16 January 2008

Dishonest Silence

For what seems like the 945th time in My life, I heard the following:

"I just sit there, let the person talk and when they finish, I ask them to leave me their information and tell them I'll call. Then I don't."

The guy telling Me this is proud about his way of dealing with people he doesn't care about. As he points out: "I can't care about everything people bring me."

No, you can't. But you can be honest.

For some illogical reason, We have this tendency to think that "polite" (in these cases) is equivalent to "non-responsiveness." Rather than take a few seconds and tell the person some variation of "No, that doesn't interest Me," or "I'm sorry, I'm not the right person for this," We opt for chicken-hearted cowardice bordering on immature negligence.

This happens in a country where some people use a phrase that loosely translates as "I'm honest to a fault" (Soy tan feo/a como tan franco/a) and then often proceed to be offensive beyond the pale.

Okay, so there are extremes on both ends of the spectrum. But this "non-confrontational" passivity is killing Us. (Just to annoy some of you, I'll say it's directly related to Our blessed ay bendito syndrome.)  Silence implies consent, in both English and Spanish (El que calla, otorga), but do We take that into account when We let someone blather on? No.

I see this stupid trend in business as often as I see idiocy from the Fools. And of course, My tendency to tell people "No, not interested" in order to save Us both time (okay, to save MY time) is seen as abrupt, even impolite and disrespectful. Bah! Leading someone to believe     
that you are interested and may even act upon that so-called interest when you have every intention of ignoring them once they leave is disrespectful.

So why don't We say what We mean? And don't give Me any of that "cultural differences" malarkey: Honesty is a stronger basis for communicaton than disimulation, regardless of where you come from. To choose silence as a communication tactic to avoid a simple honest exchange is to exacerbate communication problems, creating friction where none need exist and slows Us all down with its cumulative effect.

All for the purpose of saying We are "polite" while the whole shebang goes to Hell in well-mannered hypocritical basket.

Or maybe it's just Me.

It isn't...and I know I'm right.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

This is sort of a passive-aggressive behavior, in which people avoid face-to-face discussion or “confrontation”. Not only is it dishonest, but it is definitely a very destructive behavior and all too common.