Picture the iconic scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" where Indiana Jones is confronted by a swordsman, who whips out the most elaborate routine, swinging his sword, the whole nine yards -- only for Indy to shoot him halfway through his showboating.
It's a great scene, sure, but it also illustrates a much larger point, both literally and figuratively.
Be a straight shooter.
Being a straight shooter means cutting out the elaborate tip-toeing around what you're going to say. Know your point, back it up and say it. Don't hide behind vague excuses that anyone with half a brain will see through.
Example of the sword show: "Well, you know, I have a lot of work to do and *cough* *cough* I'm not feeling great but we'll see. You know I want to go out. Yeah I might push through I just don't know."
Indy and his gun: "I'm not going."
When you're a straight shooter, things are easier. There's no worrying over, are they going to see through what I'm saying and be mad? There's no overanalyzing what other people say.
Honestly, it's considerate to the other people too. They know exactly where you stand because you've told them.
We're too concerned with hurting people's feelings. Not to say that being a straight shooter gives you an excuse to run your mouth for no other purpose than to be hurtful.
Being a straight shooter is not saying something that's mean just for the purpose of "being honest." Speaking your mind does not negate the old and cliche, but true, phrase, "If you have nothing nice and it would be unproductive to say it at this time, shut the hell up because no one wants to hear it."
When we skirt around what needs to be said, all we're doing is playing a game with no winners. All it leads to is miscommunication, overanalyzed screenshots of texts and anxiety.
In a lot of these situations, it's not life or death. It's not you keeping something from them because it will break open the earth under their feet and drop them into hell.
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It's just being honest. When my friends ask if they look cute in a top and they look like a contestant on "What Not to Wear," I'm going to tell them they look like a potato. If that's what they look like.
Being a straight shooter isn't something that is inherently negative, either.
Give a compliment -- just don't be creepy about it.
When you see someone who is wearing a great outfit, tell them. When someone makes a great point in class that blows you away, tell them. When you just enjoy a person because of their general vibe and being -- tell them!
Our society is so obsessed with being liked by people, but on the flip side we are obsessed with avoiding the perception of fakeness. We need to get rid of both. Say what you mean, mean what you say, it's as easy as that.
If we're all honest with what we think (in a productive, non jerk way) imagine how many fewer screenshots of texts we'll have to send to friends in order to figure out what's being said.
Be Indiana Jones, not the unnamed swordsman who gets 20 seconds of screentime.