You've probably heard the adage “Be careful what you wish for,” and it's a good rule to follow when dealing with a blunt person. You'll get their opinion if you ask for it. Directly from the hip and dead center. Anyone who has a reputation for being the most blunt member of their family or group of friends understands that it can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, people respect your candor; on the other, it's a wonder you ever tell anyone what you think because you're often too preoccupied chewing on your own foot. Here are fifteen things that only people who are blunt can understand.
1. They despise long stories
If you've ever seen an episode of “The Golden Girls,” you've probably heard Rose's St. Olaf stories about the mule who skied backwards on buttermilk and the countless ways to cook herring. “Get to the point, Rose!” would inevitably be interrupted by one of the other girls, usually Dorothy. Blunt people have no problem speaking their minds, so when others can't get to the point quickly enough, they lose patience and tell you straight out.
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2. They make numerous apologies
Bluntness is frequently misinterpreted as rudeness or unfriendliness. When they make a disparaging remark about a friend's new outfit, it's because they follow the golden rule that friends don't let friends leave the house in a skirt the color of cat vomit. The problem is that this well-intended fashion advice isn't always well-received, and blunt people frequently find themselves repeating “I didn't mean it the way it sounded,” so often that they should just have it printed on a t-shirt or tattooed on their foreheads.
3. They frequently insult others
Have you ever read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen? Do you recall Mr. Darcy's initial proposal to Elizabeth Bennet? When discussing her vexing family members, he could have said, “Your mother might want to learn to hold her tongue in public.” Of course, he had to respond, “Did you expect me to rejoice in your connections' inferiority?” To congratulate myself on the prospect of relationships whose life circumstances are clearly inferior to mine?” (It's no surprise she refused him.) People who are blunt have no problem telling you what they really think of you, even if (and often especially if) they love you and just don't know how to say it. They don't always have the best control over their tongue, so if passion takes precedence over good judgment, you might want to invest in some serious body armor. It's for your own safety.
4. They are everyone's go-to fashion consultant
You may not like it when they criticize your latest wardrobe choice, but that won't stop you from dragging your blunt friend to the mall to shop the latest sales. If you're going to spend your entire paycheck on a new pair of jeans, make sure they don't make your butt look like it should have its own zip code. You would never have bought the cat vomit skirt if you had just taken your blunt friend shopping with you in the first place.
5. They enjoy snark
If a blunt person is going to throw a verbal zinger at you, they will enjoy doing so. When you ask your boyfriend if he wants to see the new foreign film in theaters, and he knows you know he doesn't, why would he simply say “no thanks” when he can respond with “I'd rather inflict a thousand paper cuts and take a bath in lemon juice”? This is a far more eloquent way of expressing both his disgust with the idea and his irritation with you for even suggesting it.
6. When they're drunk, they're hilarious
Alcohol loosens people's tongues, so imagine what it does to a blunt individual. Consider the hysterically funny scene in Jim Carrey's “Liar Liar” in which his office colleagues force him to reveal what he thinks of them. They think he's joking, but when he says of one of his coworkers, “Simmons is old,” he means it. He should have retired years ago, but he can't because he despises his wife.” This is the person who becomes blunt after a few martinis. They probably won't want to know what they said the next day about someone's new husband or the glorified slime on a shingle called pizza served at a party, and luckily for them, they're the blunt one, not you. You'll never be able to tell them.
7. Their sincerity is rare and precious
Because most people associate bluntness with sarcasm or negativity, a blunt person's genuine kindness is sometimes all the more appreciated because when they pay a compliment, they always mean it. I'm reminded of an episode of “Will and Grace” in which Grace is (as usual) freaking out about an upcoming date and seeks last-minute advice from Will. “Keep your shoes on at the table, eat butter with bread, and if the server asks if you want fresh pepper, don't ask if it's free,” he responds bluntly. After a brief pause, he adds softly, “and you look lovely.” You won't catch blunt people giving you an insincere compliment because they adhere to a strict code of honesty.
8. They express their affection in a direct manner
It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but with a blunt person, it is more likely to be a sarcastic remark that demonstrates how much they value you. This is because they know it takes a thick-skinned person to stand up to their bluntness, so when you show up at a party and they say, “Did you mean to get a haircut that makes your head look like a salad bowl?” they may not like the haircut, but they definitely like you. They only say such things because they know you're strong enough to deal with it.
9. They are extremely uneasy in the presence of crybabies
Because the blunt enjoy using their friends' egos for conversational target practice, they like to identify the group's overly sensitive members before sharpening their tongue. The salad bowl haircut, the cat vomit skirt, the Mr. Darcy-like snark about your obnoxious relatives—all it's the blunt person's way of putting you through the ringer to see if you can take the heat, and if you can't, go home. Nobody likes to walk on eggshells, especially the blunt person, who is probably about as good as a tap-dancing elephant at it. The truth is that they are not acting inconsiderately; on the contrary. Blunt people don't want to offend anyone (especially someone who doesn't deserve it), so they may make a careless remark or two just to see how hard it lands, and they'll back off if they see it really hurts you.
10. They are extremely confrontational
This is one of the occupational hazards of being in the company of a blunt person. Because of their brutal honesty, they have no qualms about picking a fight. You probably cringe every time you dine with them because you never know what complaint they'll have about the service. You might have crawled under the table (or at least wanted to) whenever they complained about things like “Are they out back plucking the chicken for my salad?” If I wanted to wait this long for my fried rice, I would have gotten a passport and traveled to China.” You put up with it because you don't have to pay for your dinner half the time. The person who squeaks the loudest gets free food.
11. They are always willing to give you a speech
At your 40th birthday party, your blunt best friend will be the first to roast you. They'll sprinkle their toast with stories about the time you got drunk and danced with your cardboard cutout of Leonardo DiCaprio at your wedding. As I previously stated, this is their way of expressing affection. They enjoy these stories, and they appreciate you providing them with entertaining conversation starters. If they truly believed it would humiliate you, they would never say anything.
12. They frequently use the phrase “I told you so.”
You probably seek advice from blunt people all the time because you know they'll tell you the truth, whether it's about the color of your new car or whether your fiancé got your engagement ring from a gumball machine. You know better than to ask if you don't want to know, so pay attention when they say, “I'll tell you, but only if you really want the truth.” When you're insulted, you'll get the “I told you so.” Laugh and bear it. You'll recover just in time to make the same error again.
13. They are difficult to communicate with via text or email
We've discussed how blunt people sarcasm like it's an Olympic sport, but one of the things that makes sarcasm funny is context, specifically visual cues. When your best friend smirks and tells you that you're so gullible that you'd probably trust the Devil with your credit card, she's being affectionate. However, if she says this over text and forgets to include the tongue-out emoticon face, the conversation may not end well. The emoticon was most likely invented to alleviate the awkwardness of such direct conversations. When are the world's computer geniuses going to create a sarcasm font?
14. They must always be introduced to new people with some sort of disclaimer
Whenever you introduce the blunt person in your life to a group of new friends, relatives, or colleagues, the introduction usually includes some obligatory statement along the lines of “I'm not responsible for anything she says.” Especially if you provide her with alcohol. Her tongue is like a waterfall—a natural force that can't be stopped.” It's critical that you deliver this caveat with a healthy dose of sarcasm and humor to let others know that your blunt friend's or partner's remarks have more bark than bite. This will reduce the possibility of hurt feelings later, and everyone at the company Christmas party will appreciate it.
15. They teach you how to defend yourself
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but if you spend enough time around a blunt person, you'll never have a bruised ego for long. The most valuable benefit of knowing someone who tells it like it is learning to deflect harsh words with emotional armor. Not everyone you meet will think you're amazing. We are all vulnerable to criticism about our work, personal quirks, relationships, appearances, and so on. Social scrutiny is a part of life, and if others didn't point out our flaws, we'd never grow. You have the option of crawling into a corner and licking your wounds, or you can indulge in a fit of rage for five minutes and then go about your business. As irritating as blunt people can be at times, they teach you the value of self-assurance in the face of ridicule.
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