A Cultural Sidenote (6)

One of the niceties that my mother despaired teaching me was tact. I firmly believed that you should say what you truly thought; not what you thought someone wanted to hear. In my opinion, doing the latter was akin to lying through your teeth. So, when someone got a haircut that looked ridiculous; I opted to say nothing at all. (You know the rule, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”) However; here in Portugal, I fit right in. If you don’t like something here, you come right out and say it: bluntly. So, if someone serves you a piece of cake and then asks you how you liked it, you could say, “I didn’t like it at all.” (Right now, some of you are thinking , “Cool!” and some others of you are thinking, “How terrible!” ) BUT, you don’t end there: instead, you should continue and say something like, “It has a strong almond flavor, and I have never enjoyed almond flavor even though most people really enjoy it.”  I like this way better. Tell the truth, but take the burden of responsibility on yourself.  The only drawback I’ve discovered so far is, it still doesn’t work well if someone ends up with a terrible haircut – unless, of course, you gave the haircut!

  1. I think you take after your Dad!!!! I can see and hear your Mom despairing over your bluntness!! Praying, ~K~

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