The Death of Sincerity

Sarcasm is a trait people actually find attractive in the Northeast. Men list it as a part of their ISO criteria on dating profiles. Women flaunt sharp tongues as proud as their sharp stilettos–not necessarily in that order.

No one is straight up anymore–or were we ever? I’ve even taken personality tests for employers (disguised as work style assessments) that give you 50 shades of nice to choose from. Pick from a list of adjectives that describe you from congenial to neighborly and a few levels in between. Why? Because we must perfect how we organize perfectly imperfect people?

Worse, I have built my career on the art of nuance. My challenge is how to communicate that positioning statement but not in those words. I take that company POV and create “consumer facing”language. My craft is to write for an age, a gender and a mindset so specific the products they buy must’ve been hand-crafted by their personal lifestyle managers. There. I just layered that with an insincere tone.

As a communication professional, it’s my job to embed deeper meaning into seemingly simple words and phrases. But as a person, I struggle with all the work it takes to unmask motives, needs and wants. Just say it like it is please and thank you. Am I just having a career crisis or a crisis of conscience all together?

Not to talk politics, because I hate that. But we can’t even listen to a no-doubt meticulously crafted speech without analyzing the subtext, influences and questions of lies and truth behind it. Even the people doing the analysis are suspect. No one ever trusts the almighty media because they’re not objective. But who is?

Fact. Without trying, anything and everything we say and do is a reflection of who we are. We are subjective by nature. It just makes it all the more muddled that on top of that inescapable personal lens, we spend time and energy couching the closest semblance of truth we have–gut reactions, first blush thoughts, human instincts…

Are we so afraid of the bare naked self because of the uncertainty of acceptance? Or does basic truth not really exist? I get that we all change with respect to others. But I wonder if we should spend our efforts trying harder to be true to ourselves rather than transforming our words and actions to fit every shifting circumstance. How exhausting. If you’re adept at that sort of thing–are you better skilled at navigating the world? And who’s world is it?

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