“When people talk, they lay lines on each other, do a lot of role playing, sidestep, shilly-shally and engage in all manner of vagueness and innuendo. We do this and expect others to do it, yet at the same time we profess to long for the plain truth, for people to say what they mean, simple as that.” – Steven Pinker
Ugh, not that guy…. I’ll pretend to look at this magazine and… Oh, hi Mark! Good to see you! Damn…
Why? Because we don’t want to hurt other peoples feelings or seem unfriendly.
We’ve still got that urge to belong to a community and we need to get along with people. We don’t make it on our own.
Ricky Gervais (creator of “The Office”) made a movie 5 years ago set in a world where lying did not exist until one day one man told the very first lie. It explores how awful a world full of truths could be as well as showing the dangers of telling lies.
This is something each of us needs to find for ourselves. Where are we comfortable drawing the line?
We have a responsibility not to hurt others as well as to being honest.
I had a meeting earlier in the week during which I withheld information. I felt like telling what I thought would not help the situation in any way and might be upsetting.
Fortunately, I had a second to reflect on it when the meeting was disrupted by a lampshade that fell off. I reconsidered and said what I thought. Even though it might not have been popular it did open up the discussion and did something far more important. It built trust. We felt like we could be more open about our thoughts.
Afterwards I felt relief and a little bit of shame too. What if I hadn’t said what I was thinking? What if I had robbed someone of the opportunity to speak their mind by not daring to speak mine?
Then I started thinking of all the times I did speak up and it just went south. People became defensive, people felt hurt, people said “You don’t know what you’re talking about” etc.
I’d like to think that those times were productive for them in some way, but in hindsight those were probably times I just should’ve kept quiet. I did however learn that I either read the people wrong, missed to take something else into account or just didn’t present my views in a palatable way.
So, what to do? Well, take a look at the situation.
Is what the person is doing hurting themselves, you or others? Then tell the truth.
Instead of quotes i’d like to share an excerpt from an interview with Matthew McConaughey on CBS about his role in “Dallas Buyers Club”.
It goes to show that even people we find successful sometimes need to stretch and dare to go beyond their comfort zone:
“For a while,” said Cowan, “the headline on you was the sexy, shirtless guy, living on a beach having a good life, doing a lot of rom-coms. So what changed?”
“What changed? I was going fine in my career, I was enjoying my career,” McConaughey said. “My life started to feel more exciting than my career, which I was happy that it goes that way instead of the other way. But I said, I’m gonna have to stop doing what I’ve been doing.”
“‘Cause that was sort of your fastball.”
“That was my fastball, sure,”
But it was time for a change-up.
“The first thing was saying no to the things that I was doing,” he said. “I got together with my wife. We said, ‘Look, we’re financially okay. We’re gonna eat and pay the rent. It’s gonna be dry for a while. Don’t know how long.’ That was sort of scary. We didn’t know how long.
“I just wanted to spice it up. I wanted to shake things up for myself. I wanted to go down to do some roles that shook my floor, that made me uncomfortable.”
For two years he turned down all the comfortable roles, while waiting for those floor-shaking ones . . . and eventually they came.
He was cast as a hit man in “Killer Joe”; a roving attorney in “The Lincoln Lawyer”; a tree-dwelling eccentric in “Mud”; and a male strip club owner in “Magic Mike.”
“All of a sudden now, I became somebody’s good idea,” McConaughey said.
“It’s like you wiped the slate clean?”
“Right — I un-branded, I think is the best way I could say it,” he added.
Some have called his change the “McConaissance” … whatever it is, it’s made McConaughey as popular as ever.
Although he is decidedly un-sexy in his most-heralded role so far, there is still plenty of passion.
“I’ve been choosing the experience, and I’ve been loving the experience of it,” he said, “and I’ve noticed that if I stick to the process and love the process and what I’m doing, head down, but not thinking about results — I really haven’t been thinking about results for some time — it’s interesting, because now more results are coming my way.”