Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?
One day while on lunch break, Susan admitted to me once that her husband yelled at her for her honesty, or rather overly honest opinions. She once had told her husband what she thought about a family issue and it was not exactly welcomed.
She was hurt by his anger in return of her honest assessment of the situation. I wondered how a husband could be so mean to his wife over nothing.
Susan, was a bright middle-aged woman with an easy laugh and a sweet disposition. To her being completely honest, when asked, was just her way. On her own, she had raised a son that was about to graduate from High School. Now on her second marriage, Susan learned to take the good times with the hard ones, like seasons in the year. It seemed she smiled, for the most part, and got through it.
One day in a meeting, I made a stupid blunder, blurting out some ridiculous nonsense. But it was already out there, no taking it back. To tell you the truth, the job really did not suite me so this was just symptomatic of my inadequacies. I knew it, so did everyone else now.
I flushed with embarrassment. From behind my laptop, I sent Susan an instant message, “Could I be that stupid?” More of a rhetorical question, but her, in her honest nature, responded to me, letting me know that I had no exactly been the sharpest crayon in the box….in a very direct and honest way.
I was now embarrassed and annoyed and yes, hurt too.
Later that day, she wanted to talk it out. I really didn’t need to- I didn’t want to. I knew what she thought of me. I walked away as she raised her voice trying to stop me in the hallway.
She knew she had been a little too harsh- she just wanted a little chat to smooth things over. I wasn’t going to let her have it easy. At that moment, I meaner to her than her husband ever could have been. We never talked again.
What that a little too honest for you?