This is 31 Conversations From the Front Porch Day 11… You can find the rest of the series here.
Day 11: Why We All Need a Simon Cowell
“To everything there is a season….a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
There was a reason people loved American Idol’s Simon Cowell. He was not afraid to shoot it straight. Yes, sometimes he came across as rude and unfeeling, but at the end of the day he said what the rest of us watching were thinking, “Don’t quit your day job!”
In the music industry where money, looks, and a tiny shred of talent and/or marketability are key Simon Cowell knew what he was talking about. Instead of feeding those tone deaf contestants lies about their talent he was willing to cut through the bull and tell them that they should find a different profession, hobby, or skill. Singing was not their thing.
Because he did not appear to care who he offended he was able to tell them exactly how untalented or outrageous they were… and we tuned in every week to watch him weed them out.
Not surprisingly the real talent emerged and the tone deaf went home angry, hurt, disillusioned, or perhaps finally understanding a truth about themselves they failed to acknowledge before… “You can’t sing.”
Simon Cowell is not afraid of being NOT nice and that is what a lot of those contestants needed.
Someone willing to tell them the truth even if that truth was not very nice, even if that truth hurt someone’s feelings.
I think we all need one Simon Cowell in our lives.
Not someone who is going to harm our hearts, by throwing bombs of truth/lies at us, but someone who lives with that loving intent towards us. Those who are willing to speak the truth even if that truth makes us angry. We all need one person who in a mutual exchange can be NOT NICE, that one friend who can look us in the eyes and say, “I love you, but you can’t sing” (or whatever denial it is we are currently living under).
Instead we often allow our relationships/friendships to settle for being nice…too nice.
We settle into keeping the peace by being polite and avoiding conflict…. doing anything to NOT offend or disagree.
Somewhere we bought into the lie that to love others means – we avoid hurting each other.
We avoid the messy. We avoid angering, hurting, disagreeing, etc. We put on plastic smiles of niceness and politeness.
Niceness stays quiet. Kindness speaks up.
Niceness is toxic. Kindness is healing.
Niceness lies to keep the peace. Kindness knows the only way to make peace is to tell the truth.
Niceness holds back. Kindness moves forward with humility, gentleness and grace. –Allison Vesterfelt
When what we really need is a Simon Cowell – to shoot straight through the bull to the heart of our matters.
Simon Cowell is an expert in his field – someone who has helped to make others successful. Someone who can tell the talent from the wannabes. Someone that others depend upon to tell the truth, to weed the faking – so that they don’t put all their money on a dud.
We all need a “heart expert” – someone who can help us when we need it, to shoot to the heart of the matters we are facing, and take loving risks that spur us on to living authentically.
I’m not talking about the barb throwers or those who claim to be encouragers when really they suck the life out of us.
I am NOT talking about those who vomit “truth” into our lives or who have verbal diarrhea – unable to cork the flow of information (“truth”) they need to tell everyone about everyone else.
We don’t need people to fake it with us or people who require us to fake it with them.
We need the life-bringers. The ones who know our truth and love us deeply – anyways.
We need a Simon Cowell who we have given permission to speak into our lives and hearts – who we can trust and who trusts us in return.
Exercises For Your Own Front Porch Conversations
Article to Consider: Why I Quit Being Nice by Allison Vesterfelt
- Do you have a Simon Cowell in your life? Or does everyone around you tell you what you want to hear?
- Who are your truth-bringers? What can you confidently confide in them? What do you hide?
- Have you given someone permission to be a Simon Cowell in your life… and now you need to take that permission back?
- (Check back tomorrow to discuss how we can take back the consent we have given)