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Old 05-14-2014, 04:36 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hmmm, that was a surprisingly entertaining article.

Jeesh, I don't know if we should blurt out whatever our mind is thinking *all* the time. First of all because I'm not sure if our audience will benefit from it, second because I'm not sure our audience can always be trusted with the information, and third because not everything our mind thinks is 100% true. I mean, just think of the weird shit we dream about at night. Our mind doesn't always come up with truth. It experiments a lot with various kinds of bullshit, possibly as a way to probe for new angles for viewing the truth.

I will say that I have the most fun with the relationships in which I feel (mostly/relatively) free to blurt out whatever, without having to worry about repercussions. Like the conversations between A.J. Jacobs and Brad Blanton. They almost seem to have a two-stooges act going, an apathy about the consequences of their words that quickly becomes friendly banter. I guess if I thought one of them was starting to be mean on purpose, I wouldn't think it was so funny, but as far as I could tell that's not what they were doing (most of the time anyway).

Many's the time I've heard someone say, "I'm just being honest," and thought to myself, "I believe that true honesty tends to be merciful. The harsh stuff that comes out of our mouths tends to issue from the bullshit part of our minds: the reptilian part, the part that reacts without thinking, hoping to triumph by beating our perceived opponent into submission." How many of us can say that we have uttered something in a moment of anger that we later regretted? even, that we realized we didn't even mean -- not really? that it was the anger talking, more than it was the real us? I can certainly confess to having done that, many's the time.

As it happens, Tristan Taormino is less than thrilled with Radical Honesty per se, at least it looks that way from the following passages in the book "Opening Up:"

Quote:
"I don't subscribe to Radical Honesty as a whole, and Blanton himself admits you have to do it completely or it doesn't work. I believe it is an egotistical and confrontational style of communication. It isn't fair or useful to share everything with someone who doesn't want to hear it, is not ready to hear it, or doesn't have the skills to process the information."
-- Tristan Taormino, "Opening Up" (p. 44)
Quote:
"It's often just brutal, and it encourages a nonrelational way of communicating that's totally self-involved. We've seen people use it as a club for beating up their partners. They'll say, 'I'm just being honest,' or 'I'm just allowing you to know what my needs are or my hurts are.' They're often completely oblivious about how that message is being received and have no willingness to take any responsibility for the damage they've done, because being 'honest' gives them an excuse."
-- Patricia Johnson, "Opening Up" (p. 44)
Quote:
"Folks who practice Radical Honesty may see kindness as sugar-coating, but I believe it's a necessary component of compassionate communication."
-- Tristan Taormino, "Opening Up" (p. 45)
I guess my take on it is that a larger amount of truthfulness would be good for our society and our world, but I also think that, especially when we are discussing some kind of a hot-button topic, we need to carefully analyze what we are going to say so that the honest part of our message can be received by our audience. Not that we'll always succeed, but we need to try. In order to be truly honest, our communication also has to be truly humane ... I guess is how we could sum up my opinion on the subject.

So, I guess I think we should all try to be both nicer and more honest at the same time. Can't be done? The two virtues don't always exist in the same space? Maybe not, but I'm thinking that they do -- by definition -- at least 99% of the time. Maybe we're just not using enough imagination to see the 99%?
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