Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dilemmas- speaking up v. being nice

Frequently in this town I face a huge dilemma, should I speak up about why I think someone is being stupid or should I say nothing (since I have nothing nice to say).  I am one of those people who can be brutally honest or rather tactful (assuming I am willing to put the energy into such an endeavor).  These warring parts of my personality have both caused their fair share of trouble in my life.  Silence is often interpreted as complicity, but speaking up is often taken as being mean.

Should I tell someone who is complaining that they can't find a house in the $750,000 to $1,000,000 dollar range are being whiny.  As much as I love this place, and would like to make this our permanent home, I can't afford a house here, and on top of it, I have been seeing more homeless people walking around town, often just looking for a sheltered area to spend the night. Typically, I just bite my tongue and hope the blood isn't running down my chin.  When somebody asks if I think the teacher is right about their child being a bully, should I say "Hell yes, your little monster is only a few steps away from torturing small animals, but that's to be expected from the spawn of someone like you", or should I stay out of it?

Being of the less privileged set in a community of the over privileged and under compassionate often leaves be rubbed raw by callousness and irritated by snobbery.  Of course, I'm being my own brand of snob right now, so I suppose it's all relative.  At this point, my husband usually laughs at my frequently accurate (sometimes over dramatized), but bitingly cruel assessments of my fellow citizens; he's no help, since he finds it safest to say nothing.  I choke on the words I swallow back, and I wonder if that's because I should be calling "bullshit" on some of these issues, or if it's my punishment for being nasty.  I try to live up to the rule of "Harm none", but this is a bit of a grey area: do I do more harm by allowing people to believe that they are entitled to callousness, whining and arrogance, or do I teach them that not every one sees things the way they do.  Is it my job, to hold up a mirror for them to see themselves in?  Am I over thinking this?

When faced with those situations that leave praying for the ground to open up and swallow you before you have to answer, what do you do?  Do you keep silent, smile and nod, while mentally rolling your eyes?  Do you find a more politically correct way of stating your opinion, or do you just let loose wit the truth as you see it?

5 comments:

  1. Most often I do not hesitate saying what I think, but in a sensitive, tactful way. No point in making more enemies. I like for example when you said someone whining about not being able to afford an million dollar house, I would say something like,"I'm sorry to hear that you can't afford that house, but it could be worse you could not be able to get any house or let alone have any place to live..I know I'm thankful for what I have..it can always be worse" Most people will stop and feel silly for being superfical and will agree with you. I have learned the art of being diplomatic. Don't get me wrong you have read my blog I can get very fiesty when needed, but when dealing with people in everyday situations about normal stuff, I try to be a person of compassion and empathy, I think that alone influences people at least for a moment. Sorry for such a long comment...I hope my comment was helpful.

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  2. Thanks for keeping your head, Delphi. My diplomacy this week is on vacation. It will return next week to an overwhelming schedule.

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  3. I'm sorry things are so overwhelming at the moment and I hope things get better. Also the only reason I can keep my head with normal people is because my family is full of selfish, egotistical, bi-polar nuts...but what can you do their family...lol I'll tell you something though makes other people seem tame...lol Sending tons of good mojo your way*

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  4. LORD I can't TOTALLY relate! I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut or at least tactful when it comes to stupidity or snobbery. I have yet to find a middle, but I figure if everyone knows what to expect from me then they will know not to do stupid things in my presence! LOL! Hello! New follower from Pagan Team on etsy! I look forward to a new friendship!! Feel free to follow me as well if you'd like! Bright Blessings!

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