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C12P03 – Better Off

C12P03 – Better Off published on 6 Comments on C12P03 – Better Off

Kali, Prime Minister of Tact.

I used to believe that “tact” was another way of saying “lying,” since it seemed like most of the time it was just a way to avoid sharing one’s actual thoughts. I also used to think that “brutal” honesty was the only kind. I like to think I’ve mellowed a bit since then. I’ve learned that the truth can be spoken without it causing harm. That it can be delivered firmly, but also kindly. And that some situations are better than others for having valuable discussions.

Sometimes though, I just wish people would be a lot more blunt. Especially in social situations. I don’t think I’d mind being told point blank that somebody didn’t like my company much. It would certainly save me a lot of time on worrying and wondering. Especially if it wasn’t particularly personal. Sometimes people just don’t get along with each other. That’s okay.

Maybe that’s just me wishing I could turn off the part of my brain that goes “Did I talk too much? Not enough? Too passionately? Too detached? Wrong topic? Wrong opinion? What if you’re actually completely ignorant about this? What if you’re TOO knowledgeable and you’re a know-it-all?? WHAT IF, ROBIN??? WHAT IF?”

I would actually love it if somebody could just gently say, “I’m bored with this topic, let’s talk about something else,” or “You don’t know this as well as you think. Go research.” Of course, nobody says these things, because being clear is so clearly rude…Alas!!

Is there a social nicety that you wish we’d all just do away with?

July has begun, which means it’s time for the first Vlog of the Month, made public to everyone! I do weekly Vlogs over on Patreon, for folks that want to get the most personal view into what I do and who I am. Thank you, as always, to my patrons for your support. Not just your patronage, but also your company. I feel like the Patron community has become a safe space for me to share and connect with you all on a deeper level, and I really value having such a lovely community. You rock!

For this Vlog, I decided to do something a little different and share a Tarot reading I did for myself. Whenever I have a particularly tough time, I’ve found Tarot is a great way to get another perspective on my state of mind.


Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Is it wrong that my first thought was ‘poor dream eater’ because he fights so hard not to be seen as evil but he’s been made that way? Then again, I get the feeling that this sort of “I hate you but in general” kind of thing is less personal than “Look at Vision the beautiful Mystery who is good and special and kind but watch out for that Dream Eater he’s a monster who eats babies” and therefore easier to handle? IDK?

In Kali’s case, the reasons for her dislike of all the Mysteries, including Vision, is a little different. But that’s going to be Chapter 13’s show.

The ignorance about Dream Eater is what bugs the knowledge god most of all. The reputation itself…eh! He’s done some good things, and some bad things, and if a person only know about one side of him and drew a conclusion he’d find it amusing more than anything else. However, to make an assumption based on little to no facts or experiences just galls him.

Oh, Kali. You have as far to go as anyone else on this journey. Then again, your inability to put things nicely is probably why you get along with Tama so well…

I’m a firm defender of social niceties, actually. I mean, I think friends should be able to speak honestly with each other the way you’re talking about, but there’s a right way to talk about things and a wrong way. It’s like giving any other kind of critique. You can say, “Your story sucks” or you can say, “It needs work.” One version closes a door; another one keeps it open. I don’t believe in shutting doors if you can help it.

I hadn’t thought of social niceties as a form of critique. Critique is stored in such an analytical part of my brain that it doesn’t generally cross over with the social part. Now I’m wondering what would happen if it did…

And yes, Kali’s tendency to say things in a blunt manner is a major part of why Tama and Kali get along. Tama’s way too used to people telling him what they think he wants to hear. He finds Kali’s perspective refreshing and trustworthy.

I have issues with the idea that “being blunt” automatically means “trustworthy.” It means you’re getting the person’s unvarnished opinion, certainly, but A) that doesn’t mean they’re right and B) that doesn’t mean they’re not being deliberately hurtful. And, honestly, if you’re being honest and mean, you’re just wasting your breath. The person won’t listen anyway; they can safely write you off because you’re being a jerk.

That’s what I had to learn growing up. Blunt and trustworthy are not necessarily the same. Nor is brutal honesty the same has true honesty.

Tama’s perspective is based partially on an experience I had during a study tour when I was a teen. I deeply disliked the vast majority of my fellow student travelers, and after a while I gave up on being nice and just tried to drive them away by being as harsh and blunt as I could. Rather than them avoiding me (which was what I was aiming for) they liked me more and more the nastier I was. Finally, utterly exasperated, I confronted one of them and asked why on earth they thought my behavior was okay.

“It’s because you’re so HONEST. I know exactly what you think. I never have to guess.”

When I heard that, I realized how sad the whole thing was, because in truth they didn’t know me or my thoughts any better than if I’d been falsely kind. Both masks were only part of a real picture.

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