Honest – To a Fault

I’m all about honesty. How can we work together well if we can’t have an honest conversation? I believe that we can talk anything through – if we start with honesty.

Unfortunately, lots of people see honesty as rude or inappropriate.

After seven years in Texas, I’ve learned that many people would prefer a gentle change of subject to my honest reaction to their question.

I think Texas has taught me this lesson. Here’s my evidence:

I had avoided talking to her for months, maybe years, because she seemed to twist my words and then spread them around. We ended up in the same place. I felt afraid. I smiled.

She threw her arms around me and gave me a long hug. Then, she told me that we ‘need’ to get together for coffee.

With a big smile on my face, I managed to respond: “I like coffee!”

3 thoughts on “Honest – To a Fault

  1. Brandy Shaw

    I struggle with the same dilemma. I am very honest with people and that usually comes across as rude and tactless. I find it difficult to interact with certain people because they take things the wrong way and that often comes back to bite me. This often results in me not saying what I think needs to be said and makes me feel a little phony.

    Let me know if you find a way to maintain your honesty within the confines of Texas politeness.

    1. Susan Lippe Post author

      Hi, Brandy! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! So, I guess I should have split this post into two parts – email and real life. I was making plans over email with someone I’d never met, and I was agonizing about my last message to him. Then, when I walked in, everything seemed smooth and pleasant. Let’s talk more about the difference between seeming polite over email and in person. Especially because there are people I’m nervous about interacting with one-on-one, too. Sometimes even a smile gets taken the wrong way. Maybe we need some direct-yet-polite Texans to coach us?


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