Honesty is really more of a guideline.

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Random

[I give credit for the inspiration for this post to Crispin Glover and his presentation this weekend.]

We like to say that honesty is the best policy, but how honest are we really?  I’d like to say that if someone knows about 90% of me, then that’s about honest enough. Most people probably only know 50% or less about me.  It’s not that I’m hiding some great secrets or anything. I don’t have any bodies buried in the backyard.  I simply don’t share everything there is to know about me, and I am sensitive to my audience, so to speak.

For example, my boss may or may not realize that I collect comic books.  Am I hiding that from her?  No, I’m not.  It’s one of those things that I simply don’t bring up in regular conversation, but at the same time, I wouldn’t deny it if I was asked.  I guess you could say that I’m strategically honest.  I generally avoid topics that I know the other party isn’t that interested in.  I’m also generally pretty good about not volunteering information. If someone asks, fine, but I’m not usually one to just blurt out everything little thing that I did this weekend.

I think that part of strategic honesty is having an awareness of how much people are really paying attention.  I’ll use Facebook versus Twitter as an example.  There are some things that I’ll post on Twitter that I would definitely not post on Facebook.  Sure, my tweets are public, and anyone can see them.  I know, tho, that most of the people that I know on Facebook don’t follow me on Twitter, are confused about Twitter, don’t see the point in Twitter, etc.  That allows me some freedom to express myself in a public setting knowing that most of the people that I know aren’t even aware of it.  Again, these aren’t details that I would deny; it’s just something that I choose not to shine as bright of a light on, so to speak.

While there are some things that are discoverable about me that I would not deny, there are some things that I keep to myself.  For example, I hate political correctness; however, it’s unlikely that you will ever find out all of the ways in which I’m politically incorrect.  I don’t feel that honesty obligates me to share every thought and opinion that I have. I’m smart enough to know to hold some things back. Do I feel repressed about this?  Not really.  It leaves something that is just for me.

Bottom line – If you’re a good stalker and really pay attention, you might know 90% or even 95% of me.  I’m going to save at least 5 to 10% just for me… until I get old and have dementia and just say whatever the hell I’m thinking.  Until then, tho, you’ll just have to be happy with knowing between 50 to 90% of what I’m really thinking/what my opinion really is.

How does that make you feel?

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