Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The upside of radical honesty

As holiday events pick up, and sensitive spouses prepare to grapple with their partners’ socially challenging behavior, here’s a frightening insight from A.J. Jacobs, a writer who says he makes his living embarrassing his wife, Julie.

Jacobs is the author of “The Know-It-All,’’ “The Year of Living Biblically,’’ and “My Life as an Experiment.’’ In a phone interview, he described running into a friend of his wife’s while he was practicing “radical honesty’’ for an Esquire magazine story. When the other couple suggested a get together, Jacobs was frank. “You seem like nice people,’’ he said, “but honestly I don’t want to see you again.’’

“I know they were offended, and my wife wanted to strangle me,’’ he said. But there was an upside. “One advantage is that we have not seen them again. If you plan it properly you can reap the benefits.’’
--Beth Teitell, Boston Globe, on telling them how you really feel

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