People who are "brutally honest" are really just rude
I first need to start this post by admitting something. I, Shannon McNamara, am a highly sensitive person.
I'm not even saying that as a phrase, it's an honest-to-god condition. I have sensitive hearing, sensitive eyes, sensitive skin and recently I've started to get into spicy food by putting a teaspoon of Siracha in my dinner (and chugging water after every bite). I'm a sensitive little bitch, what can I say?
So perhaps I'm biased when I say this, but people who refer to themselves as "brutally honest" need to truly be honest and instead refer to themselves as this: "a cunt".
(Sorry if the c-word offends you. I'm a woman so I'm allowed to use it, right? If not please cancel me and make this go viral I could use the web traffic).
Oooo I fucking hate when people say they're brutally honest. I hate it for a few reasons.
The first is that they believe this quality is a positive one. They say it proudly. They put it in their dating profiles. They proclaim it over happy hour, in the workplace, and most of all they're almost always women who are saying it in an attempt to make them seem like they're "not like other girls".
"I won't lie to you," Katie will purr to you over cocktails after work. "I'm brutally honest like that, I just keep it real."
Oh, but Katie doesn't keep it real. Katie keeps it biting, and harsh.
Keeping it real is a great thing. No one wants to be lied to. Tell me I have a booger in my nose, let me know if there's spinach in my teeth.
It's the "5-minute rule". You should only tell people things about their physical appearance if it can be changed in 5 minutes. Can you see their bra through their shirt and they're about to head out? Tell them! Do they have lipstick on their teeth? Let 'em know!
But if their eyes are too close together or they have cellulite or a crooked tooth...telling them about those things isn't being "brutally honest". It's just being a c-...an asshole.
People who call themselves "brutally honest" take gleeful pride in always being right about everything. This is where their weird form of honesty comes from.
My best friend in college, Tara*, was self-proclaimed "brutally honest". I remember one evening, drinking in her dorm room with her roommate and a few friends.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show had recently aired, and we were groaning over how attractive the models were, and mixing drinks made of tequila and lemonade powder.
"You know how people rate others? On a scale of 1-10?" I had asked the group. "Who even made that up? Doesn't everyone use it on a different scale?"
I remember Tara's eyes had lit up, and she pushed some of her hair behind her ears and crouched forward on her bed.
"Totally," she agreed. "Like I'm brutally honest, so I grade people on it very realistically."
"You actually use that for people?" I laughed. "Okay, what guys do you think are a 10?"
"I don't really use it for guys," she shrugged, "mostly women. Like I would consider myself an 8."
We had mumbled something in agreement, and that was almost the end of it, but Cindy spoke up.
"Tara, what would you rate me?"
"Let's...not...." I had started.
"I would rate you a 4," Tara immediately said.
The rest of the night was a shit show. Cindy was a bit heavier than the rest of us, and Tara was quick to point out how that factored into her rating. She then proceeded to rate all of the girls in the room. I was pre-nose job at that point, and remember holding my breath as Tara turned her eyes to me.
"7," she said. I let out a breath. Thank god. She was only my fucking best friend at the time.
We all kept arguing, fueled by tequila and insecurity, and Tara soon was shouting that she would even rate the Victoria's Secret Angels as 9's.
"Candice?! FUCKING ADRIANNA? How can you say that?"
"It's hard for me to give a 10 to someone!" Tara was shouting.
Ah, college. These are the memories we'll hold onto forever, am I right?
Tara really wasn't brutally honest that night. Sure, she pointed out all of our flaws very quickly and candidly. But that wasn't brutally honest - it was just brutal.
People say they're being "brutally honest" as an excuse to just be rude. We all need to have a filter in everyday life. If being "brutally honest" really was a great thing then people with turrets and aspergers would be leading the charge. You can't just say anything you want, and expect people to be okay with it because it's - by your standards - honest.
People have feelings, and you need to respect them if you want to live well with others in this world.
So it's my ask that people in this world refrain from being "brutally honest" and instead focus on taking accountability. Did you just insult your friend and make her feel bad? Don't absolve yourself from blame by referencing your honesty. Take responsibility for making her feel bad, and apologize.
Or, better yet, hold your tongue. When Cindy asks you to rate her, tell her she's a 10 in your eyes and give her a wink. When your friend asks if she's gained weight, tell her that she always looks good to you.
I promise you, the gates to heaven won't close if you fib a little in the name of being kind.
Ahh, god this felt good to write. I should really rename this blog to be "Shannon's bitches and moans about the world" shouldn't I? I promise the next post will be cheerier!
Until the next one,