Every day – on the tip of my tongue is some ounce of wisdom, a hint of sarcasm, an endearment that I never utter. The reasons for my silence vary from repetition, reproach - which if it involves my teenagers might be a rolling of the eyes – or because I am trying to spare someone’s feelings.
Sparing someone’s feelings probably tops my list of the reason I don’t say what I want. When my neighbour complains again about a car parked an inch over on her property – what I really want to say is – “My goodness woman, isn’t there more important things in your day than to take out a ruler and measure. You have a life to live, kids and grandkids……I feel sorry for you that this is so important as to occupy even one part of your thoughts”. But, being neighbourly means that I fret over anyone parking one inch in my neighbour’s yard. Being neighbourly means that I continually check to make sure none of my guests have gone over “the line” and so, as a result of my silence I am forever worrying about the same thing that she is.
Sparing someone’s feelings might also mean that I don’t tell my teenager “Forget about your loser friends…or just hit them…or (here is where the vindictive part of me is at its peak)…find a way to get back at them so they never are mean to you again…..” No instead I give them a hug, say the right things and secretly try to think of some way to get even with the little punk that made my baby cry.
Recently, sparing someone’s feelings meant not telling them what I really felt over a situation. It is a common occurrence….you see someone complain over and over again about the same thing. You just want them to move on.
I have bit my tongue so many times I am afraid one day a chunk will fall off. Do any of us really want honesty? Do we really want someone to remind us that if we had not procrastinated we would not be in the situation? Do we want the truth or do we want sympathy?