August 2, 2007

Candy or Candid?

I was walking home from the parking lot when I met my neighbor.

Me: Hello, how are you?

Neighbor: I am doing good. Been really busy. I haven’t seen you in a long time!

Me: Yes it has been a while. etc…Oh I wanted to tell you, we are moving to another place in 3 weeks.

Neighbor: Oh really! I will miss you soooooo much….etc.

I was smiling all the while, the moment she said this I stopped. Why will she miss us?? We hardly see each other once a month and when we do, it is just some friendly exchange of words without even knowing each other’s names. It was so difficult for me to talk to her for the next couple of minutes, because I knew I could not respond to her with the same kind of talk and I really didn’t want to tell her things that I did not mean!

I have been in these situations many times and have always failed to know how to react. Honestly I find it silly that people say things like this and it is so outright obvious that they don’t mean it at all. I don’t get it! Do they think they are making the other person feel good? Well speaking for myself, I feel far from good, I feel uncomfortably irritated. I feel disconnected with the person I am talking to as soon as I hear something like this.

That being said, there have been a few situations where I have had to make comments that I have not meant, simply because I wanted to be polite. I am not as revolutionary to just speak my mind out at all times. Like when somebody gets me something which I really didn’t like, I’ve said it is nice simply because of the fact that they got something means a lot to me. But I will not go on and on about how much I liked it unless I really felt.

In another incident, X has invited Y and family for dinner and everybody in the room knows that X is not a great cook.

X: Hope you liked the food.

Y: Oh the food, it is excellent! Very tasty food! Your husband is one lucky man I must say! (Turning to his wife) How come the chutney does not taste as good when you make it, you must get this tasty recipe from her today!

Agreed that Y could not have said ‘I am barely able to eat this with a smiling face’!
He could have just said ‘Nice food, thanks for inviting us’. But he instead went all out in the process embarrassing X and her poor husband and above all irritating his wife.

Maybe it is just me who thinks this way and people are fine the way they are. Maybe this is the protocol of the world and you are required to communicate with a fa├žade at all times. If it is then I don’t care to follow it, I am fine the way I am. If I come across as rude, so be it!


I love Lucy said...

I used to be able to say things right on somebody's face without giving a rat's ass about whether it was the "right" thing to say...but off late I find myself trying to be "diplomatic".I hate it!I am going back to my old ways soon.
And it sure is annoying as hell when you know that the other person is being fake.
I hate to be in such situations but find myself in exactly such situations almost all the time!

Shruthi said...

Hyuk hyuk!! It could have been me who has written this post ;) I feel the same way! Esp "Like when somebody gets me something which I really didn’t like, I’ve said it is nice simply because of the fact that they got something means a lot to me. But I will not go on and on about how much I liked it unless I really felt."
There, now we cannot fool each other ;))
Madhu, I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying reading your blog.

Shruthi said...

Oh btw that last line in my prev comment was heartfelt :O

Madhu said...

Smitha..if you ask me, it is good to be diplomatic at times, maybe most of the times. But I know its just isnt you to be that way, but maybe it is slowly bcoming a part of you now. I guess diplomacy is just a gift of maturity,just accept it. And to all of us who know you so well, your still the same person we always knew!

Madhu said...

Shruthi..thanks for your comment, I accept it as heartfelt ;-)
I know I am quoting myself here, but time and again I am reminded of our talks in college. Maybe those times are back!

immortal_axiom said...

Ya it is highly annoyin' how people just love to fake it !
i don't understand why people can't be straightforward with their feelings - not be rude but honest! even so called "friends" - when they say - "oh i love u to death and blah blah" -- itz annoyin' ..
anyways what to do -- u have to listen to this nonsense sometimes - so listen n ignore ;-)

I love Lucy said...

To each his own I guess!I have nothing against diplomacy when the situation warrants it.Because otherwise it would become all too obvious and would easily seem so artificial!
Hows the food blog coming along?

Shruthi said...

Food blog? What food blog? Tell me tell me!!

Madhu said...

Mohua! Nice to read your comment, but I am surprised there was no use of auntyjy ;-)