Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, September 14, 2012

Is there ever a reason to be nasty?

Don't you love it when someone says something nasty and then defends it by saying they are just being honest? I heard Britney Spears say this when being interviewed about her new role as judge on The "X" Factor.

There are so many ways to be honest without being nasty. The tone of voice you use when speaking to someone makes a world of difference in how what you are saying will be received. Your intention when you speak, meaning the place you come from, also has a huge impact. If your intention is to be helpful, then why be hurtful? If, as Britney Spears said, she wanted to help someone avoid wasting 7 years of their life trying to succeed with not enough talent, then find a way to say that in a loving way. Jennifer Lopez did it on American Idol. She was honest, but loving.

I don't mean to pick on Britney Spears - I really know nothing about her, other than what I've read in the tabloids. But I don't like television programs that use hostility and downright meanness and hurt people. I've been hurt by comments teachers have made. Comments that have taken years to overcome. Comments I still live with, somewhere deep inside. I've learned not to let those feelings overtake me. I guess I don't want to see young people have to live with the consequences of hurtful comments when it totally isn't necessary.

How about you?


Jennifer Shirk said...

YES!! I cannot stand when people fall back on the "I'm just being honest" excuse.
I agree. You can be honest WITHOUT being mean.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amen! It's called tact, people. And if you're not saying it to really help the person, then don't say anything at all.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That's not being honest, that's being spiteful.

Julie said...

Yes, I agree 100%. The old saying about sticks & stones vs. words is totally incorrect, cruel words can stay with us for a lifetime. I don't think there is ever a reason to be nasty and try to bring someone else down.

Great post, Karen. Have a wonderful weekend ahead! :)

L.G.Smith said...

Intent has a lot to do with it. If you really are trying to help someone you'll find a way to be kind in your criticism.

Nancy said...

I want to thank you for this post. It comes at the perfect moment to help my healing from a bit of nastiness. And it should serve as a reminder to all of us to temper our honesty with tact. Have a great day filled with kindness and compassion!

Karen Walker said...

Jennifer, they're probably trying to make "good" TV but it just turns me off.
Alex, some of those old adages, like "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" really say it all.
Diane, I agree. Maybe some people are just mean and spiteful.
Julie, thanks, and you, too
L.G. There is always a nice way to say something.
Nancy, so sorry someone hurt you. Try to find some way to let it go - I know, easier said than done!

Liz Fichera said...

It's all in the delivery. Britney is obviously not mature enough to understand that. I agree: nasty comments are just that--nasty.

Arlee Bird said...

I guess on certain TV shows "nasty" is equated to entertainment and comedy. Even then it might not seem right. In real life though I think honesty is best when accompanied by a sense of caring and truly wanting to help someone else. The presentation of honest opinion should never be delivered with an intent to hurt and insult another person.

Tossing It Out

Cynthia said...

I'm sorry people have said things that hurt you. I don't know what the story was behind your post, but I hope you keep in mind that just because somebody says something mean, it doesn't mean it's true.


It's one thing to be honest but not in a nasty way,It's not nice to hurt other people and once said can't be unsaid.


Talli Roland said...

Yup, I agree with everyone that it's all about tact and sensitivity. I still remember lots of harsh words that people cloaked in the 'just being honest' excuse.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - completely unnecessary - especially because everyone on a tv show, or with an audience is setting an example others feel they can follow ... there's always something positive to say .. and definitely not hurt anyone ...

Cheers Hilary

Tonja said...

I would think that someone that's endured a lot of harsh criticism would soften it for other people out of empathy. On the other hand, there's a possibility she's just playing a role to increase the number of viewers. You kind of have to expect that if you go on one of those shows.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I agree. I like X Factor and American Idol, but I always feel pain when a truly mean comment hurts one of the contestants. And, of course, the camera zooms in on the poor victim's expression. I guess that's why I usually record the shows and watch the performances but often fast forward past the judge's comments.