Saturday, September 26, 2015

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Honesty?

You don't have to answer that question.

I actually know the answer, because many friends (and not-quite-enemies-but-also-not-fans-of-me) repeatedly tell me directly and (more often) indirectly that YES there is such a thing as too much honesty.

Not only is there such a thing, but I have SO MUCH honesty that I tend to come across as disingenuous.

That sounds weird, doesn't it? Let me try to explain.

You know how sometimes Life gets to be just a little bit too much to take? Like maybe you find out that the IRS thinks you owe them $16,000 because some criminal in New Hampshire (or China, who knows?) stole your identity and filed fake tax returns but you had no idea because the IRS was sending all the threatening letters to New Hampshire until they finally sent someone to your REAL house in Austin, Texas to tell you they were about to put a lien on you real house? And then while you're trying to figure out how to solve this problem you are also starting a new job which is actually pretty fun and exciting except for the fact that you aren't sure if someone in your new office is going to love you or scream at you on any given day?

Yeah - so sometimes those sorts of things happen to me. I'm not saying those EXACT things happen to me but you get the idea.

Anyway - when those SORT of things happen to me, I wear my stress and anxiety all over my face and my fingernails (which are probably torn to pieces) and probably my butt (because I've gained 25 pounds). So people at work who are much more important than me tend to notice and ask if I'm ok. This is polite, and it's supposed to be good for morale because - you know - you don't want your employees to completely fall apart so when you notice inordinate eye twitching and panicked breathing, it's a good idea to check in with them.

NORMAL people respond to such questions with "Of course! I'm fine." Or maybe they say "You know, I'm a bit stressed but it's fine. Thanks for asking! By the way, where did you get those great earrings?"

I don't do that. I'm honest. VERY honest about how it seems like things are falling apart and I feel hopeless.

This is rarely wise. I'm 43 years old (44 years old on Monday...) and I've known that this approach is almost always a huge, huge mistake for AT LEAST two decades now. And Honesty Tsunami spews forth from my mouth, causing most people to figuratively flee in terror.

This is usually the moment where one part of my brain begins to realize that the other person doesn't think I'm telling the truth (because there's no logical reason for anyone to be SO BIZARRELY honest, so I must be trying to manipulate them). And THAT would be the point in the conversation when I should, perhaps, stop talking. By a show of hands, who thinks I shut up once I reach that milestone?


And who thinks I probably keep babbling but with more emotion and a LOT less logic?

*hands wave wildly in the air*

Hagrid - I should not have said that meme

Otherwise, you know....I've got everything under control.