Circling the Point

Last night, two separate friends told me in two different conversations that one of the reasons they like me best is that they can always be completely honest with me, knowing that I won’t judge. Not only was it an unusual thing to hear (though in retrospect, true), the two people who told me this tend to keep their thoughts close to the chest, as it were.

I was honored, and it also was an interesting thing to think about in a little more detail. I don’t suppose it’s too egotistic to muse here that this could be one of the things that makes me special, makes me ME. I love honesty. I crave it. I don’t trust people who don’t really talk to you about themselves. What are they hiding? Why is it less shameful to talk about pointless, bland things like shoe shopping or the weather, than it is to talk about the things that make us who we are? I’m not sure I’ll ever get it. People should be ashamed to have less depth, not more.

Are people more honest with me than they are with other people? And where am I on this spectrum? I strive to be as honest as possible, without harming other people. This demands that some secrets be kept, not necessarily because I’m sneaky, but because I live an active fantasy life, and have many things rolling around in my head, some of which wouldn’t be kind to admit to others who might get confused about my intentions. I’m always making alternate plans for every situation, and living in my dreams of things that I know, realistically, can never happen. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s healthy or unhealthy to be living so many lives concurrently. Today it’s got me feeling fine, so I’ll take it.

All the same, there are times when I just can’t come right out and say what’s on my mind. Times when I circle the truth, prodding at it, referring to its various aspects with oblique references, hoping that the other person will somehow miraculously catch on to what I’m trying to say. In a way it’s cowardice, but it’s also a game I’ve always liked to play. It gives me the exact same emotional charge that flirting does. People say “flirting with the truth” to mean circling around it, touching on it but not truly embracing it. But I realize now that, at least in my example, I get the same thrill from hints at furthering a physical relationship (whether or not I actually intend for it to happen) that I do from hints of furthering someone else’s relationship with a currently unknown fact (which I typically do intend to reveal at some later date).

I realize that this is probably all pretty abstract to you. It’s abstract most of the time to me, too.

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