Tony A. Smith

Home » Advice » ON BEING FRANK




This photo was taken in the middle of summer. That’s not exactly true. I guess I was not being frank with you now was I?  You can tell from the leaves on the trees that summer has come and gone. Winter is on the way and soon the leaves will be gone from those trees. In Latin “frank means free man. It also means to be sincere or truthful.

How often are we not frank with each other in the world we live in today? Have you ever had a friend ask you how you are doing and you reply with that canned answer of “I’m fine, how are you?”  Perhaps their question is in fact well-meaning and they really do want to know how you are doing.  More often than not though they just want to illicit that canned response or obligation so that they can go on about their business for the day.  With the answer of “I’m fine, how are you?” Are you really being frank,or are you just reciprocating the falsity of pleasantries.  If someone does not really want to know how you are doing then why ask the question?  Why feel an obligation to fulfill their need for a feel good answer?

What about “Facebook” which is becoming “Brag Book”?  Do we portray our “frank” face about what is happening in our lives or do we pick and choose the nice things we want to show everyone as the picture we paint on the canvas of our life? Why is it that we want to show a life of everything going great on the inside when in reality everything is not going so great?  We are like that little duck who looks so calm and cool as he glides across the surface of the water. What others can’t see are those little legs paddling like crazy just beneath the surface. Maybe we should be a little more frank with ourselves and care a little less about what the world thinks of us.

A parent to a child – “How was school today? – Oh, just fine mom.”    In reality the child was bullied at school today and just wants to keep it to himself.

A wife to her husband – “How was work today? – It was fine honey.”  The truth is work was terrible and he just doesn’t want to burden his wife with more baggage.

An older adult to her mother – ” How have you been feeling mom? – I’ve been feeling fine.”  Mom has just discovered she has a chronic illness and doesn’t want to tell her daughter.

When asking a question about someone perhaps we should be a little more sincere sometimes if we really do want more than a canned answer to satisfy our obligations.  Maybe all we need to do is ask a follow-up question and spend a little more time with that person. Being frank means being free to be sincere and truthful in all of our relationships and situations in life.

1 Comment

  1. cperrington says:

    I’ve always said, “If you don’t really want to hear the truth, then don’t ask the question.” Very spot-on blog post today.


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