I watched this Ted Talk by Kio Stark entitled Why you should talk to strangers. Of course she’s not talking about how it’s ok for men to harass women. She’s proposing that we talk to each other for real and to form a connection with each other even in that fleeting moment. So why do I like this talk so much?
People think that How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a guidebook for manipulation, but they are gravely mistaken. If you read the book carefully, there’s a line there that says “I am not suggesting flattery. I’m talking about a new way of life.” That new way of life means understanding that “criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself”. He also says, “instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism and it breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness.”
Honesty has become an integral part of my identity and my writing journey, but I realized that being honest about my negative feelings for other people is something that I have yet to learn.
As you can see through my blog, I am not a fan of privacy. When it comes to my thoughts and feelings about my life, I can be as honest as hell, but when it comes to my thoughts and feelings about people, I often use euphemisms, evasion tactics, and I even resort to downright silence.
I am more bold when it comes to challenging other people’s beliefs, but I am mum when I need to tell them that I they hurt me or simply irritated me.
Being honest doesn’t mean that I want to become red-faced-banshee-screaming honest. I’d rather be cool and collected and yet able to face the painful issues that arise in my relationships.