Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A plea for honesty

I'm a flake. I have turned into the very thing that has kept me up in tight fists and angry thoughts all night. Since moving to Minneapolis, I have neglected my most coveted relationships, including this blog. I'm sorry.

But the reason I even know this is because one of my favorite Life People (the people I consider the most important in my life) brought it to my attention. She told me that I have been...not myself. She was kind, concerned, but most of all, honest. She was all "You're kind of being rude, and you kind of need to get your act together."

And thus, the Enlightenment of Truth was bestowed upon me. I thought I was skating by on half-promises and non-committals, thinking I was the only one affected by my weird, new-found behavior of never giving an answer to people. But you know what? That's rude. And irresponsible. But mostly? It's effing rude.

The worst part was that I made myself think that no one else would notice that I never gave a firm answer or made a hard-and-fast decision. I assumed, in my cloudy haze of self-centeredness, that no one else could possibly be more affected by my decisions (or non-decisions, as it were) as me. I somehow mish-mashed this system in my head that if I understood my decisions (or, again, non-decisions), everyone else would understand them as well.

Enter: "Get Over Yourself, Pharon" territory.

I always thought I had this grand self-awareness and clear understanding of social cues. I thought "People who are chronically late think my time is less important than theirs," or "If you say you're going to do something, do it." Then I got all mixed up. I admit it. I got too big for my britches. I started feeling very important and popular and busy, and somehow I decided that I was the only one who really needed to know what was going on. Classic Rude Girl mistake.

Perhaps the most important lesson in all this is that I needed someone (or, fine, three people ) to be honest with me. I needed someone to tell me, calmly and earnestly, that my behavior as of late has been the pits. As in, the armpits of human behaviors. The worst, stinkiest, lackluster-iest of of all behaviors.

I'll admit it: At first I felt mad. I felt attacked. But then I felt ashamed. I was ashamed for being so oblivious to the fact that my actions (or, ugh, AGAIN, non-actions) had consequences. But THEN, I felt empowered. I knew what was wrong, I knew I was being an a$$, and I KNEW I could fix it by just being considerate and trying to get back to the good ol' fashioned Midwestern girl who knew right from wrong. Or rather, right from rude.

I think people are afraid of hearing the truth about themselves, and perhaps we all should be. We can all be monstrous, selfish people (because people are the WORST). But I truly think that if someone is doing something that legitimately negatively affects other people (and can be changed), that person should know about it. And not in a rude, aggressive way, but in the "Listen, I love you, but you need to brush your teeth/stop being a flake/start returning phone calls/stop hoarding shoe boxes," kind of way.

I guess I worry, though, that not everyone will be as receptive and amazing as I was at hearing some hard truths. (Yup, I complimented myself in the midst of this post about me being a flake. I guess I can still muster up some self-righteousness.) People get angry and defensive when they learn that they are not perfect. I think that's human nature, though.

Honesty is a tough row to hoe. It's really not easy, and it takes a lot of thought and care if it's done right. And people don't always want to (or aren't prepared to) hear the truth. Sometimes, they don't really NEED to be told, either. But if, when it really matters, we can learn to be honest -- and not just, like, RUDE honest for the sake of being a d!ck and projecting our own insecurities -- I think we could all feel a little better.

Meanwhile, now I'm terrified that this post will make people feel like it's super okay to have Open Season on Pharon and how I'm just the worst. But keep in mind, people, that honesty is like bread. It can be delicious and nourishing and fill your dinner table with meaningful conversation, but it can also make you ugly and fat if you eat too much.

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