There’s A Thin Line Between Being Polite And Being Phony

Posted: January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I think the innocence of children is so precious and remarkable. You ask a child a question, and you are sure to get an honest answer or opinion, whether good or bad. Kids have no filters in the early years. They will tell you if your breath stinks. They’ll tell you if they don’t like your outfit. They will tell you exactly what someone else said when recounting a story or conversation.

But somewhere along the way a parent or adult tells them their honesty is “rude”. At some point we begin to tell children that they’re being “impolite” by sharing their honest opinions or feelings about someone or something. A child tells a stranger, “You have a booger” or “You’re bald just like my cat Fee Fee,” and your response to them is “Shh! That’s not nice!” It is because, as an adult, you become embarrassed by their blunt comments because somewhere in your childhood someone probably shushed you in the same way.

So how is it that as adults we can’t understand the liars and phonies of the world? Of course we are going to talk behind one another’s back. Of course we will be fake and tell a friend we like their outfit, when asked, instead of telling them we absolutely don’t. If we are taught from childhood that expressing how you really feel is taboo, impolite, rude and socially unacceptable, how can we get upset when people show up as representatives of themselves instead of their true selves? I understand the rule; if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But where do you draw the line between being polite and just being a phony bologna? And how do you teach your children the difference?

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