As I watched the premiere of X-Factor last night, I realized something horrible about myself. I am the Paula in life, less the heavy medication and sparkly wardrobe. As much as I love Simon and how accurate, if not mean, he usually is with his reviews of performances, if I found myself in a position to judge someone, I would totally find myself saying something like, “That was definitely unforgettable! You might not be an American Idol, but you are a great person!” After all, I’m that person – the Paula – without a hit reality show. While I might not be paid to judge people and discover talent, I find myself in situations where I’m judging others in some way or another throughout my day. It could be a co-worker’s report or the service I received at Starbucks, simple but important in my daily life. And there are times I want to shout or make a scathing retort, but the Paula in me can’t allow it. Focus on the positive! Find the good, even if there is a ton of bad in the mix.
I’m not good at mean. It doesn’t sound right coming out of my mouth and even when it does, no one around me takes it seriously. The problem is – I always want people to feel good about themselves, but sometimes, people shouldn’t feel good about themselves. And while I don’t condone ripping into people on a daily basis, sometimes there is something to be said for a serious tone and an honest critique.
Maybe the realization that I'm the Paula isn't horrible. There are worse things in life than being known as the nice one in a group. There's nothing wrong with trying to make people feel better about whatever is going on with a smile and kind words. But sometimes it would be nice to be able to channel Simon and speak the truth without fear of how it will go over. I guess it’s all about striking a balance – being kind toward others, but not afraid to speak the truth.