“If you have something to say about me, say it to my face!” I don’t know that I agree with that (anymore).
In some situations, ignorance is bliss. Sure, there are instances that warrant head-on confrontation. “Get that lettuce out of your teeth,” or “that bra does nothing to support you,” are criticisms that, no matter how rudely stated, are helpful. But there are situations where you don’t like someone or you disagree with their taste or their choices that are better left alone. If people always told you how they felt about you (solicited or unsolicited), imagine how much self-esteem would bottom out. Therapists’ offices would be filled day and night, with lines wrapping around the block.
After 26 years, I have finally learned a thing or two about tact and diplomacy. I have always said what’s on my mind, but I am finally realizing there is a time, a place, and an audience in which it’s best to keep my mouth shut. I let some things come in one ear and stay there, rather than exiting through my mouth.
The other day someone walked into my cubicle and asked, “are you a gossip girl?” My head was spinning with images of Blake Lively and Chace Crawford, so I really had no idea how to answer that. She could sense from my dreamy look (I was imagining being young, attractive, and rich in New York City) that I had no idea what she was asking. “Do you gossip?” she rephrased. “Oh,” I sputtered, returning to the mundane moment that it was from my fantasy world. “No, of course not. Do you think anyone talks to me?” The answer was apparently satisfactory, but only because it was true.
And I’ve found a joy in being told secrets. I love the power of knowing something that everyone else is exempt from. I only don’t like that I didn’t discover this years ago.