I just thought I ought to clear a particular viewpoint up while I still can, owing to my recent increased activity (and I suppose “success”, given that I’ve been receiving messages) on OkCupid. I also came to the realisation that I have to do a better job of getting my points across and arguing my cases. I’ve been listening to Tom Leykis clips on Youtube, as part of my recent engrossment in MRA, and realised that it’s almost irrelevant what your stance is, as long as you can back yourself up.
I’ve often expressed my dislike of silent treatment, which I’ve often said is the most common way that people – not just women – deal with difficult situations. I understand that silent treatment may be necessary when dealing with certain kinds of people, but I think it should always be used as a last resort, not the first. Silent treatment is cowardly, selfish, and I believe a major cause of unhappiness and unnecessary anger.
But I also remember saying in another post – my Top 5 Most Bull**** Rejection Lines – that I would rather have silent treatment as a response, meaning things aren’t going to go anywhere because the other person decided they wouldn’t, than be fed a cliché or platitude.
When I refer to canned lines, clichés and platitudes, I’m also including fake apologies and “good luck” wishes. Try to understand where I’m coming from: these are things people tell other people to try and sound friendly, relieve themselves of guilt, and absolve themselves of any responsibility for how the other person feels.
Having heard these lines way too many times, and then seeing the hypocritical actions of people who dish them out (many of these people effectively becoming cock-blockers), I take them as insults. Do you appreciate it when someone ends a conversation with a drippingly condescending “sorry“? I sure as hell don’t.
Far more appreciated than either of these in my book, but often just as hurtful, is the honest truth. And I realise that certain people are incapable of telling the truth, and they’re happy to be that way. But I would definitely rather hear the honest truth than silent treatment, and especially over canned lines.
Note that I said the honest truth. A lot of people confuse honesty (expressing how you really feel) with speaking one’s mind (basically saying the first thing that pops into your head, otherwise known as verbal diarrhoea). They’ll say the meanest, nastiest things to someone, and then add as a defence mechanism, “just being honest”.
The honest truth, as far as I know, is simply telling someone how you feel. If you don’t like someone or something, or you don’t want to do something, just say so. And that’s it.
I figure most people are incapable of telling the honest truth for one reason: being honest means taking ownership. It’s about acknowledging that you feel a certain way about someone or something, and owning that opinion. Compare the effect of “I don’t find you attractive” (telling the honest truth) to “you’re ugly” (being nasty), or “I don’t think we click” (being dishonest, but that’s another topic).
Some people will be worried about what would happen if they actually told the truth, instead of lying or trying to spin things, in terms of the other person’s reaction. I would argue that they’re only thinking of themselves. As long as you’re being clear about how you feel, the other person’s reaction is their choice. Besides, they would most likely have a much worse reaction if they found out they were being lied to or ignored.
There’s no doubt that hearing the honest truth is often painful, even more so than being ignored or being fed bullshit. But in my experience, people recover a lot more quickly, and are able to move on faster, after hearing the truth. And if we’re really trying not to “hurt people’s feelings” like we’re claiming to be, instead of trying to look and feel good, isn’t that what we should be doing?
I think people recover faster from being told the truth because it’s the only way to obtain closure. If you think about it: people know where they stand once they hear the truth, and they’re aware of what someone else decided is “not going to happen”. When they’re given stupid canned lines, and especially silent treatment, there’s no closure: there are always going to be questions asked that won’t receive any answers, and that always causes more problems than it solves.
It would be really interesting to hear from people who think the opposite: that silent treatment, being dishonest or feeding people clichés and platitudes are the better options.