Friday, February 16, 2007


So I was listening to this podcast the other night - an interview with a top US Woman executive (I forget the name, but that's not important) who integrates spirituality into her corporate life. And she's got this Triple-C philosophy that guides her through life:

Clarity, Candour & Compassion

And I thought to meself: "Ok, so Clarity and Compassion are pretty self-evident, but why Candour?". And the more I thought about it the more I realised that my personal grip on the concept candour is somewhat slippery. The only solution? To the dictionary:

"honesty and straight-forwardness of speech or behaviour"

- Collins Paperback English Dictionary
(yeah, I still use "offline" directories. There's somethin more stable about them)

And I started seeing how important this thing is from both a spiritual and everyday point of view. I also started seeing how my own demeanor has been so lacking in candour up to now.

Yeah, this has been one of my biggest problems in life, especially in inter-personal relationships. It's like I don't say how I feel, I bottle it all up, especially when somebody "wrongs" me. I take the shit, take the shit, take the shit and then one inauspicious, innocent day, that little line in the sand is crossed (aka the camel's back) and all hell breaks loose. And by then, of course, it is construed as totally blown-out-of-all-proportion, and the whole dang thing backfires. Something which upfront candour would prevent from ever happening.

So why this lack of candour? I'm still working on answers to this, but here are some of my tentative theories:
  • Candourlessness, if you examine it closely, is a pretty bipolar trait. It slots into the ALL or NOTHING mould. The ALL depression, or NO depression syndrome. With lack of candour it comes thru as a TOTALLY accommodating, or ZERO accommodating personality dynamic. (Camel's Back syndrome). I'm not for a minute saying that all BiPolars lack candour. I know plenty that probably have an over-supply. But for me - that's how it works.
  • BiPolar aside, I am a person that is always over-eager to please others. And paranoid about rejection. The result - been too polite, too accommodating, too willing to keep the peace. Until it explodes.
  • Another reason I can think of is that Candour is in very low supply in post-Apartheid South Africa. Political Correctness is the new God, and everything else takes second place. I'm not saying PC doesn't have it's righteous place, but often these days we're ending up with Naked Emporer scenarios. A spade no longer gets called a spade, it gets called a "traditional, manual, gardening aide". And "fucking" is "non-oral, penetrative, sexual relations with another consenting adult."

    You should have seen the South African version of Survivor! Man, what a flop. There was none of the back-stabbing, snarky, sneaky, juicy stuff that makes Survivor so good. Everyone was tiptoeing around everyone else, like a bunch of whimpish fakes. Like a fckn group "feel-good" expedition.


  1. Non-Assertive Aggression is a particular Scottish male trait. It is perhaps what you are suffering from without the resulting, "Glasgow Kiss" (Head butt).

    I too am prone to taking things on the chin, bottling it up and then EXPLODING.

  2. ^ not to be anonymous in a non-assertive way... that post is mine ;)

  3. i think many of us humans are that way... i take alot of crap and while i don't usually explode, i will walk away from it. it's my version of "love thy neighbor", i never want to hurt anyone's feelings... but i don't see that as a flaw in my character.

  4. How was your childhood? Many of us, who were raised by abusive parents, find it very hard to be candid.

  5. I personally don't like confrontation, but when someone pisses me off..I walk away, scream in my car...and depending on my them a nasty letter...this was BEFORE I was diagnosed with Bipolar...

    Now I am more aware of this and tend to control myself....

  6. Emotional candour is my big stumbling block in life, I'm pretty sure. But now it's time to crack open your atlas, BPG. I'm still waiting for the Canadian version of that reality show - Survivor Baffin Island. Preferably it would be filmed in January and February.

  7. oh
    i can relate
    probably why i'm single
    thing is, i really love people
    when i love a lightsource
    thing...can be a bit offputting for the lightsource
    i guess

  8. oh
    you don't need baffin island
    my bro sent me pics of canada's southernmost spot
    buried BURIED in snow
    looks pretty
    but he used
    much harsher

  9. No, maybe not Baffin Island but Survivor Point Pelee doesn't really have that isolated ring to it.

  10. gosh i love this blog... that is so me... unfortunately..


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