Honesty Isn’t Always the Best Policy

no filter

We’ve all heard the saying “honesty is the best policy,” right? Well, how far do we really need to take this age old adage? Should we constantly voice our honest opinions to whomever, wherever? Or do we only do this with our close friends and family members?

It seems that many of us have lost our filters. I’m not referencing political opinions or lovingly speaking the truth to a friend with pure intentions, because many times these conversations, as hard as they may be to have, help us grow as mothers, friends, and humans in general. I’m talking about saying whatever, whenever, to whomever we desire. And this has to stop. It is time to regain our self-control, especially those who of us who are tearing others down, sometimes without even realizing it.

When does it cross the line?

It crosses the line when it’s uncalled for, done at an inappropriate time and place, and said for an audience to hear. My recent experience: I was at a pool party, and we were all sitting around watching our kids swim and play. Out of nowhere, one mom started talking about how childhood obesity is a terrible epidemic. Okay, great — that’s your opinion, thanks for sharing. I’m sure many people share that opinion with you. But was it necessary or at the appropriate time and place to say? No, because the host of the party has an overweight child and was sitting with her head hung in shame at her own house. No filter.

I have another friend who has a child dealing with gender identity. This momma is fierce, loving, kind, and understanding. She worries about her child’s day-to-day life and future DAILY. The comments she has received are revolting, uncaring, unloving, and most certainly not because they want be supportive and truthful. No filter.

I, myself, had a friend comment about my own child’s weight (or lack thereof) on my Facebook page. I was shocked and hurt, and my people rallied with me, sending all kinds of supporting texts, but the damage was still done. I know she didn’t mean to hurt me, and she cares for my child. It just wasn’t thought out before it was put out there for everyone to see.

And don’t even get me started on the unfiltered comments pregnant women and moms of only children get. Heaven forbid you decide to have more than two children (yes, lady at Target in the checkout line, we know “how this happens”) or decide to only have one child. Please stop and think before you blurt something out, as that mom could desperately be trying to have another child, and you have no idea.

How to handle the unfiltered opinion

I feel as if this could go many different ways. Some comments are more direct and may cause a more heated, knee-jerk reaction, which could only make the situation worse. In my case, I’m always going to try to take the high road. I didn’t like the feeling of being called out in such a public forum, so I chose to handle my situation privately via text. You have to do what you feel is best, and sometimes words aren’t even needed for the person to realize they were wrong. If you are witnessing someone else catch the brunt of the unfiltered opinion, speak up for your friend.

I know I’m not innocent, and I’m certain I’ve said the wrong thing at times that may have stung. Many times, we just don’t think before we speak, but Mamas, lets try harder. Let’s help each other by being more aware. We are all doing this mom gig the best way we know how, and the majority of us are doing the best we can with the resources we are given. I’m not asking you to stay silent on the things you are passionate about; just be more cognizant of how you are coming across. Do you want to help a friend? Speak kindly, and more importantly, do so in private. Choose your audience. Words hurt, and they can’t be taken back or forgotten.

What are some unfiltered opinions that have been thrown at you?

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3 Responses to Honesty Isn’t Always the Best Policy

  1. Bobbi Nov 6, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    So true. There is an appropriate time and place for things. It’s manners and people have lost them.

  2. Leila Nov 9, 2017 at 8:50 pm #

    Great blog post Johanna. I’m with you -filters are valuable things that we need to remember to use. Thanks for sharing… and I’m sorry for your experience on the receiving end of this kind of thing. 🙁

  3. Barbara Nov 9, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    You really hit the nail on the head with this post, Johanna. It used to be that just the elderly with dementia ‘lost their filters” but now it’s much more wide-spread than that.

    People tend to listen so they can reply, not so they can understand where the other person is coming from.

    Thanks for addressing this problem.

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