We see it all the time, quotes and writings that cajole all of us to aspire to the utmost sincerity, especially verbally. We should always be sincere…right?
Frankly, I’ve learned that being sincere in your thoughts and heart is great. If what you have to say, sincerely, is a compliment, positive, or otherwise non-controversial, also great.
But, I have found that being too sincere when you’re telling people something they don’t really care to hear is not great, welcome, or even particularly listened to.
I have to say that Oscar and I are totally simpatico on this. I don’t know if men have the same issues with this (but since Oscar was a dude, I am going to say probably?), but growing up I definitely was given the message that if I didn’t have something “nice” to say, to keep my trap shut. Don’t disagree. Don’t be a Negative Nelly. And for God’s sake, don’t complain or be contrary.
I have come a long way from my younger days, when I did squash my sincerity in that respect a lot more successfully. As I’ve gotten older and put up with more shit than I can name, my ability to reign in less-than-desirable sincerity has taken a hit.
It is exhausting trying to be ever-so-tactful and not candid about your more “negative” thoughts and feelings. Why do I always have to be the one that holds my tongue, for instance? I am surrounded by people who say whatever the fuck they want, to hell with the consequences. I want to do that too! I want to be brutally sincere! And yet, the lessons learned when letting loose your sincerity are tough ones. Women, for instance, are labeled as bitches and shrews, dismissed as being temperamental and difficult, and the message telegraphed to us is that we should keep our more negative/confrontational/argumentative thoughts to ourselves.
So, when I see:
I often choose to be silent.
Wrong or right, there you have it. Now that, is something I truly am sincere about.