Have you ever noticed how fake we are with each other most of the time?
I’m a waitress, and a lot of days I have to stand in front of my guests and lie to them. When I’m asked, “How are you?” I have to respond with “I’m good,” whether I actually am good or not. Sometimes the people asking are asking out of kindness and not curiosity, but for the people who might have actually been interested, I can’t respond with, “I’m in my menstrual cycle so my lady parts are in a type of civil war right now” or “I’ve been depressed because I’ve been missing my grandma a lot lately.” Once when I was being honest with a table of customers by telling them I was tired after having been there all day, my manager overheard me and told me I wasn’t supposed to say that.
Maybe some will claim that we are giving “too much information,” but sometimes I don’t have a filter, and if you’re going to ask me how I am, I will give you a short look into my private life because I don’t have anything to hide. Maybe some will claim that we aren’t honest because we aren’t given the time to really dig into our stories, so we just don’t say anything. But most of the time I’d rather hear someone say, “You know, I’m really not doing good, but I’d rather not go into it.” That is more honest than saying, “I’m okay.” Because at least by admitting you aren’t doing well, I can pray for you. Or on days I’m not doing well, I can be thankful that my struggles aren’t as bad as yours might have been that day I talked to you.
The way I see it is if you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask. Don’t ask me how I am if you don’t want to hear about how I had to borrow money from my mother because I couldn’t pay October’s rent. But at the same time, the culture I live in doesn’t want to hear a sob story. So I pretend everything is fine.
I pretend it doesn’t bother me that some of the people I thought I called friends don’t really seem to care whether I’m in their life or not.
Sometimes we talk to others about others behind their backs instead of talking to them directly. And then pretend to their faces that we weren’t just talking shit. But then who is all talking about us behind our backs?
I used to pretend it didn’t bother me that a guy I used to like didn’t care to spend time with me anymore. Now I’m dating someone who wishes he could see me more than he gets to.
We pretend we know what others are talking about even if we don’t.
We pretend to like certain people even if we don’t.
We pretend to like our jobs even if we don’t.
We pretend to know everything when most of the time we hardly know anything.
Where does it end? What would the world look like if everyone was honest? Would people be more or less offended than they are now? Would we be able to heal faster if we didn’t have anything to hide?
I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully tired of pretending. I can’t be a ray of sunshine every day. I hate lying about the little things. There is so much I feel like I need to learn before I can truly contribute to some of the bigger conversations out there. And I hate that I allow people dictate my emotions and my life sometimes. I’m not a confrontational person, but I’m a very emotional person, and I feel like I’m not allowed to show that side because it makes people feel uncomfortable.
But maybe we need to feel uncomfortable to be reminded about what kind of world we live in. It makes me sad that we have more fake conversations with each other than real ones.
Whether we like it or not, every single person on this planet is a mess in some way or another. So why do we hide? Why does it take us so long to be honest with each other?
[[Please Note: I’m aware a lot of us have close friends to go to to discuss the messy and painful things with, but sometimes we are even fake to those people. And I don’t think it undermines the fact that we are not acknowledging the amount of pain in the lives around us. If we could be open about our struggles, would that change things like bullying? The ignorance of others makes things worse for those who were already in pain.]]