick for being honest, is that maybe it's not always me, or anyone else who is telling the truth--maybe both parties should be held accountable.