No but yeah but no but yeah.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those people who say yes and mean yes and those who say yes and mean no or maybe. How can you tell them apart? You can't.
Just how honest is too honest? As a straight shooter, tell-it-like-it-is advocate I am constantly under fire to watch my mouth and be more diplomatic in expressing my thoughts and feelings. As a rule, I do not volunteer my opinion on sensitive issues or to sensitive people unless asked. Questions such as 'how do I look?', 'Am I fat?' are best directed at other people unless you really do want to know the answer. I don't see the point of lying unless I am going to get into trouble for telling the truth and so the only two people I tell fibs to are the traffic police and my mother.
Is it true that sometimes people ask you an apparently straightforward question but don't really want you to be honest with them? This concept really baffles me. If someone asks me whether they look fat and they look like a right hippo, they can rest assured that all their doubts on the issue will be allayed and what they will come to possess is the total knowledge that they are fat.
I have a friend who is a self-confessed two face and she is proud of it. In order to avoid hurting your feelings she will tell you the very thing you want to hear and then tell her friends the truth when your back is turned. I never ask her opinion on anything.
I have another friend who finds it extremely difficult to say no. This would be a wonderful personality trait if she actually intended to do the thing she has promised you. If I cannot do something I usually say no upfront because I'd rather do that than have to avoid phone calls and make up excuses and generally be a dodgy fellow.
I understand that you should sugar coat things sometimes,I'm not completely tactless. You should refuse the impossible nicely. An acquaintance asked me once to bring back an overweight suitcase for them because they already had two bags and I had just one. Plus they were leaving that night and I was leaving in a couple of days. Alarm bells immediately started going off in my head and I could all but taste prison food in my mouth as I was having flash forwards of the people at customs finding pure cocaine in the lining of the bag.I told him N to the O plus I do not know you from Adam. Okay not in those words, but I did make sure he knew why I refused to do it. I could not vouch for what the bag contained and I was not prepared find out.
I told this story to a friend and she said I should have said yes at first and proceeded to screen all my calls till the appointed time of departure. This appears to be expected behaviour.Another time my colleague asked me to take some money to her sister in the UK because she wanted to save money on the bank transfer charges. Once again I had flash forwards of forgetting the money in Abuja or leaving my hand bag on the plane and having to explain how I came to no longer be in possession of the cash. I could not do it. I did not think I knew her well enough for her not to think I was a liar and a thief and every other name in her language she would certainly call me if I told her I had lost the 2000 pounds. Of course I politely declined outlining the above explanation and what do you know this woman starts arguing with me talking about how rude it is to say no pointblank, how can I say we do not know each other that well and all sorts of Christian Religious Studies.
I am now confused,should I reverse and rewrite 20 something odd years of honest intentions and forthright behaviour just to please the faint hearted or are there many more people like me who just wanna hear to truth and have a place to turn for a good dose of it?