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Try Harder, And The Occasional Need To Be Blunt

Last week, as I was at my dentist getting a root canal, she did a quick examination of my mouth.

“Are you flossing regularly?”, she asked.

“Umm… I try”, I said, unconvincingly. Flossing is one of those things that I keep meaning to do more regularly.

“Try harder”, was her curt response.

That simple sentence blew my mind. It was blunt and to a point.

I have never been the one to mince words. You know that thing that everyone is thinking? I tend to be the one to say it out loud. And you can almost hear the whole room sigh with relief. I just do not do well with tension that hangs in the air.

If I don’t say it out loud, it’s written all over my face any way.

If I like you, you’ll know.

If I don’t like you… chances are, you’ll know.

The seemingly inborn Canadian political correctness is a foreign characteristic to me. Blunt by nature, I can hurt others without intending to do so, and so I spent a long time learning how to hold my tongue, and how to deliver my message in a less cutting fashion. With great success for the most part. [Just don’t ask me to recommend a good detox. Then, all bets are off.]

Yet over time I forgot how effective being blunt can be.

How often we sugar coat the message that needs to be said? How often do we throw out platitudes like “It is what it is”, or take away from our own truth by saying “That’s just my opinion. It depends on the individual, of course”?

Sometimes, we need to hear the truth.

Sometimes, it IS simple.

P.S. Things I learned today: 1. when you type “blunt” in Google, you mostly get marijuana references. 2. there is a singer named James Blunt



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