Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Reverb10 - Beautifully Different

December 8 - Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'l find they're what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
Brutal honesty. That is the one quality that, for better or worse, differentiates me from others. In Minnesota, there's this supposed quality of Minnesota Nice. It's all about everyone being "just so gosh darn nice" to each other, Everyone's supposedly friendly and virtually uncapable of hostility or rudeness. Well, I see that as a myth. I can't even begin to count how many people I encounter on a daily basis who are total and complete pricks -- and I've lived in Minnesota for my entire life. I even call people out on this trait but in typical Minnesota Nice fashion, I do so with a laugh. And that laugh is what enables me to criticize people directly to their face and end the conversation still on good terms.

That all-important laugh is the shiny wrapper on my brutal honesty. When those two items are paired up it makes hearing what I have to say infinitely easier. I routinely call people out when they are spouting trivial information and wasting my time but end it with a laugh. Maybe that laugh makes people think that I actually enjoyed the exchange of words but if they have any insight and can remember what came before that laugh -- that brutal honesty -- they might very well figure out that I was not pleased, possible even bored, with the conversation.

In short it comes down to being able to wrap up nearly anything with a laugh to soften the blow of what I had just said. My wife noticed this about me and said that this trait -- when coupled with my honesty -- is why I am so well-liked by her family and my co-workers. At least she thinks that both groups like me, I'm not so sure but I'll take that compliment and run with it.

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