This is gonna be a rant. This is something that personally frustrates me.
Every time someone says “I’m just being brutally honest”, I want to respond “No, you’re a cunt”.
Because this is what it usually boils down to.
What happens is that they present arguments (sometimes valuable, and sometimes not), coated in personal insults of those they are addressing. That predictably offends the conversation partner (CP). The “brutally honest” person (BHP) calls CP “thin-skinned”, “feminine” or “defensive” for not being able to distill the actual message from the offensive mess they presented them with.
“He’s just being thin-skinned! I should be able to dish it out and not have to take it, when people don’t like my tone. Why am I banned?!”
“He’s being defensive! It means he doesn’t want to discuss the actual topic I presented. If he was serious about the topic, he wouldn’t get offended at all. ”
“He’s being feminine! Why doesn’t he just play by MY rules? My brutally honest discussion style is the only valid style, his is the style of an oversensitive wussy, men don’t talk like that”.
Why do people think like that at all? Let ME be brutally honest for BHPs:
1)Being a cunt and being honest are two completely different things. I don’t understand why some people confuse these two. You can be honest and polite at the same time. This might still get people offended, but at least then you know you aren’t to blame for that.
2)If you have trouble convincing your CP of your point of view using “brutal honesty”, it’s no one’s problem but yours. Your CP is not obligated to play by your rules. Some people are very good at listening to everyone and understanding the message, even when it’s rolled up in various emotions, but not everyone. If they find your conversation style unacceptable, you can either change it or continue to meet the wall of non-understanding. Shaming them (“defensive/feminine/thin-skinned”) will gain you nothing.
3)If you dilute your message with personal attacks (even subtle ones), CP becoming defensive doesn’t mean you’re right, “hit the mark” with your words or won the argument. It means you bruised their ego, and the discussion quality is now a notch lower.
4)Honesty is valuable, but not everyone that can be said, should be said. You wouldn’t tell the person sitting next to you on the bus how pleasant your last trip to the toilet was. You wouldn’t tell your partner every little thing that bothers you about them, when it isn’t a big deal. You wouldn’t betray a secret. And when arguing, you could practice some emotional restraint also.
I do think we should all be more thick-skinned and not let people like that have their rent-free space in our heads. I’m not arguing for a society where everyone is super nice and sensitive in fear of offending someone. But I will not for a moment accept cuntery masquerading as honesty. It’s one more lie in life that needs to disappear.
P.S.: Some of the people who have been obnoxious BHPs are actually someone I can otherwise respect. The video above explains how it usually goes.