Telling it like it is… is it brutal honesty or just being an a******? (Or is it about instigating drama and then stepping back to watch the show?)

I usually cringe when someone says something offensive, then shrugs it off saying they’re just saying it like it is.

I don’t count myself as a prude or a snowflake, since I don’t shy away from talking about very difficult topics but I have a deep inner struggle when I see someone just laying insensitivity on thickly, and then stepping back to watch how people respond to it.

I’m an observer, and I have noticed that for the most part, people who love to unload “truth bombs” also enjoy watching the drama and the fallout, kind of how a pyromaniac enjoys watching the fires they set.

Is it really about “speaking the truth”, or just being massively opinionated and borderline verbally abusive, then expecting to be pardoned when they hurt people?

With social media, people have come to expect an audience no matter their stance or opinion, and they can usually find followers who are of like mind.

Having followers is massively validating for us, and just because we have thousands of people hanging onto every opinionated, harsh word, doesn’t mean that we are right in hurting others or promoting hurtful ideas or actions.

Even without followers, lone people will pride themselves in speaking truths when they are being insensitive to others and expect applause for being courageous enough to be outrageous.

In my observation, the loudest and most opinionated expect everyone around them to absorb their hostility and negativity, much the way an abuser expects their target to “take” the abuse, yet they are massively hurt when the tables are turned against them.

Years ago this all was seen as being very emotionally immature. The sign of maturity was to be able to have empathy and see others as people with rights too.

It has become a badge of honor now to verbally unload on someone and then smile and say they are just being brutally honest.

For those on the receiving end, it can feel like bullying or abuse.

I have noticed a certain air of satisfaction after the dumping happens and people react to it. I have noticed this response so often, that now I am thinking they enjoy the s***show that happens, so they keep doing it.

The best way to deal with bullies and abusers is a) don’t respond and b) get out of there!

When we remove what they crave, i.e. the drama that ensues, they don’t get the satisfaction they’re looking for.

So, the best way is to step away! Don’t engage, don’t click on those clickbait articles, and don’t leave comments.

We can’t get them to change, that’s for them to do if they choose to. If we stop thinking that if we “educate” them or make them aware of what they’re doing then they will want to stop… false! They’re far more interested in the ensuing drama!

The drama is what is very validating for them. The drama makes them feel powerful, that they can push everyone’s buttons and get the results they crave, which is a lot of attention.

The need for drama is what feeds them, so they will purposely word things in ways that will get the most dramatic responses, and damned the outcome!

Much like a pyromaniac, they don’t care if the house burns down, they get emotional satisfaction from watching it burn; this gives their life meaning.

What are your thoughts and observations regarding this?

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34 thoughts on “Telling it like it is… is it brutal honesty or just being an a******? (Or is it about instigating drama and then stepping back to watch the show?)

  1. Very meaningful post as always Tamara – I have liked the gates for truth: Is it required? & Is it kind to say? It has to be delivered with compassion and wisdom attached. Otherwise, it is just drama like you point out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the gates of truth! They require we sometimes hold back from just speaking without a filter! I wish more people would use a filter, but people have climbed willingly on the “tell it like it is” bandwagon to speak without a filter, thinking they were just being “politically correct”, yet for many this has now devolved into a mud-pit where it is “okay” to sling all the mud you want! *sigh!*

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve been observing the huge financial payoffs to people who create enormous drama, controversy and division. By also spreading hate, falsehoods they present themselves as the Saviors, and because they’re also very charismatic, people follow them and their lead, down the collective path to destruction. I guess all we can do is to keep ourselves pointed in the right direction, remember our humanity and strive to be kind instead of dramatic!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. all we can do is to keep ourselves pointed in the right direction – yes exactly this, it is grounding to keep just this focus as it is easy to get overwhelmed. I am always amazed at the clarity with which you describe what reality is. Charisma certainly is overly misused.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, Charisma has become a powerful tool for people to abuse and distort their followers perceptions of reality. When we keep our hearts clear from a desire for power we are granted the ability to see thr truth behind the truths.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, speaking the truth without destroying the listener is a fine line, isn’t it? Sometimes one can feel very strongly about their truth yet it is still destructive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I think some things genuinely need to be said but some things people just say to get attention or cause drama. It’s easy to keep certain things to yourself when you need to. People need to learn to filter what they say better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree! We, collectively, seem to have lost the ability to filter out the negative, and instead seem to look to go viral. This loss is to our detriment and hopefully we will regain it back!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. For me Tamara your post applies to so many Twitter feeds I see daily. People who ‘know’ they are right and tend to be very unkind, even abusive, to those who think differently to them.
    However, a different slant is when it’s about a personal relationship, when someone feels betrayed and hurt, so she tells it as it is! Spot on for me. I’m not a walking away person in such cases.
    Reminds me of the difference in people who have a bad meal at a restaurant, some complain (as do I ), others walk away and don’t return.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Speaking the truth doesn’t have to be harsh or unkind. Where the folks who follow the “telling it like it is” thought process fail, is their lack of compassion, respect or kindness to the people they are unloading on. I have no issues with speaking the truth, but I personally draw the line at supporting people who do so negatively.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Easier said than done Tamara when one person has been hurtful and harmful. It doesn’t leave you feeling positive, to say the least. People are vulnerable and emotional, so if treated badly, perhaps they react badly. Better not to, but that’s about control. In the end we’re human.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I cannot speak to the circumstance you are describing, since I wasn’t there to observe. I agree, when someone is hurtful we don’t feel positive.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Tamara, I also feel uncomfortable when “someone says something offensive, then shrugs it off saying they’re just saying it like it is.” Over the years on WordPress, I’ve stopped following several bloggers for that reason. It’s a lot more challenging when someone makes offensive remarks on my own blog post. When responding, I do my best to be kind and respectful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on this approach, I too unfollow or leave a post when I see the negativity. I have had only a couple of people respond negatively on my site, and I let them know they’re entitled to their opinions, but if they choose to be negative or hurtful, I will block them. I haven’t had issues with them afterward, so obviously I didn’t give them the response they craved, and they moved on!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s no excuse for rudeness! Find a way to word something gently and then take the person aside and do it quietly! Otherwise, you’re a bully just looking for attention! That’s not cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, that has been my preferred approach over the years, but this new trend seems more about getting attention and venting than being mature or kind!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve noticed the same trend. The loudest voices are often trying to stir up drama and then stand back to watch, without getting burned themselves. The best thing to do it walk away, and not give them the satisfaction they are looking for.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup, I agree! I’ve got too little time for drama, so I don’t engage with people wishing just to escalate things!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I think there’s a subtle difference in saying “what it is” from “telling it as it is”, basically, are we being kind and respectful, or is it just an opportunity to unload verbally on someone. It’s how we do things that matter too!

      Yes, being able to speak our truth is challenging so we don’t hide from ourselves, right?


  7. Well said, Tamara. As you suggest, they are fine if your house burns down. As for their house, not so much. Some who can’t walk away are captured by a misguided sense of “politeness” in themselves. If the individual hears you say you don’t want their version of the truth and they persist “for your own good,” it is time to end the relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, yes, well said! Having someone force their truth down our throats is a total disrespect of boundaries. Even if it is the truth, there are so many ways we can use to communicate, and the whole point is being respectful and kind with each other, otherwise it doesn’t matter how right we are if we approach it in a disrespectful, harsh, judgemental or even cruel way. Kindness and respect go a long way in communication, don’t they?

      Liked by 1 person

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