One of the reasons Erica has kept me around for as long as she has is because I always tell her the truth. If I don’t like an idea, I tell her. If I think she needs to tone something down, I tell her. If she’s written something I don’t like, I tell her. The fact that I tell her these things means when I do tell her something is brilliant, she knows it’s the truth. It’s a bit like being Simon Cowell.
A few years ago I got bangs. I loved my bangs but when it rained, my bangs didn’t love me. So it was unfortunate when I was to appear on the CTV Morning Live in Ottawa and woke up to find it drizzling. By the time I got to the television station, my bangs had receded and looked like, well….this.
It was also unfortunate when Erica decided to tweet it out and then Eileen put it on our Facebook page and then, well, people started sharing the crap out of it. One of my worst pictures ever and it was going around the internety world like wild fire. Everyone else was all “you look fine” or “your bangs are so nice” while I shook my head and wondered how they didn’t see my distinct resemblance to Kathy Griffin. So I emailed my friend Lisa and told her about the “OMG, worst photo ever and people are sharing it.” At which point she wrote me back with a reply I’ll never forget. “Well, Sharon. It’s not the best picture you’ve ever taken.”
She could have told me I looked good. She could have told me it was a nice picture. But she’s a truthteller and she knew I looked like crap and she told me so…in a nice way. This is also what you need to know — being a truthteller is not free license to be mean. The two are not the same at all.
So what’s the point of all this? Earlier this week I went out to practice speed skating starts because it’s generally not something we do in class and if I’m going to race in a meet, I need to know how to start. I can barely balance in the position I’m supposed to be in to start a race let alone fall into it and run like a duck on my blades.
My husband was there. He is the biggest truthteller in my life, my Simon Cowell, so to speak. For an hour I practiced starts, in between doing slow laps. Afterwards when we were taking skates off in the change room I asked him how I did because he hadn’t seen me skate since last March.
He told me, “To be honest, I was expecting you to be much worse than you are. The fact is, we both know you’re going to go out there Sunday and be the last one to finish any race you’re in. It is what it is. But last year you didn’t look like you knew what you were doing at all and today you looked comfortable, more like a speed skater. Not that you’re there yet. You may be last on Sunday but you’re going to fit in with the other skaters.”
If he had said “You’re going to be AWESOME. You’re going to kick some ass.” I would have known he was lying.What he told me was the best thing he could have possibly said.
Telling the truth can be very hard thing to do, especially when it’s not exactly what the person wants to hear. But if you lie because you want to make them feel better in the moment, how are they ever going to believe anything you say ever again.
If you are a kind truthteller and surround yourself with kind truthtellers, you’ll find your life improving tenfold.
Also, for the record, this was my hair about five hours after the tv interview when I got my hands on a straightening iron. The bangs really did rock.