Many days I feel all messed up and upside down. I feel guilt over past deeds I’ve done, even though I now know much of my behavior from back in the day, was heavily influenced by my Asperger syndrome and my inability to keep from being brutally honest. Yes, brutally. Aspies are known for being forthright, but truth is, honesty isn’t for everybody, especially when it comes in heaps and barrels of too much information tossed at someone who can’t handle any truth, much less my version of it.
I have so many regrets surrounding so many things I’ve done under the umbrella mantra, “Honesty is the best policy”. I regret the times I told people how I really, really felt about them. I’m embarrassed over the harsh remarks I spewed and the plates of food I threw at someone I found too irrational to talk to or too annoying to continue to be around. I am ashamed when I recall the moments when I was rudely vocal in my opposition to an individual’s religious or social believes just because they fought with my own.
Yes, on the whole, honesty is good. But listen. It is also often unwise and also the very tiny tidbit that can get you in one big hot mess. Most humans are sensitive creatures even when they don’t show it, and the fact is being too direct with a person can cause a situation that quickly escalates from a tiny kitten fight to a full on physical assault. I am naive. Always in my mind was the notion I was just telling the other person ‘the truth’ or ‘my point of view’. Never did I consider my words to be fighting words.
But sometimes they were. I’ve been slapped, had my hair pulled, been pushed down stairs, been yelled at, left out of events I so wanted to attend, been intimidated and been shoved and spit on after I opened my mouth to tell ‘the truth’.
Learn what kinds of statements are considered to be too harsh for others to hear. Look up the definition of ‘insult’ and memorize it. Practice analyzing things you would think are normal enough statements, to make sure they cannot in anyway be considered rude or ugly, mean or hateful. Tape record yourself talking about another person, an idea, a political debate or any subject at all, and then ask a trusted advisor to listen to your review of the topic. See if you inadvertently sent a hate message or said something that could be misconstrued as insensitive. Learn kind words and learn about political correctness. Make a list of words and phrase, and even topics you should not get into under most any circumstance. Practice the art of friendly conversation that floats around everyday mundane topics and save your perseverating heated truths for those who can handle it. In so doing, you will save yourself hurts and bruises. And, you won’t risk hurting those you would never hope to hurt.