Honesty v Courtesy. Who's the Winner?

I was a woman who absolutely, undoubtedly, without a question valued courtesy over honesty. Here's my perspective on this. If a girl asks me if the orange dress looks good on her or not, why should I tell her otherwise? She already puts it on. In the back of her mind, despite asking for my opinion, she already knows that whether or not I like it, there's a very high chance that she'll be wearing that dress tonight. I mean, if she feels good in it...then why the hell not? Okay, sure. Orange dress = harmless, we get it. However, let's take this small example and place it on a larger scale. What if it was something more harmful? Example: Your friend has adopted a poor eating habit and is packing on a lot of weight. Would you tell him or her the truth? Or would you turn the other way and pretend that s/he is making the right lifestyle choices? Another example. If your best friend is dating someone who emotionally and physically abuses him/her, would you do something about it? More importantly, where should the boundary be drawn when years of friendship is on the line?

I wish I can tell you the right way in going about this, especially since these are dilemmas that I have been facing for quite some time now. It's always this constant battle between what I think is right or what I know to be right when it comes to me. Whether you know it or not, I've praised myself from time to time for being a genuine person. I despise liars and exaggerators, but doesn't it make me a complete hypocrite having claimed all of these things and yet I do not even have the heart to tell my girl friend that the orange dress looks absolutely hideous on her?

Just now, I was researching on this particular topic and found out that the center of any personal success, whether its stability or wellness, has everything to do with honesty. There are always going to be tough calls; however, finding that courage to be honest to someone only means that you care enough for that person. Your intentions, at this point, comes from a good place. I've asked myself all sorts of questions regarding this and I think I finally found my answer. Choosing courtesy over honesty will only damage my credibility and presence; as a result, I will end up feeling extremely horrible and slightly guilty about it all. Ya know---saying things were okay when they weren't, agreeing to do things when I shouldn't have, and accepting proposals when I didn't need to.

This year, I vowed to make a conscious effort to be a better person. So today, I have chosen to be honest, while still remaining respectful. Here's the thing. My words are as venomous as it is kind. However, you should be a little bit more cautious when it's silence that I'm giving you. That's when you know that there's a huge growing elephant in the room. But let's jut hope I'll never have to go that far as to give someone such treatment.

Politeness is Poison

I find it incredibly difficult to make certain decisions due to the notion that I am an old soul who very much values politeness, etiquette, and professionalism. However, it has become increasingly more difficult as I find myself battling between my assertive self vs. my passive self. Stephen Brewster, the creative arts pastor at Cross Point, made an outstanding point when he said that politeness dilutes ideas and Edwin Land would like to call it the "poison of collaboration." I'm not saying that it's easy to be polite all of the time because it's not. Small things such as opening doors for people, saying thank you, and being appreciative come pretty natural for me but that's only because I've made it a habit to do those things. Even then, there's still a huge gap between politeness and honesty. Yes, you can have both, but for me, it can be extremely unsettling when borders are being crossed and I am forced to either choose one over the other. It's not to say that I favor dishonesty. It's just that I'm a person who dreads all sorts of confrontation; therefore, don't be surprise when you see me walk away from the situation entirely. Although I am very well that this is probably not the most productive way to go about things, truthfully, I don't even understand why I am so hesitant when it comes to fighting these giant elephants in the room. Chances are, I would pretend that they were meant to be there all along. There are actually quite a number of instances when I have to challenge my policy decisions that don't quite align with my values; ie) tell a friend that what she did was wrong, speak up about a colleague's lack of effort, ask the creeper guy to please go away, etc. etc. Now I have no intent in becoming a dismissive person because maintaining that sensibility is important to me. However, the question here is which matters more when given the circumstance? Politeness or honesty? While I am not a person to mutter disparaging comments or become prickly/defensive, it's important for me to really learn how to speak my mind and voice my opinion. In order to go about this, I will need to reassess my attitude towards this subject of politeness vs honesty. The main objective here is for me to become a better leader, speaker, and overall, person. Wish me luck, guys.