Thursday, March 10, 2022


I heard again for the millionth time someone exulting over the cute thing that some child had said that by claiming that the wonderful thing about children is that they are so honest. They're not honest. Children actually fib quite a bit.  What they are is candid, usually because they haven't picked up enough of the rules of social interaction to know that "there are things we just don't say, dear." Sometimes candor is welcome, pointing out the obvious that adults are evading.  More often, it is hurtful and awkward and involves having to apologise for them to a person who tries to laugh and say "That's all right.  It's no secret that I'm fat/old/black/foreign/disfigured/tatooed."

Similarly, "Can I be honest with you?" means may I be candid. Honesty is the best policy, but candor is mixed.


Deevs said...

I need to adopt the use of "candidly". Every time I type out "Honestly," I immediately delete it because I then ask myself if I wasn't being honest before. I think I'm pretty good at being honest, but I'm not always candid. A lot of the time because I'm not so sure my candid takes are of that much value to others. So, thanks for giving me a way to communicate more effectively.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Glad to help. It was not brilliance, but years of sitting across from patients saying "Can I be honest with you?" that taught the lesson. You eventually ask yourself what is really being said and meant.

It's not only that people might not be fascinated by every one of my observations. It's that it really is better to just keep a lot of things to myself.