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People are jerks? Tell me about it

OPINION

  • Roaster extraordinaire Lisa Lampanelli
Roaster extraordinaire Lisa Lampanelli
July 31, 2012|By Katie Killacky, For RedEye

One of my favorite types of people are the ones who say they just "tell it like it is" when trying to explain why people don't like them.

For the record, I haven't quite mastered the art of writing with sarcasm. So forgive me if you were turned off by the first sentence. On the flip side, if you agreed with the first sentence, I suppose you should forgive me for what you're about to read.

I know plenty of people who tell it like it is and still are well-liked.Martin Luther King Jr.comes to mind. Well, I suppose there were some people who didn't like him, but that had nothing to do with what he said.

One of my best friends, Kim, has this magical way of telling people to their face that she can't stand them. She proceeds to rattle off her reasoning, yet they still want to hang out with her. The late and great Nora Ephron made a living and a legacy of holding nothing back, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find one person who knew her or knew of her who would dare say, "Yeah, I'm not a big Nora Ephron fan."

While comparing my sorority sister to Martin Luther King Jr. might have punched a hole in my argument, the point I'm trying to make is that if people don't like you, it's probably not for the reason you think it is.

I've never been at a social gathering where someone has warned me to steer clear of another guest because they're too honest. And I live for the day when someone says, "I'm not going to vote for him in the next election. He tells it like it is."

This phrase has become an excuse for people to be just plain nasty. I know. I've used it. I'll probably use it again. It's a common phrase in our society, so common in fact that several titles of websites and blogs preface the saying with "I'm not a hater ...," "I'm not a jerk ...," "I'm not a snitch ...," "I'm not a (rhymes with snitch) ..." and all end with "... I just tell it like it is." Real classy.

While honesty should be revered, what happened to being diplomatic? The difference between the two is the sensitivity and effectiveness that comes with diplomacy that is often lacking in brutal honesty.

While there are some situations that call for a "snap-out-of-it" moment, that rarely is the case. To walk around saying whatever you feel whenever you feel it in whatever phrasing you choose use at that moment you feel it ... that's just plain nasty. Don't mask it under the guise of honesty. Just stop being a jerk.

I wanted to tell my boyfriend the other day how the Levi's he wears make him look like he has grandpa butt, yet I chose to be ... whoops.

A fitting way to end this column would be to say "I'm just telling it like it is." But that would be too easy. So I'll end it with an equally annoying sentence that makes no sense to me and that I probably will write about at one point and no doubt use to end some argument in the near future.

It is what it is.

Katie Killacky is a RedEye special contributor. @katiekillacky

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