Why is it considered good manners to conceal someone’s bad behavior?
I’ve seen a topic circulate on social media: If you wore a warning label instead of a name tag what would it say? I guess you can put “Outspoken” on mine.
I have been called that plenty of times in my life. Sometimes by people who admire my ability to advocate for myself and sometimes by people who want to shut me up because my honesty threatens their own carefully curated world view.
For the record, I don’t see myself as outspoken, just…spoken.
When I was a small child and my grandmother read me The Emperor’s New Clothes it provided a meaningful life lesson. The little boy at the parade who pointed a finger and announced that the emperor was naked served as a great example to me. What in the hell was wrong with the rest of those fools??? I too would have just said it: Dude, you’re naked and while that’s fine and I don’t need you to be clothed, the fact is you are naked, everyone sees it, you are fooling nobody but yourself and I’m gonna tell you because apparently nobody else will.
I have never seen any good come from polite silence and so, I say it: from unabashed compliments, admissions of my own flaws, gushing affection, to hard truths about life as I see them, my dislike for a selfish person specifically, my intolerance of bullies generally, my desire for you to s.t.f.u. about your bullshit opinion regarding my life and what you think I might or might not need to be doing to live/look/eat/worship/vote like you.
I won’t sit on a board or committee or at a family dinner table and watch some selfish s.o.b. manipulate the group, mock an innocent, undermine good will, bully behind a smile. I won’t stay quiet about it. I won’t ever try to speak your mind for you but I damned well will speak mine. And if you think it’s rude I would counter that it is necessary. Maya Angelou is quoted as saying:”You teach people how to treat you” and I’ll teach you that if you intend to be mean and selfish you will find no safe harbor in my company.
So, call me out for being the cage shaker, call me outspoken and make me a name tag. I’ll wear it.