by Dan Oshinsky on February 21, 2012
Danielle LaPorte, Internet thinker person, asked a question on her blog today: “What’s one dumb thing that you used to believe in?” As someone who says/does a lot of dumb things, I felt qualified to provide this answer:
I used to believe in radical, blunt honesty. In speaking without filter. In giving advice even when it wasn’t asked.
This is a really good way to lose friends and alienate people.
It’s also a really good way to completely diminish the power of your relationships. The more open I was with other people, the less open they wanted to be around me.
Because being open with others started out with a simple goal: Tell the truth, always, even when it’s uncomfortable.
But I started to realize that it was devolving into something worse. I wasn’t telling it like it was; I was using the veil of truth to be condescending.
I was turning into a dick.
I still believe in the truth, and telling it. But I’m also buying into the filter. Into giving advice only when it’s asked, and to being honest without needing to disclose everything fucking thing.
Once, I thought it wasn’t okay to stay quiet, even for a moment. You have a voice, Dan. Use it!
That was a dumb thing to believe in. I’ve learned: The people who talk most sometimes get heard least.
So shut up and listen, Dan. When it’s your turn to speak, nobody doubts that you’ll have plenty to say.