Rude, Schmood; Let Your Feelings Fly

Why not be honest?

By Liz Feldman
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 11:57 AM EDT
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"Lie!"

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Congressman Joe Wilson is just one recent example of public behavior considered "rude".

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By now, most people have heard about Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst, Serena Williams' profanity-laced tirade and Kanye West’s toe-stepping interruption during a music awards show.

While each of these famous folks has been taken to task for his or her boorish behavior, truthfully what’s all the fuss?

Yes, we’ve grown up in a society that teaches us to be polite and politically correct, but what lessons does that teach? Keep your innermost thoughts to yourself? Don’t express what you really think? Don’t stand up for yourself? Don’t be honest with people?

Wouldn’t you rather know what others really think?

As uncomfortable as the moment must have been for country singer Taylor Swift, there was probably some benefit to knowing that not everyone thought her music video was the best.

Just the other day, my husband and daughter were home when the cable guy came over to install a new satellite dish. After the cable guy left, my daughter said, “Boy, did that guy smell!”

He apparently was a smoker. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone were to tell him that, even though expressing those feelings might be considered rude by some?

Most people hold their tongue, for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. But how does that help people in the long run, assuming of course that they want to know the real deal in the first place?

It’s been drummed into our heads for so long to watch what you say; don’t offend, don’t ruffle feathers, and when people do speak up, they are frankly slammed for doing so.

On Sunday, at FedEx Field, Redskins fans let their team know what they thought. They mercilessly booed the Skins for their offensive ineptitude. Some have viewed the fans’ reaction as rude behavior, but they are just being honest.

The booing could do some good, although not showing up at games might have a bigger impact.

Linebacker Robert Henson sure didn’t like the booing. He called the fans out on their behavior. Apparently he would prefer them to politely applaud, or not yell as loud, when the team doesn’t perform up to standard.

Booing may very well be rude, but it’s honest, and it may result in action.

When it comes to affairs of the heart, you'd rather have a love interest who was honest with you. Some might view that honesty as rude, but you'd rather know where you stand, what your date didn’t like about you and why he or she stopped returning your messages.

When your boss passes you over for a promotion, you want to know the real reason instead of made-up nonsense such as the competition was stiff.

Most people have trouble being truthful; they are often protective of others instead of letting their feelings fly.

And when those rare moments come when people speak their mind and let their actions show their true colors, we become offended and critical, wishing that those rude and outlandish moments were hidden and buried.

But perhaps we should embrace it, as those thoughts and feelings might actually help us become a better society.

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