“Do I look fat in this dress?”
These are the kind of questions friends, colleagues, random people throw at us on a daily basis because whether or not we want to admit it human beings crave validation almost as much as they need oxygen.
They need validation to believe that they can get the job or pass the exam or even get the ring. They don’t care where or who it comes from; only that it comes.
So when they hurl these validation seeking questions at you and add that they “just want your honest opinion”, do not be fooled, my friend. They want an opinion all right, but I’m not sure they want it to be honest. They need it to be positive, to be complimentary, confirmatory- they don’t want the truth. And the last thing they want is blunt.
They never want blunt.
People don’t know what to do with “Blunt”. They don’t know where to put it. In their heads, in their imaginations? On that list of things they assume can and should only happen in movies and books and as such should remain in movies and books? Oh, how they love to see it in movies and books.
They hardly ever know how to confront it, it throws them off balance. Should they acknowledge it? Deny it?
Blunt is that distant relative you are not particularly on talking terms with that you bump into at the mall. You don’t know whether is a hug or handshake is appropriate, you might have even forgotten their name and most importantly you are at a loss as to whether or not you should invite them home; let them know where you live. And you certainly do not know what to talk about with this person.
That right there is Blunt. People fear it, they reject it, they refuse it, try rather futilely I might add- to refute it, they never fully comprehend it but they hardly ever appreciate it.
It’s like giving them a gift they cannot refuse, even if they wanted to. So they take it home, some open it and some toss it in the trash right at the door and walk back into the delusion they are comfortable and cosy in. Those who dare to look end up tagging it as harsh. Insensitive. Cruel even.
But come on, it’s just the truth albeit in its crude form, why so scared and averse to it?
Blunt is healthy. I dare say necessary.
Without it we’re nothing but a society of people perpetually walking on eggshells, feeling one thing and saying another, desperately claiming black is white so we don’t bruise A’s ego or hurt E’s feelings. Constantly trying to please rather than give the right direction and in an effort to mellow the effect of the truth we dress it in so much niceties that it genuinely becomes something else. Far from what it actually was.
If you don’t go blunt, how will people know they are getting it wrong? That they’re losing customers because they are not half as good as their competitors? That they failed because they did not study hard enough so next time they need to study harder? That they got dumped because they don’t shave their armpits and they smell like cow dung because they don’t use deodorant the right way?
So the next time someone asks for your opinion. Serve it blunt.
Here’s what blunt sounds like- “Yes, you look fat in the dress, try something less tight”. It might sting, but at least she’ll get a dress she actually looks good in.
If you agreed with the theme of this article, I dare say it’s more because you like serving it blunt than because you live being served blunt.
So while you’re out there giving it hot and blunt, be sure you can receive it too in the same measure.