Sugarcoatin’

Today, it was pointed out to me that I like to sugarcoat things. 

Like, oh, your house is on fire, but it’s not that bad! It’s just mostly singed. And at least you won’t have to pay your mortgage this month! 

And I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I mean, who likes to tell people bad news? But I think my dislike of telling it like it is goes deeper. Because what if *gasp* people don’t like me if I tell them the cold naked truth? So…I don’t. And then what happens is that people feel good when they’ve left an interaction with me but they also haven’t gotten the whole picture. 

But I have to tell myself that people may not like you for a moment, but they’ll appreciate your truth in the long run. I mean, what if a newscaster sugar coated the news? We’re facing just a bit of a nuclear war crisis and just having a touch of global warming. But it’s not a big deal. Mars is habitable. 

Or what about doctors? I mean, it IS cancer, but think of it as an opportunity! You’ll get so many cool wigs!

The point is no matter who you are or what you do, you shouldn’t have to be worried that people won’t like you just because you need to tell them something they don’t want to hear. The best interactions in my life have been when people were brutally honest with me when I needed it. And I don’t mean being Simon Cowell honest. They just made me face facts. 

So, don’t overthink it, and lay off the sugar. People will appreciate you slimming down the truth. 

Adorn Your Own Heart

I don’t think anyone wants to be disagreeable.

I don’t think a person’s feet hit the floor when they roll out of bed, and they think to themselves, Hmmm,  I’m going to act like I ate a full serving of b*tch flakes today, and then I’m going to act like someone peed in them. Specifically, I’m going to cut in line at my local Starbucks and then ask for really specific things in my latte. Like, for it to be hand-stirred. 

But then again, I don’t think people want to be too agreeable, either. You don’t want to be a sheep or a lemming. You want to be cordial, but not naive.

Then, there’s me. I will walk into traffic to avoid an argument. I do everything I can to make someone feel comfortable around me and to make them like me, even when they’ve already decided what they will about me. This has pretty much always been my reality, but recently, it has gotten a lot worse.

I find myself nodding when someone says they like something, on instinct. Almost anything. Even if I’ve never heard of it. And I have to stop myself and think, Wait, I don’t listen to Elvis cover bands. Why did I just say that peanut butter, banana, and bacon is my favorite sandwich? All in the name of amiableness. I am the Miss Congeniality.

And it’s not that I am trying to be disingenuous. I’m just trying to be nice…aren’t I? I’m trying to make the other person feel safe in my company. The problem is that I just start hanging up posters of things I don’t entirely like inside my heart. I pump blood through my veins that is driven by someone else’s passion. I create shrines inside myself to activities like pilates and white water rafting because not only can I somehow connect with the people I know on these newfound interests, but I can be intriguing to the people I’m still waiting to meet.

But the truth is, (I’ve come to realize) if you don’t adorn your own heart with the things that YOU love, you might lose yourself (and maybe that friend) completely.  Like your life, your heart is only what you make of it and how much love is inside.