Sunday, November 18, 2007

Accidental Lesson On Frankness

One of the things my friends love about me is my courage to speak my mind and deliver cold facts the way they are and not the way they want them to hear. I can be brutally frank when the need to be arises. I can give it hard and strong when I'm asked for it, and I make no excuses. The underlying principle being, I want my friends to be harshly honest to me as well.

Yesterday at lunch, I overheard my friends from work talking about some family matters. One of them, wanting to vent, opened up to the group an sms that he received in the morning that made him upset. And of course, when one opens up a predicament to a group of highly-opiniated and loquacious people, he consequently opens himself up to a plethora of thoughts and sentiments --- some useful, others just an utter waste of time.

What caught my attention was how our friend, Julie, before delivering her piece, said "I know this is mean, but come to think of it..."

Come to think of it, brutal frakness and harsh honesty are good when they serve their purpose (which often do, so long as the recipient has a broad understanding and mature sensibility); but given the proper prologue, it can be less painful --- less harsh and less brutal, without diminishing its meaning. It's like having your dentist tell you before he extracts that rotting molar, "This will hurt. But it will do you good." He prepares you for the pain. Then it doesn't hurt as much as you'd expected it to.

Simon Cowell, the lord of brutal frakness

And come to think of it, I never did that. I was never that considerate dentist. Come to think of it even further, I never really considered until now that brutal isn't the only adjective apt to modify frankness.

Come to think of it, I came to think of it.