This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.
I don’t know about you but after a family-filled long weekend, I’m always in need of a little comic relief.
This week’s recommendation: a YouTube skit called Honest Road Rage, produced by the sketch comedy troupe Collective Noun. It’s well worth the minute and 23 seconds it takes to watch it, not only for the humor, but for the poignant lesson about vulnerability and authenticity.
The video depicts a short scene: What would happen if angry drivers were actually honest about their feelings? It begins when one cuts the other one off. Then instead of the dialogue we would expect to hear, the actors say what they’re really thinking, only with the intensity and volume that matches an altercation.
Here are a few of my favorite lines:
(The driver who did the cutting off, shouting) “Well, I realize I’ve made a mistake, but I don’t want to admit that because I don’t want to look vulnerable!”
(The driver who’s the victim, putting up his fists to engage in a fight, also shouting) “I really hope you don’t figure out I have no idea what I’m doing!”
(The police officer who appears on the scene, with forced calm) “All right, boys, it’s my first day and you’re a lot bigger than what you look like back there so I’m a little bit scared!”
I recently challenged my co-author Charlie Green to write an equivalent skit to depict Honest Buyer-Seller Meetings. He did a masterful job. The scene: A first meeting between a consultant and prospective client. Here are a few of my favorite lines:
(Client, reaching out for handshake): “Good morning! I’m going to act totally confident here so you can’t possibly tell that I’m nervous about this meeting!”
(Consultant, having later been asked to provide background information) “I’m relieved that you’ve asked me about my firm because, frankly, I don’t want to have to talk about myself! And, I’ve memorized those lines so I won’t sound stupid! Let me launch into our standard pitch now!”
(Consultant, nearing the end of the meeting) “It’s looking like I’m going to pull through this meeting alive! That’s good because I really just want to get back to my office where it’s quiet and I can email you, which is so much more comfortable than having to talk with you!”
I’ve been that consultant more often than I’d like to admit.
Wouldn’t life be so much simpler and easier—and funnier—if we could find a way to acknowledge our fears and be more real with one another?
This week, notice when there’s a difference between what you’re really thinking and what you’re actually saying. Are there people or situations where the gap is strikingly small? Particularly big?