Jan 6, 2014

You're Not Honest, You're Just a Bitch

For Peet's Sake blog

      This post has been long in the making, probably it's begun to brew when I was about 12 which was... 15 years ago. Damn, I never thought I would be starting a post with '15 years ago...' but apparently I will.
      About 15 years ago, I walked to school with a friend of mine one day. We were supposed to meet in front of her apartment building and since I was the first one there, I waited for her for a minute or so. When she finally came, I said to her: "Oh hi, you've got a new haircut! It looks good," without giving it much thought actually, I just said something to fill the silence. The girl then stopped, grabbed my forearm, looked at me as her eyes swelled up so much they almost overflowed her face and gasped: "You really mean that?"
      "Well, yeah. Why? The new haircut does suit you."
      "Really? Because I was so unsure. I wanted a new cut, but then afterwards I didn't know if it looked good or not and nobody said I looked good before you so I was sad because I thought bunnies and rainbows la la la and the hairdresser said I la di da unicorn marshmallow..."
      I must admit I zoned out during her hair drama monologue, because we (she) basically talked about her hair the entire walk to school. But watching her light up after my remark and listening to her going on and on about how happy it made her, it got me thinking - if something that didn't cost me anything and was as simple as a few words bunched together made someone feel so good, why wouldn't I do that all the time? Why spread negativity, when you can do the exact opposite. And I did exactly that. From that moment on, upon realizing the power of a compliment, I've decided to always look at a person and see what makes them beautiful or cool or fun and not what's wrong with them. Trust me, my world looks a lot nicer than yours thanks to that resolution because I don't obsessively look for flaws in others. But others of course do.
      I had a friend who was the biggest critic on the planet - before she'd even say hi, she'd give you a full review of your outfit, hair and nails without ever pointing out anything that she liked, always just focusing on the flaws. And superficiality. Of course she always said that that's because she's honest, but that's bullshit. That attitude has nothing to do with being honest, but with being something else. Once I saw her right before I was going out to a party and I had a huge Carrie-Bradshaw-type flower in my hair. Before we even got close enough to engage in a private conversation, she screamed at me: "What's with the stupid flower?"
      After years of nagging, I just had it and sadly, I spoke before I thought: "What's with the gold sneakers and the rest of YOUR outfit? You're looking like a cheap hooker on a street corner desperate for some attention."
      Her boyfriend who was standing next to her just started laughing: "Uuuu, she got you, babe. I like the flower, Peet, I think it looks great." She said nothing.
      Aside from that remark, I was called many other things by her and by others. "You were ugly when you shaved your head." "What's with the leg warmers?" "You were so fat I wouldn't touch you with a stick." "I don't like you now that you have black hair, you looked better with red hair." "You're cross-eyed." And many many MANY other lovely comments without EVER asking anyone for their opinion. You know what, people? I too see that you're overweight, have pimples, crooked teeth or that your outfit's a mess, but I - unlike you - also see that you have beautiful eyes, a bright smile, that you smell nice or, what's even more important, that you have a big heart, that you're funny or generous. And I - unlike you - decide to point out the positive because I know that words have an effect. Remember Dr. Masaru Emoto's rice experiment I talked about in this post? I don't want my words to do that to people and I definitely don't want to behave like a mean bitch with self-esteem issues.
      Even though I'm not a bitch like that when it comes to others, I'm a total bitch when it comes to me. How I view myself is the exact opposite of my find-what's-good-about-a-person motto. Most of the times I only see flaws in myself, especially when I edit and put together these stupid blog photos so it's no surprise I sometimes get insecure. When that happens, I ask for other people's opinions to see whether a certain picture is 'postable' or not. I have a special male friend whom I usually turn to when in doubt to get some male perspective and that's exactly what I did a few days ago when I was doubting myself. I showed him a picture and asked him: "Can I post this? Be honest."
      "Let me see... No. You look like a monkey, your ears are protruding, your face is weird and you just look ugly."
      "I look like a monkey?"
      "Wait. You can't get offended, you asked for my honest opinion."
      And your honest opinion is that I'm a weird-looking monkey with big ears? I HATE it when people hide behind the I-was-just-being-honest card. No, honey, you weren't honest, you were a bitch. Honest would be: "No, don't post it." Honest and NICE (yes, you can be honest AND nice, it's mind-boggling, I know) would be: "No, don't post it, I know you can look better because I've seen plenty of better pictures of you." And there's also nothing constructive about calling someone a monkey either, constructive would be: "You should turn you face at a different angle because this makes you look weird." But in some cases you can't give constructive criticism because you simply don't know anything about the subject, so all you can give is your honest opinion - like a little bitch or like a considerate human being, it's up to you.
      Needless to say, I won't be asking this person for his opinion any time soon. I thought he had my best interests at heart but apparently he doesn't because if he did, he'd know that making me feel like shit wasn't in my best interest. Making anyone feel like shit isn't in anyone's best interest, so don't be mean inconsiderate trolls, people, because whoever said 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt' was a moron. Stick and stones will without a doubt break your bones and words will make you feel even worse.

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For Peet's Sake blog

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      Peet


31 comments:

  1. tough subject and one i am very conflicted about. basic example is spinach in teethsymdrome. i always tellpeople and yet there have been people that say i embarassed them by telling them that they have spinach stuck between their teeth. even with good intention the fact is people have varied social behaviours and responses. It shocked me that they didn't appreciate the help but said that I outed them and made them feel bad. No logic whatsoever but emotions aren't logical. With some people even if you explain to them that it is more embarassing to go to work or have a date with spinach on their teeth when it comes to shame or the "truth" everything becomes skewed. I myself dont actually have faith in many people's opinions because I dont value their intelligence or status or knowledge. If a prisoner or a drunk 15 year teenage boy tells me i look good i am sorry but it just wont have the same weight as anna wintour telling me she likes my "look". So it depends but I completely see your point. But I for one dont give empty compliments either...Have a good one!

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    1. I don't give empty compliments either, I find stuff I genuinely like in a person and point that out. As for spinach - of course you tell a person they have something in their teeth. But it's HOW you tell them. You don't say: "Hey, you moron, you should learn how to eat because you have shit all over your face." You say it without being offensive. And THAT was my point. Not to lie, not to not express your opinion when it's negative if a person asks what you think, but to do it in a considerate way. I thought I made that clear...

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    2. you did but my point was that even if you say it sweetly if the recipient doesnt take it that way or they have their own issues then as they say never does a good deed go unpunished. your case is that there was a friend who was rather bitchy and there was no good intention behind any of the critique.

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  2. Sticks and stones can break bones and words can AND can't hurt. They can hurt when you are caught off guard and ya know... "man... didn't see that coming" type of thing. Whereas from that "opinionated" ex-acquaintance of yours, it's just expected. This almost made her a caricature of herself. So whatever her opinion of the flower in the hair had been, be it ugly or stupid, there could be only one reaction to her words: ZERO reaction. No shits given.

    But it's the people you love or value opinions of that can slap you right in the face with a negative comment. I.e. family, friends. Say even if you went on my blog and started pointing out all the shitty angles (and yes I have those lol) I'd be down. But if some anonymous douche did that, once more no shits would be given.

    So yeah, I just admitted I totally cared about your view/opinion. Is that weird in a weird way or weird in an okay way?
    Also - did you gif it with photoshop in the end? Looking stunning as a blonde!

    Edita
    wwww.pret-a-reporter.co.uk

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  3. this is such an interesting post!
    I posted a new look, I'd love to know your opinion
    would you like to pass from my blog?
    tr3ndygirl.com
    kiss

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  4. Unicorns and marshmallows, I feel ya. This is when Mackelmore should have existed and Body Peace Treaties and good things like that. Your friend should have read It by Alexa Chung to get everything in perspective with some laughter.

    xoxo
    http://petitemaisonoffashion.blogspot.com

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  5. Peet, your photos are not stupid at all. I actually enjoy looking at them (you) very much, as they are pristine, natural. You might think you look stupid, this is something I can relate to (my photos look terrible), but rest assured you look... stunning. Well, nuf said, keep on the good work, have fun, work hard, stay as you are... I read all posts, and like everything. mobile282 aaaaaatt yahoo dot com

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  6. Nice post, very nice pics.
    Titti

    http://dellaclasseedialtremusiche.blogspot.it

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  7. Hats off to you darling for a memorable thought provoking and pivotal post. I always believe in complimenting others on their positives and steering clear from their negatives, doesn't that make them happy, and in turn it makes us nicer people. I admire you so much for this excellent quality you have. I think your school for end was probably insecure and jealous of you, thats the only reason people are so critical. I feel bad for her and the other friend who commented on your photos. You put yourself out there and try your best to be a good person, if people can't appreciate that than you don't need them in your life. P.S Awesomely cool newsprint photos!

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  8. I could write on this topic for hours - if only the people who hide behind honesty to say cruel things would ever change their behaviour by reading what we have to say! We are all our own worst critics, and the people who are critical of others are undoubtedly even more critical and horrible to themselves, but that hardly excuses the behaviour. A smart and insightful post, as always!
    xox,
    Cee

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    1. I agree, such behavior shows that the person is lacking self-confidence but that's no reason to put others down... We all have our insecurities, just learn how to deal with them in a different way, dude.:)

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  9. I think we are all our worst critiques. It is nice however when people say a nice word or two to us. A negative comment can have a horrible effect.

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  10. Oh darling I want to come over with ice cream and just give you the biggest hug ever. Some people just don't get it and they never will unfortunately and that's what makes the world so screwed. Some people are on a higher mountain, they see past the small valley and understand there is more out there. They get the power of words and what it actually means to support someone. There's always a way to give constructive criticism without hurting someone. I mean how would you like it if the roles reversed? Treat others how you want to be treated, that's my motto, plain and simple.


    SDMxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  11. I guess some people don't have the sensitivity chip .. your male friend was just being a guy and guys are dumb :-P

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

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  12. A monkey? Seriously?
    Yeah, good you're not taking his honesty bullshit, because that's just what it is.
    I really like your points Peet, you put forth very clearly the idea that sharing positivity has far more value and creates a happier lifestyle than negativity ever will!

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  13. This is a great post, Peet (and pictures ;) )- there is a massive different between being a bitch and being honest. If your friend was just pointing out what she didn't like without you asking an opinion, she's a massive cow. But being if you were to say 'Should I wear this flower?' and she didn't like it, you just need to say 'I don't think it suits you'.

    I honestly thing you should keep your opinions about somebodies looks to yourself unless you are asked for them - and then you don't have to be horrible, a simple 'it's not to my taste', 'it's not the best photo of you', 'you would look better in a different colour' etc is enough.

    I think you look great with a shaved head, I would never be able to pull it off but it really made your lovely brown eyes 'pop' =)

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. That's exactly what I do! If no one asks me, I'm not going to say anything bad, but if they do and I don't like something I always say: "I personally wouldn't buy/wear/say/do/etc that but to each their own." I definitely wouldn't call anyone any names.

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  14. Is it cliché to say 'if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at al'. I'm a firm believer in this and totally agree that honesty doesn't have to incorporate bitchiness. It may just be me but I believe that people who are horribly critical of others have a low self esteem and picking on others makes them feel better about themselves. Now I'm talking from experience, because when I was in junior school - about 8 or 9 years old - I used to pick on this girl who was sooo pretty and got all the attention from the boys and as I got older I realised it was because I was insecure about myself.

    Anyway, girl these photographs are amazing as were the ones with your short/shaved hair - love it. Surround yourself with people who know how to communicate with you positively and constructively!

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  15. WOW, love what you did with these pics Peet! Pretty amazing!

    And yes, there are some people whose jobs seems to be making everyone feel like shit. I bet they talk shit about us behind our backs too. No honey, you're not honest, you're just rude and self-centered! Great post!

    http://naomemandeflores.com/en

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  16. Peet.. your photos always looks so artistic and interesting and the writing is a pure pleasure! ooh.. people.. what can I say.. I suppose it become a trend to "say to your face what you have to say-and that's what you call honesty"??? reality shows are based on it!
    We are not living in a "reality" show.. think before you talk!

    http://rosdays.blogspot.co.il/

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  17. i always love reading your posts, but this time, the photos are amazing !!!
    xoxo

    www.mychoicebysorana.blogspot.ro

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  18. Well Peet, I totally agree with you. Is a think I really hate when someone hide cruelty with Im just honest. I like to be honest too but if it is also accompanied with "free" advices or suggestion neither asked, well thats not good at all. I am as you, when I am not sure if post or not some pics I ask before..Let me say that you are beautiful everytime I see your photos, blonde, red or whatever hair color, you have also very lovely eyes:) Let people give you their unasked opinions, people have always something to say, bad! Have a good evening dear, kisses! xo (ps yep, I close the comments in the old posts since I got much spam recently!)

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    1. Wow... Thank you, dear. You sure know how to give a compliment. Unlike some people I know...:)

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  19. Wow, what sage advice! I'd do well to follow it and bite my fingers when I get pissed off and feel like being a total bitch. Normally I do try to say nice things, but there have been a few notable slips I've had. One of the bloggers I like and follow came close to dying from an eating disorder (anorexia/bulimia). I was already not happy with the fashion industry for promoting the emaciated look. When the names of certain prominent designers who advocated that anorexic look came up in blog posts I was reading there were a few times I really let fly with some venom (oops). I'm working on it. For instance, I'm a vegetarian on moral grounds. When I comment on a fashionista's outfit post and they include, fur I don't mention that outfit piece in my comment. If there's nothing I can think of to compliment I don't comment. The converse of the theorem is not true. Please don't think that if I'm not commenting I don't like anything. It's probably that I'm being lazy or doing something else.
    You did your own FABULOUS example of saying nice things earlier on my blog post titled "Lbloggers Fbloggers OOTD and Review of Shimera Seamless Full Briefs ". You could have very easily made some not-so-complimentary observations, said something mean, or made sarcastic remarks but you didn't. Your were extremely nice, complimentary and sweet. You have a great sense of humour, so if you ever feel like zinging me a little, please feel free. I loved the example of your capabilities when pushed too far in the example you gave above, and I very much appreciate the your thoughtful comments you leave on my blog. Thank you!
    Your eye-makeup, lipstick and the nailpolish of your outfit are all beautiful, and I like the blond highlights in your hair. You look pretty, you're still young, and you're brilliant! Reading your blog posts is always a treat!

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  20. those are some seriously cool photos! I love the newspaper effect. when it comes to this friend of yours I can't imagine what kind of "friend" calls his/her friends monkeys? wtf? definitely a very wrong thing to say and to be honest I don't think you could actually look like a monkey anyway :)
    I myself can be a bitch too, of course but only when someone really asks for it. you know, when I'm kind and the other person acts like a true ass then I just can't help it. I don't let someone walk all over me. though yeah, being kind is so much better!

    Maiken,
    Maikeni blogi - part of me

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    1. Thanks!! And I know what you mean - when push comes to shove, I'm going to become a bitch, you asked for it basically.:)

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  21. Thanks for your kind visit darling! Your comments are always so insightful!

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  22. Well, all I have to say is, what kind of people have you been surrounding yourself with all these years?! I have never heard of anything like it before, especially coming from your friends. That you look ugly/have bad teeth/look like a monkey/etc... I can't even picture anyone over the age of 8 saying something like that. That's just extremely weird to me.

    My best friend, the one who takes my pictures, he will usually tell me "this angle is not good on you. More more towards that side..." and comments I always find constructive. In any way, you shouldn't feel affected by any comment anyone makes about you. I think it's stupid that people would focus on such irrelevant stuff. Seriously, there are people being killed, dying of terminal diseases, and starving (among others) every day in this world. Why would anyone waste energy on such stupid things?

    Anyway, I just vented there haha... I hope you are doing great<3

    xx

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  23. I agree that it is always about how you say it... it also depends if you know the person very well (My BF and I call each other "little buddha" when we gain weight... it doesn't mean "fat" but just..."let's eat more healthy stuff").
    But I have to say I agree with coulda shoulda woulda on the fact that some people just get mad at you even if you say something nicely just to help. It happened to me several time. But beside that I also know I am a very honest direct person. It's never about outfit or appearance though (who the hell can pretend they have universal good taste) but sometimes I say things "simply". (Also some people sometimes need a choc to understand what you are really saying, I've noticed)

    Anyway, good post darling <3

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  24. Love you so much for this! this is a real eye opener. And by the way, you ARE very pretty and I love your personality so much, your way of thinking and writing. Too bad you're not in Holland :(

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    1. Well, thanks, dear!! You sure know how to flatter.;) I'm glad you like the way I write, that's the best compliment any person can give me. Thank you! I hope you're having a great weekend!;)

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Hi there. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. I read every comment and reply to all the questions, so please, speak your mind.