Reverb10: Appreciate

This post is part of the online initiative of  Reverb10. One prompt a day for each day of December. You can find all of my Reverb10 posts here .

*  *  *

Prompt: Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

I think the one thing that I really have come to appreciate this year is honesty.

I had a penfriend once who completely out of the blue send me a letter saying that she was really sad but needed to end our correspondence. I was shocked at first and very hurt and disappointed, because there had not been any indication prior to this letter that would have hinted at her not being interested in our correspondence anymore. I didn’t understand why and how she could be so mean to just end our friendship like this, without actually giving me a real reason. But you know what? In the end, I really learned to appreciate her honesty. She saved me from months, possibly years of trying to figure out why she didn’t respond to my letters anymore and what might have happened to her. She really taught me at an early age that honesty is always, always better than whitewashing the situation.

Honesty might sounds like a pretty obvious concept to some people, but you have no idea how much BS I had to deal with this year, just because people couldn’t be honest and upfront with me.

I mean, is it really that hard?

I take honest words that hurt now over any carefully-phrased misleading words that hurt (a hell lot more) later any day!

I always contributed some of my disappointments this last year to the fact that I am European and we are generally more direct and straight-forward in our relationships, but that theory does not completely hold because I’ve also had disappointments with other Europeans that kept “beating around the bush” when it would have (and could have) been much easier just to say it like it is.

In general, I am pretty good about reading other people and being able to tell when somebody needs a way out. What I don’t understand is: if I make it is easy for them and pretty much put words in their mouth to get out of a situation, why don’t they take my offer?

Why do they still insist that they do want to __________(fill in blank), when I just gave them the perfect excuse to get out of the obligation? Why don’t they just say “Sorry, but I don’t think so”?

I know, being honest with someone can be hard and often very unpleasant, but here is what I don’t understand: completely catching somebody off guard with an honest statement, is one thing, but pretty much just having to say “yes”  to the excuse that I present you, is another.

I usually tend to give people the benefit of the doubt one too many times, so when they insist that they “really, really know where I’m coming from” (most people have no idea where I am coming from!), that they want to “be friends” and “hang out with me”, I get my hopes up. Only to be repeatedly disappointed, when in reality, they have no intention of doing so.  I have a really tough time dealing with people, who can’t just cut the crap and tell me what they really think. Avoidance/ignorance drives me up the freakin’ wall.
This has nothing to do with politeness, I think this is first class asshole behavior.

So, this past year I really have come to appreciate honesty. I respect people who can be candid and straight-forward so, so much more than people who just try to leave a good impression, but, in fact, leave you with a bad aftertaste in your mouth. It’s better to make a painful break than draw out the agony.

  1. Yes! I could have written this!
    .-= Lauren blogged this: Early Christmas Present =-.

  2. Amen on being direct and straight-forward! We need to meet soon! :)

  3. And this is one more in the ever-growing list of reasons you and I neet to get together one day. :) It never ceases to amaze me how some people will insist on creating a crapload of BS rather than simply being honest. I think a lot of it probably has to do with being scared of a reaction – but in the grand scheme of things, a reaction will blow over, but at least everyone will have been completely open with each other, rather than perpetuating a lot of unnecessary worry, secrets, wonderings etc. Good for you for keeping it real!
    .-= Emily Jane blogged this: Protected- The Stain on a Sea of Snow emilyjaneatlivedotca for password =-.

  4. I have one woman, who began as a pen friend when I was 13 years old. No Internet then. Anyway, over the years we have written, called, sen each other and now with Verizon, we’ve become phone friends too.
    My heart would be shattered.
    But I guess, honesty is best isn’t it. Even if it hurts. Although, our mutual friend is going through something so painful and I just hate that.

  5. Honesty is a great thing to value — and I think honesty CAN be delivered nicely and not with cruel intentions.

  6. Oh man I totally feel you on this one!! This is something I’ve been learning in the past few years especially, when it comes to myself. I’ve had to put myself in awkward situations where I have to be completely honest and it is soooo uncomfortable and in some cases the people are really upset at first. But I’m learning that is ALWAYS easier than like you said, dragging things out. At least with honesty the issues at hand can be dealt with immediately and quickly, and the sooner that happens, the sooner healing can begin. Great post! <3
    .-= Lisa blogged this: red lentil soup with curry and coconut milk =-.

  7. Yes! Honestly is so, so important. I’ve found out that its better to just be up front and to the point. Its so much easier.

  8. It’s like band-aid removal. Just rip it off and end the pain instead of peeling it off slowly.
    .-= terra blogged this: reverb10 The Best Parts of You =-.

  9. I know what you mean. I can’t explain how much I hate it when people answer “maybe” to a facebook invitation to a party. If you can’t go, just tell me no! I will never EVER say I will maybe go to something unless I honestly mean maybe. And then I tell them the situation which may prevent me from going and update them on that!

    I’m not the type to say to someone “oh we should totally get together” and then have no intention on following through. There is a girl from my high school and whenever I used to see her she would say how we should get together. I really wanted to say something to the effect of “if we really wanted to stay friends, don’t you think we would have made an effort” but it just seemed to straight-forward and easily taken the wrong way and I knew she would never follow through. I would just make an noncommittal nod and continue on my way.
    .-= Sheryl blogged this: One Year Ago Today =-.

  10. I agree. I’ll take hurtful honesty and truth over a sweetened lie any day. It’s just better in long run.

Comments are closed.