Contrary to what your mother may tell you, honesty is not the best policy. Excessive honesty will land you in a cabin deep in the woods with no one but a band of squirrels to call your friends. Bon Iver style.
Rather, diplomacy is the best policy. There’s times to be honest, and there’s times where your opinion is communicated as a judgment and you’d be better off with a polite nod and smile. We all practice a healthy level of diplomacy. Thoughts are filtered so that relationships survive. And while some people are natural diplomats (looking at you Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister), others like myself, have a bit more trouble.
With all the self-censoring I’ve been doing lately, an explosion seems inevitable. So as a preventative measure, I thought I’d get it all out right now, starting with Volume I:
Things I Shouldn’t Say to My Best Friend
- Your TA doesn’t want you so bad, he’s just doing his job. When he tells you he’s looking forward to reading your assignment or sends you two emails in a row, he’s trying to be a good teacher. Also he has a girlfriend so leave the poor boy alone!
- While we’re talking about people who don’t want you, that guy in grad school really, really doesn’t. You’ve been trying for two years, even while he was dating another girl so start packing and get your baggage away from that mess of a situation waiting to happen. And he’s totally using you as an option for a place to crash after a night of partying.
- Stop tagging me in 12 posts on Instagram and another 5 comments on Facebook. We follow the same people, girl I definitely saw that picture.
- I love that you’re working out and getting healthy, but getting up at 6 am to work out is cancelled out by the hot dogs/beer/pizza/cola/wine you’ll have later on. Also it bothers me that your goal for working out is to have a nice body that you can post a picture of on Instagram and make boys you went to high school with regret not talking to you. That’s not a goal, that’s a sad after school special.
- We don’t need to text 24/7. I feel guilty for not replying to your text that says “hahah”, but then just annoyed when you send “did you die” a couple hours later. Like really annoyed.
- I’m sorry your roommate sucks and her boyfriend doesn’t ever leave. Perhaps that was something that should’ve been directly addressed six months ago instead of passive aggressively making comments about it? Also I’m totally sick of hearing about the whole situation, especially at how they ignore your passive aggressive remarks.
- You lead guys on and then like a light switch, totally reverse and tell them they contribute nothing to your life and you don’t want to be friends with them anymore. It’s wrong and I feel bad for them. I feel even worse when they try to be decent about it and be civil and you just snap at them.
- Why are you so obsessed with having an effect on men? You’re better than the cheap thrills and you definitely don’t need the constant distraction.
- I’m glad you’re confident in your beauty because you’re easily one of the most naturally pretty girls I know. However, it shouldn’t be something you use as an explanation for your behaviour or to make yourself feel superior to others.
- Don’t send me your snapchats. I never downloaded the app for a reason and I could do without your heavily posed and filtered selfies, angled to show off your makeup or your butt.
- That last guy you dated? Yeah, he was shady as hell, which you found out a month later. But considering you only dated for a month, maybe stop asking about him to your mutual friend and then getting upset about what he’s up to? You’re not together and he’s free to do as he pleases just as you have. You don’t have a right to get angry about him seeing other people. Especially because you were only together for a month.
- Talking about confronting someone doesn’t mean you’ve actually confronted them and therefore, doesn’t contribute to your street cred.
- Read at our daily conversations. Really read it and tell me how many times we talk about you and how many times we spend more than a minute on me. If I can give you an engaged response, you can do better than an emoji. And when you ask me for my opinion and I give it to you, don’t shrug it off as “whatever/I don’t care/why would I bother”.
God that felt good. I underestimated how overwhelming petty annoyances can feel when they’re added up. When diplomacy doesn’t come naturally, it’s exhausting – and boy am I tired. But most importantly, my patience has been reset, and a shouting match has been thankfully avoided.
Until Volume II,