Sunday, 11 March 2012

Saying what you mean, meaning what you say...

I have a younger female friend who is a people pleaser. I've accepted that this is who she is and that I can't change that... but every now and then I have a problem with it. And the reason I have a problem with it is because she will often say things that she doesn't mean, just so that she doesn't have to offend or upset anyone.

For instance, she will say she likes something, when she clearly doesn't. Or she will say that she's going to do something / go somewhere - even if she has no intention of doing it. And she just can't comprehend that every insincere word she utters is a blatant LIE.

Trying to win a perpetual popularity contest must be exhausting. In her case, she's never her authentic self, always portraying herself to be who others want her to be. Fortunately some of us can see through all the bull-shit.

Not that I think that I am any better than she is. I'm all too aware that I can be too direct and offensive to those with much more delicate constitutions. But how do you draw the line between tact, diplomacy and honesty? Surely there must be a difference between social nicety and deceit? Or maybe not. I could never say that I like something when I don't. I just can't lie pretend and it irritates me when others do.

I clearly missed that class at charm school.

On a brighter note, I found this on Facebook. It's quite funny and applicable to a few other cultures too (click on image for full visual):


  1. One item on that (excellent and accurate) table is that "quite good" has several meanings in Brit-speak (depending often on the tone) but to Americans, it always means "very good". I've heard many Americans addressing a British audience and saying their product/service is "quite good."

  2. In business I am very much like your friend... until I snap and then everyone seems shocked. :)

  3. Is your friend reading this ? The table sounds a lot like someone I know :p

  4. Hah, I wish someone would make one for what Australians say and what they mean! I could use it sometimes.

  5. Hah, she sounds like a real kiss-ass! How about actually asking her to kiss your bottom? Would she able to give a clear refusal?

  6. I really can't stand people who ceaselessly pander.

  7. Hope the crowd-pleasing thing is just a phase - I went through one (when dealing with some circles) when I was younger. I've since done almost a complete 180....

  8. Ha, sounds like how I've been feeling about myself lately - a complete flake. I've been driving family and friends nuts with my ever-changing intentions, plans, etc, and am currently just hanging on and hoping that this is all just an unusual, tumultuous, self-doubting phase that will soon come to pass. D-Man didn't get the job in London, so we're back to square 1, and I'm back to wondering what my next step needs to be.

  9. Love the attachment.

    I suppose some people just want to avoid confrontation - but then saying that you like something when you clearly don't is taking it a bit too far. I don't know how young the person you mentioned is, but I kind of think that some of them in their late teens kind of try to fit in with their peers and end up not completely being themselves - sorta noticed this in first year uni. It's probably just a phase too.

  10. I missed charm school too. I don't think you need to draw a line, Azra. Just be yourself. If they don't like it, you don't need them. Plain and simple. There's nothing special to it. Of course, I didn't go to charm school. ;)

  11. On this topic, is it a standard female thing to give men instructions in a way that indicates that men have a choice?

    For example: "Do you want to wash the dishes?" (Instead of outright telling him to wash the dishes.)

  12. List was hilarious. "You're an idiot", haha.

    Japanese culture is very similar, a lot of bowing and not saying what you mean. Very tricky.

  13. Colin
    I'm sure there are several meanings to some of the sayings. In much the same way "Coja" means "a taxi" in Spain and "whore" in Latin America ;)

    It's different when you're trying to be nice and accommodating and people want to take advantage of you. I do know that at least you have your own opinions :)

    I don't think she read this... if she did then good - she needs to know ;)

    I'm guessing just about every nation could put together a list like that :)

    I'm sure she'd kiss my ass if I asked her to! ;P

    No respect for the spineless :)

    Roving Retorter
    That's just my point, if she was young I'd understand... but she isn't. Some self-respect is urgently needed!

    Believe me, you're nothing like her. Your biggest and only problem is that you lack patience (my problem too) and this is mainly out of fear. Relax, hold on, pray. Un abrazo muy fuerte, amiga xx

    Terra Shield
    If she was much younger I would have understood her insecurity... but she's not that much younger than I am.

    Maybe we should go to charm school? Although, I can't lie to save my life ;P

    haha... well, that's an intelligent woman. She's giving you the chance to believe the decision was yours haha :)

    Culture is weird - and so similar in many ways :)