My wife and I attended a storytelling performance recently. A guy in his late twenties took the stage and told a story. He made great efforts to be funny but was decidedly not.
We were sitting behind his girlfriend during the performance, and she spent much of the time laughing.
Elysha later said that she was happy for the guy. She thought it was good that he had someone in his life who thought he was funny and loved him for who he was.
I disagreed. I could not disagree more. I saw this as a tragedy. The guy clearly wants to make people laugh, but he has hitched his wagon to someone who shares his same unfortunate sense of humor.
Either that or is so blinded by love that she cannot see clearly.
As much as I suffer when Elysha tells me that something I have written is ineffective, unfunny, potentially offensive or lacking wit (which happens quite frequently) , I value her honesty and taste beyond measure. The last thing I want is a blind cheerleader, assuring me that everything I say and do is wonderful.
Elysha disagrees. She sees a value and a sweetness in this girlfriend’s unwavering support of her guy.
I ask you: Which would you prefer? The hyper-honest, often critical spouse who seeks to help you improve or the super supportive spouse who loves you for precisely who you are, warts and all?
And don’t tell me that you’d opt for some middle ground between the two. No easy answer allowed.
It’s one or the other in this exercise.