Sunday, August 1, 2010

Emotionally Honest

People might not remember the words you tell them, but will surely remember the way you made them feel. Love is a by-product of feelings.

We are all human beings. Since, we live a life that comprises of feelings, sometimes we come across junctions where it is difficult to differentiate the myriad of multiple feelings that is felt.

What to feel? When to feel it? Is it right to feel this way? Or, should I be feeling the other way? Is there anything like feeling the right feeling? I ask myself this question.  

All I know is one cannot tell someone to feel a certain way.

Feelings come from within. It is a result of interpretations. So, one must refrain from asking others to not feel a certain way, and rather take a step up and tackle the stimulus to that feeling.

Interpretations can be classified as being correct and incorrect. Feelings cannot. So, do not toil with one’s feelings. They are very personal and reflect one’s self-being. 

I am thinking of one of those numerous factors that determine one’s feelings. Today, the one that stands out the most to me is – fear. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of coming across as being unloving and uncaring. Fear manipulates OR rather tarnishes original and appropriate feelings.

When you really care for someone, you do not want to hurt them. So, you subconsciously develop this fear of hurting your loved one. To avoid hurting someone, honesty is compromised and disguised as being careful and caring. But, when honesty gets on the side walk, things may slip downhill.

I love people who love back and care. And, the following section is simply my way of handling such dilemmas in hand.

People who know me well know my utmost priority is honesty. When I feel something, I express it. I do not like to veil my comments. I call a spade, a spade. I call a rusty spade, a rusty spade.

Therefore, when I complement someone, I mean it from the bottom of my heart. At the same time, when I critique someone, it means that I am not satisfied with what I read/see. Mostly, I accompany these with my personal suggestions.

Many a time people have asked me about my nature that has been termed rude. I believe rude is an interpretation. If I alert someone of their unmatched party wear in private, I am being honest with myself and to the person I am sharing my opinion with. Now, s/he can appreciate the honesty OR call me rude. But, in my perspective, I was being considerate and honest.

On the other hand, if I express my opinion publicly, I subject the other person to humiliation, which can serve as an insult and be termed as inconsiderate and rude.
My point is that one must not compromise on honesty. Say what’s on your mind. But, the tactfulness lies in the tone of voice, the timing and the atmosphere.

For instance (based on a true experiment):

Instead of saying this -

“Oii, you dressed like a hobo! You sacked OR something? What on earth prompted you combine them two colours you jack a**? With that hair cut, you look like a hyena in a costume!”

You can say this –

“Mate, can I have a word? Is this the latest in fashion that I apparently am not aware of. They make you look odd mate. Look at the lining there, don’t you think so? That hair cut is cool, but not for the party with the Queen mate.” 

I have loved. I have cared. But, not once have I compromised on sharing my honest opinion with anyone regardless of being loved OR not.

The only time I become “brutally honest” is when I review music OR cars. I do so, because that is explicitly expected from me. I did not get shortlisted for Wheels and Autocar for no reason.

When honesty is not used whilst sharing an opinion, although the caring attitude undoubtedly glows, emotions get bottled up. Bottled up emotions can unexpectedly burst open. This is not healthy.

Instead, it is better to honestly, though cautiously (in terms of time and tone of voice) express yourself so that your self-respect and dignity remains as a result of voicing your opinion.

You be honest, and let the other person judge and form an opinion of appreciating it OR not. By doing so, if the other person understands you well enough, there is less OR no chance of misunderstanding.

Being honest is an advantageous choice. Regardless of the repercussions, you can remain contented after having been honest. Sometimes you may come across scenarios when you may not be asked for your opinion. Then, you can choose to voluntarily express it. I prefer to stay mum rather than being dishonest OR smudging my honesty away.

When your opinion is asked for, you have been bestowed with a responsibility. Honour it by being honest. If your opinion is not asked for, you can start the game by voluntarily voicing it OR keeping it to yourself. But, one must not compromise on honesty.

Amidst loved ones, there may not be an outright suggestion for speaking your mind. It is because it goes unsaid.  If you love someone, you express your honest opinion to them regardless of being asked for one. It will definitely help them!

Do not fear what others may think of you. It is their opinion of you.

You have your opinions. Express them to honour yourself. It is up to the one whom you have expressed yourself to, to understand OR misunderstand you. You free yourself by expressing yourself and leave the rest to the person to interpret OR misinterpret you.

No matter how harsh it is honesty shows that you care. Timing and tone of speech will lessen the possible hurtful impact. The underlying though glowing subtext of love and care that backs up as the reason for your display of honesty will bring a smile as it will help realization.

Realization renders contentment.       

In this aspect, I love cats. My good friend Annie once told me a fact about cats that I will always remember. She reasoned her love for cats by this - “cats are honest”. A human being may hide their feelings as they dodge and try to decide between honesty, love and care, but a cat does not do so. A cat honestly displays its feelings.

Hmm, on that bombshell, I must conclude by a weird statement – human beings should emotionally behave like cats.      

Photo by Ajey Padival 

Copyright © Ajey Padival 2010 (Brisbane, Australia; +61434360675;

Song for the Week - This instrumental section is played by John Petrucci. It inspired me to write this post. Use the player on the top left hand corner to listen to the music. Switch off the classical piano player below the "Followers" widget.  

15 responses:

Anonymous said...

I am loving what you are writing about. Your email this morning directing me to this post came at the right time! TY :} I just clicked the send button on a email to a friend I felt FEAR, fear that I may have hurt their feelings, not by choice, by not being who they had hoped I was. I love this line " Do not fear what others think of you. It is their opinion!! WOW!! I cannot tell you how much that helped me.. TY so much. Loved the aspect on cats..

Take care. cannot wait for more

Wendilea said...

A very thoughtful post. Honesty is very important, especially self honesty. Care should be taken when giving opinions or advice... solicited or unsolicited, as words can be sharper than swords. I believe that what you put out into the world comes back threefold and feelings are a pretty good gauge of what you are putting out. I'd prefer kindness over honesty and so sometimes silence is the better alternative to opinion. Namaste.

Real Me said...

@Inky - Thanks!! Glad to have helped here.

Real Me said...

@Wendilea - I understand your point. And, as I've mentioned in my post, sometimes, staying quiet is better OR being kind is better than being dishonest. Thanks!

TechnoBabe said...

For me, critiquing someone is the same as giving advice; I will not do it unless I am asked specifically for it. Just because I am being honest is not enough cause to speak openly unless I am asked. Once I am asked and I do give my honest opinion, I give it up. Not mine any longer. Not my business what that person does with it. They might mull it over awhile or not. They might listen to me or not. All I know is I did my part. They asked and I was honest and respectful.

Real Me said...

@TechnoBabe - Exactly! Just abide by honesty and respect and trust the recepients intelligence.

Strawberry Girl said...

Very well thought out Ajey! I think the hardest thing about honesty is being honest with yourself and not being afraid to give an honest opinion... I become afraid to give an honest opinion when I doubt myself and I doubt the other persons reaction to what I am going to say...

SandyCarlson said...

Your posts are so close to the bone because you are so honest. Thank you.

Real Me said...

@Strawberry Girl - I was waiting for your comment. I understand your factor here. Thanks so much!!!

Real Me said...

@Sandy Carlson - Yes, I am. Well, I try to be. I am glad it shows. Thanks!!

SandyCarlson said...

You are so sensitive and wise! Good to read again.

The Write Girl said...

I like the points you make here about honesty and emotions AJ. This is a delicate balance but I believe people are more respected when they are honest. Nicely written here.

Shadow said...

honesty IS vitally important to create, have and keep relationships (of any nature) going. and quite rightfully, it is in how you say it, the timing and the tone. giving an honest opinion, be it praise or critique, in the wrong tone, breaks rather than aids, and thus i personally rather shut up than utter insincere words. great post once again, ajey!

findingmywingsinlife said...

driving down the road on sunday, just as you posted this and this is the conversation between Triana and I:

"Wow" she says.
"Wow what?"
"Ajey..his new post is incredibly insightful."
"I know, he's really intelligent which is why I enjoy talking with him so much. Hey...not fair you're reading it before me, I'm driving!!!"

In other words, you capture the attention of many people with your thoughts and ideas..not just those of us who actually comment. And judging by these comments, you are making a difference in the lives of many, many people around the world and that makes you a beautiful person my friend :)

Scribbling Girl said...

honesty is indeed the greatest virtue one can gift oneself in today's time...being honest to others, to oneself is the best way to believe....a honest person might appear a bit rude but then he is the truest person u can find and if we can grasp that truth the honesty can do wonders....Even i love cats because of that one thing in them....if they like a being they are adorable or else god save u.....they are not the overtly friendly specie for sake of it!

I am loving ur insightful posts keep them coming :)