What or how?

“It is not what you say; it is how you say it.” ~ Russell Dwyer

“Horse pucky.” ~ Sherman Potter

I have forever heard the argument it is not what you say but the way you say it which matters. You are free to tell someone to bugger themselves provided you do it with a smile and in a tone of voice which makes them crave to find the longest, roughest, curviest implement possible.

Then, I look at a few facts.

Customer Service

crackberryThis industry is only alive because of the adage at the top of this post. We have all heard some CSR say, “I wish there was something I could do.”

FACT: Companies script dialog for when CSR have to talk to customers.

Regardless of the veracity of the wish, the giant BUT which follows means the wish will never come true. Does it make you feel any better abut losing $1,000 on a worthless piece of equipment because you bought what you thought you needed and a salesperson was delighted to sell it to you despite you needing something to make it work for which you now must spend an additional $250?


200People who go to professional school must take a class to learn how to tell people they are (fools, idiots, stupid) which is why they are in need of professional service. They learn to say it in a way which makes many people glad to fork over thousands of dollars for the pleasure.

FACT: Professionals serve a purpose besides lining their own pockets.

Professionals feed on the simple fact: They went to school to learn to do what you did not. It is the only reason they have a job. It is not because you are stupid, a fool or an idiot. You go to the tax man because you had better things to do with your college years than learn the IRS code. Good for you. Do you feel any better about his smugness in telling you without him you would be in the clink?


You expect your friends to be kind to you. That kindness needs to include the truth not just feel-good wishes and platitudes. At the other end, when the truth is ugly, it does need to be delivered in such a way as to not add insult to injury. For example:

Do these jeans make my butt look fat?”

In all honesty? Well, yes. You would not have asked if you did not want the truth.

AA. Yes.

B. (Uproarious laughter and pointing)

C. I don’t know. Is it supposed to look like two bulldogs fighting in a burlap sack?

D. OMG! No, honey! You need to buy them in all seven colors!

Unless your friend masochistically enjoys being the butt of the joke, the only correct answer is A.

FACT: An ugly, simple, uncluttered truth is less hurtful than a lie.

Until you have the courage to get down to brass tacks and say what needs to be said, namely the truth, you are not a friend. One of these days, your friend will meet cotton-topped dowager (or me) who will take her to the side and say, “Honey, you really need to not wear those in public.” Does egg look good on your face?

Bottom Line

Stop being afraid of the truth. Grow some skin, and ask for the truth. Take it with grace, or tears until you learn how to take it with grace. Have some courage, and tell the truth.

Just so you know… there is a lot of truth coming.

Red Signature

Do you really want to know if you butt looks fat? Are you really prepared to tell your friend? Why is it so hard just to tell the unadulterated truth?

Thank you to the person who submitted this question. If you would like to have a question answered, please submit a query through Ask Momma (under the About Momma tab).

PS If you did not click on the link above, All Buts Are Cracked. is a really good read.

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  1. As usual you have perfect timing.

    Sidebar: I like my fat ass, and it looks amazing in a pair of jeans; so long as they are not rainbow colored.
    laurie recently posted..Reality Hits at Odd TimesMy Profile

    • The thought of rainbow-colored jeans makes my eye twitch almost as much as rainbow-colored afro wigs. *shudder*

  2. Grant Helms

     /  July 4, 2014

    As usual, right on the money. As a life-long sugar-coater, I am glad that you took the time to teach me the truth. It has become easier, however I am not as adept at it as you are. But I am progressing. As proof I really must do this: Laurie, I love you but…….. Keep up the good work and thanks for telling me the truth always. The temporary pain always subsides.

    • Over the years, I have become more adept at it. I am becoming more so every day. Even I have some work to do.

  3. Good one, milady…. I’m a big fan of truth, as you are aware… but, since it’s late, I don’t have the energy to put aside the rising levels, so, I can’t rant just now…. I know, that breaks everyone’s heart, but, hey, we’re all adults, right?

    I do have to say, my dad, who looked like Sherman Potter, also used that phrase, as his go-to all-purpose expression of disbelief, or to call BS on someone, so, it brought back memories…

    Though I tend to give A) as an answer to such queries, I’ve also been known to use C), with those I know have a good sense of humor, and irony…. I laughed, even if nobody else will…

    See ya, Red…. as I said, another good one….

    Ned, aka, gigoid, the dubious, and I guess I ended up ranting anyway…. SIGH….

    gigoid recently posted..‘Twould be worse in reverse….My Profile

  4. I prefer the truth to a fib. I rather face the it the first time around versus finding out someone’s been ever stumbling around and not keeping her stories to me straight.
    I’m also getting better at telling the truth but fail at times and avoid it if the receiving party won’t know how to filter out the good part.
    Tess recently posted..Beijing: Ming Tombs, Day 4, Part 2My Profile

    • I have had to develop an addendum which is appended to truthful statements for those who believe all truth is a personal affront. I exercise it twice. By the third time, I have exhausted whatever patience I would have had for such nonsense. xxx

  5. If there is one thing to reveal about me, it is that I always tell the truth when asked a question. The alternative would be a lie and I won’t go there.

    My logic is that if one does not want to know the truth then do not ask me, it is as simple as that 🙂

    This is another great posting Red…

    Andro xxxx

  1. What do you know? | The M3 Blog

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