Few people can successfully sail through life without receiving a single piece of constructive criticism or brutal honesty. Some people can become so driven to be brutally honest, however, that they lose perspective on when such advice is not strictly necessary or helpful. Some brutal honesty delivered by a trusted friend or mentor can be the push a person needs to effect a positive change, but some people enjoy being brutally honest simply for the brutality.
One reason a person may become brutally honest is upbringing. He or she may be the product of a hypercritical set of parents who used harsh criticism as a motivational tool. There may not have been many examples of discretion or tact when it came to expressing opinions of others. A parent or sibling may have looked at a piece of artwork and pointed out all of the flaws instead of praising the child for his or creativity or originality. This negative, critical programming from childhood may survive into adulthood as a brutally honest demeanor.
Some people become brutally honest as a defense mechanism to deflect criticism of their own deficiencies or shortcomings. By putting on a good offense through brutal honesty, they minimize the risk of others judging them equally as harshly. These people often seek out careers as professional critics or judges, strongly believing the only way to help professionals to improve is to be brutally honest. Harsh criticism is seen as a necessary evil, not a lack of tact.
For others, being brutally honest signifies a lack of emotional growth. Many people would love to be brutally honest more often, but a sense of propriety keeps them from overstepping their bounds. Some people who pride themselves on their brutal honesty, however, have a poorly developed social filter when it comes to tact and politeness. They aren’t always aware that their critical comments could be personally hurtful or socially embarrassing. They may feel justified by publicly saying what others were thinking privately, but they simply lack the sense of propriety which should prevent such incidents.
Some famous celebrities known for their brutal honesty, such as the acerbic British judge Simon Cowell on American Idol, may do it to prevent future disappointment in an industry rife with even harsher critics. Some may be brutally honest because they believe the recipient won’t take criticism seriously unless provoked or shocked. There may even be some people who are brutally honest simply for the sake of watching other people suffer emotional blows from harsh criticism, whether or not the critique has any actual basis in fact.
Examples? I have been called a bitch on many occasions. Most of the time it is by someone who simply is turning a blind eye to their own personality flaws or someone who takes offense to my refusal to compromise my own beliefs and opinions.
Like just about every woman on this planet, I have been called a bitch by a man when I refused his advances, or when questioned about my refusal to interact with him on any level. In these situations it is quite clear by the person’s tone of voice that they are of the opinion that my being a bitch is a negative thing. I see it as doing them a favor. Most of us know of at least one man who goes through life completely oblivious to the fact that he is repulsive to the vast majority of the women he meets.
For example, I was recently in a bar with a friend when a man approached me and offered to buy me a drink. I tactfully declined stating that I already had a drink, thanked him for his offer, and resumed my conversation with my friend. He did not retreat, instead changing his tactics by asking me if I would like to dance. Once again I refused, politely, and went back to my conversation. At that point he interrupted again with an invitation to leave the bar, and go have dinner with him. It was at that moment that I realized this man would not leave, so I opted to use a different approach: I asked him to please explain to me what was compelling him to make an ass of himself by continuing with his one-sided flirtation. I pointed out to him that I was well aware that a guy conducts himself in his manner clearly had no interest in anything outside of a woman’s panties. I let him know that it was highly unlikely that I would ever be willing to have sex with him, but in the event that he grew some hair, brushed his teeth, applied deodorant and donned clean clothes, or every other male on Earth vanished, I would reconsider his offers.
While I am well aware that my response was abrupt, I don’t believe it was unwarranted. The man wouldn’t take a polite NO for an answer. He clearly had no idea how offensive he was in both manner and appearance. I believe that by pointing out these reasons I was doing him a favor as he was mislead in his beliefs that women find pushy, short, bald, smelly men with poor taste in clothes attractive. How he came to this conclusion in this day and age boggles me. He approaches women that he finds sexually “attractive” with NO realization that anyone who would return his advances would have to find HIM attractive. Let’s face it: guys like this do not initiate interactions with complete strangers because they think the woman has a sound character.
The initial reason for a person to approach a total stranger is based on physical attraction. Because I was honest about what I found physically UNATTRACTIVE about him, he labeled me a bitch. I have always held the opinion that by NOT being honest with someone, (whether or not the truth was what they wanted to hear), I am doing them more of a disservice than by just being brutally straightforward. Too many women are dishonest and put a man’s immediate feelings first. They are willing to ridicule him behind his back, but not tell him the outright truth. This kind of woman will fake an orgasm and tell a guy he was great, when in reality she mentally wrote her grocery list. She’ll then laugh about it with her girlfriends at the bar the next night. The guy will then go through life employing the same sexual techniques thinking they were successful and in doing this, he will be the brunt of many jokes by the women he has slept with.
Don’t be afraid of being called a Bitch. I say if a man sucks in bed, let him know! The next time a girl in the office asks you if she looks fat in her skirt, tell her the truth! If at the end of a particularly horrible date a guy asks you if he could call you, say “No”! If we all just try to tap-dance around the truth and just hope someone else will tell them, they will continue to go through life making asses of themselves when the truth MIGHT help them improve, thus possibly eliminate future heartaches for them and at the very least, future headaches for you.