Candor

Candor
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From what I’ve experience so far in this life, there are few people who have to struggle with candor. Most people go through their daily routines telling ‘little white lies’ to spare themselves embarrassment and prevent others from being hurt unnecessarily. And this strategy works in most instances. I don’t find fault with this. This helps us get along with our fellow human being in a congenial way.

The majority of society are adequate at this skill but, many times, I can tell that what they’re conveying isn’t actually true. The essence of it probably is, so I’ll let it pass. No harm is being done after all.

Still, there are those who are masters at this ability. I can almost guaranty they’re telling me the truth only to discover, by some means in the future, that they were unequivocally lying. The lie hasn’t effected anything, at least nothing bad. In fact, in some cases, the lie has been unwittingly helpful in some way. In almost all instances, I let things be.

I wish I could be like that. I’d settle for being just adequate and people giving me the raised eyebrows of inquisitiveness whenever I’d enhance, alter, or step around the truth. I’m almost positive I would have been promoted several more times when I was working outside the home if I had been even half close to being an expert at this talent.

Unfortunately, I’m not this lucky. I’m overloaded with candor. That is unless you pointedly tell me an important personal secret. For some unexplainable reason, I can take this type of confidence to my grave. But, anything else, don’t tell me unless you want others to know.

In addition, I will usually find the simplest ways to say whatever it is. I don’t ‘beat around the bush’. I don’t stonewall. I don’t evade. I don’t deceive. I’m a master at hurting unintentionally.

Supposedly this is a good quality to have. Yet, when the truth just pours out of your mouth before you have a chance to decide how you want it to flow… Well, unless you’ve been there, you just can’t understand how awful it is.

I knew I had this ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease when I was seven years old. It was the last week of February. My mom’s birthday was just days away. My father had taken my brother and I shopping to get my mom’s presents from us. The next morning, I was standing on a chair in the kitchen buttering toast at the counter. Mom asked how yesterday was at school. I told her and then went on to tell her what I did after I came home and she had given me a snack. I told her all about the slippers I got for her, explaining how pretty they were, what color, and so on. It wasn’t until I shut up that I realized I had just spoiled my mom’s birthday for her. I was devastated.

Of course, in reality, she thought I was darling.

Okay, one instance doesn’t make it true for all others, right?

Every time I got in trouble as a kid, there were probably many ways I could have gotten out of the jam looking innocent. But I have ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease. I was the one who ratted on me every single time. I tried to keep the truth hidden, but before three days would go by, I’d be confessing. I was my own worse enemy.

Don’t take candor lightly. It had a sharp blade to it.

§

It is always well to accept your own shortcomings with candor but to regard those of your friends with polite incredulity.
Russell Lynes

 

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15 Replies to “Candor”

  1. Like you, I am an honest person and like to tell it like it is. Straight to the point. But I do remember once I hid one of my brother’s toys somewhere and he couldn’t find it, and he asked me but I didn’t say anything and pointed him in the wrong direction. However, when I’m meeting people for the first time, sometimes I don’t like to be honest about myself to them – because, just who the heck am I talking to? It’s these instances where I don’t hesitate to tell white lies or half truths. For instance, when someone asks where do I live and they rub me the wrong way, I would reply with a very general answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t tell a lot to strangers either. I just tell them something like “It doesn’t matter right now, does it?”, putting the ball back into their court. Or I’ll say, “I don’t feel comfortable talking about it with you yet.”, letting them know there may be a time in the future when I will tell them. There are those times though when I’m a little blunt saying, “Don’t go there.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Body language can tell you a lot (I often use it in my stories). I’m always amazed at the people who shake their heads No as they’re saying Yes. Duh. That’s a lot less subtle than the ‘looking up to the left means they’re lying’ trick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Still, they can and do tell the lies. And chances are they don’t feel guilty because they’ve told themselves they’re sparing someone’s feels. With me, the guilt of telling the lie outweighs that.

      Like

  3. Glynis, I think this is a great place to draw from when creating a story character. You described this trait in wonderful depth, and of course, we find it easier to do so when we have years of experience (albeit painful ones) to flesh out the traits with. Hope you’re able to use your great strengths and your ‘wish you could bury them’ faults in your writing.
    Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Drawing traits from personal experience is the only way I feel comfortable with. By personal experience I do mean using the traits of people I’ve known for years. I guess there won’t be any dances for my characters. 😉

      Like

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