Honesty vs Politeness

Say you are engaged in a conversation with a friend. He begins telling you about something that you have no interest in. You are zoning out, yet put up a facade of listening. He continues and drones on as you nod with mild enthusiasm and insert positive comments when necessary. All the while you have put forth at best %10 of your conscious capacity to engage with him, and are doing the bare minimum.

In our world this is considered polite.

You are lying to your ”friends” face under the guise of politeness. It’s more socially acceptable to pretend to be interested while taking in the bare minimum, as opposed to honestly stating your point of view. Initially I thought it would be more sincere to tell your friend that you don’t care about what he’s saying. This comes across as rude, blunt, abrasive, whatever. At least it’s honest.

My concern with these conversations in which these facades are placed is that they are not kind interactions. They are a set of traffic lights. While my friend is talking it’s a big red light in which I am forced to sit in my car patiently diddling with the radio, before I can floor the accelerator and talk about what I want to. Once I get to go, the roles are reversed.

My first attempt at an analogy. I think it’s okay, nothing special. They are fucking hard to come up with so please appreciate the effort. Or don’t and call me a retard.

A colleague raised a good point though. If someone is droning on about something I don’t find particularly interesting, it’s up to me to make it interesting by asking engaging questions. Obviously emphasizing is the solution to many of these faux pas, however I’d argue that the majority of people in this world are assholes who don’t empathize.

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