How do you say?

30 May

The thought frequently crosses my mind these days that if someone were to ask me what I truly thought about a certain topic, I’d tell them that they wouldn’t really want to know for fear they’d be offended. Added to this fear is the whole broaching a sensitive subject without coming across as… well, mean. But maybe there is too much pussyfooting around people’s feelings when some things just have to be said.

Like, I think you need psychiatric help… I don’t think there is ever an easy way to bring this topic up.

Then you have the personal hygiene problems that are hard to bring up without being offensive. Try saying these to someone:
You have bad BO.
I think you wear too much cologne/perfume.
Your breath stinks.

To do with life decisions:
That’s the worst idea you’ve ever had.
I think you’re making the wrong decision.
I think you’re doing that for the wrong reasons.

To do with being sociable/dealing with people
I would rather be alone.
I don’t care about your problem. I have my own to deal with.
I’m wary about doing this with you because I’m sure we’ll clash on decisions.
I find your stories incredibly dull.
I don’t want to be in the middle of your fight.

And lastly, the topics that aren’t so much offensive, but sensitive and we’ll be vulnerable if we say it:
I love you.
When you say/do those things, it makes me sad.
If I don’t know what the problem is, I can’t help fix it.
I want you to be able to see why I am upset.
If you were gone, I’d be lost.
I’m sorry.

Sometimes I have this fear that something will happen to me and I won’t have said the things I really need to, to the people I love. Other times I think that maybe things are better left unsaid – it could dredge up a whole lot of resentment and hurt. I probably come off as a bit abrasive and stand off-ish, but it is my way of protecting myself against being hurt. And if I’m wary about saying the things I’ve listed above, even if they’re floating around in my head, it’s my way of protecting the other person from hurt and me from feeling awful.

It could be that I come from a family that sucks with communication. My family is a bad combination of passive aggressives, who you know are stewing on something but never let on what the problem is; aggressives, whose method of dealing with almost any negative emotion is to yell; and the non-communicative who expects you to mind read what their plans are, often showing up unannounced.

I don’t know if it’s a genetic disposition or the environment that we were raised in – kind of like the whole nature vs nurture concept. But perhaps if we bred an environment where openness and honesty was a good thing, we (I) wouldn’t have so many hangups about telling people what’s on our minds.

Well, I can honestly say that this has been on my mind for a while…


2 Responses to “How do you say?”

  1. wabiwabi 10/06/2011 at 8:03 pm #

    I’m dying to say to a teacher at work, “Hey. You’re a bit of an asshole. Just sayin’.”

    That’s awkward.

    • bearinthere 10/06/2011 at 10:35 pm #

      “The only bonding I’d like to do with him involves a tube of superglue and a rabid hamster”. That kinda guy?

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