A Friend with Something in their Teeth

A good friend tells you when you have something in your teeth.

Or something on your face. Or when you are otherwise suffering from some minor oversight of what would generally be considered a proper way to conduct oneself.

I mean, I’m not judging, but I don’t think you intended to walk around with something in your teeth.

If that’s what you’re into, that’s fine. You get down with your bad self.

But generally people don’t want to walk around with something in their teeth.

So I thought you’d want to know.

I wish more feedback could be like something in your teeth.

It’s a little embarrassing in the moment, but in the end, everyone’s glad someone mentioned it. I mean, you can’t let someone go around all day like that.

And it’s not anything about them – anyone who eats has gotten something stuck in their teeth at one point or another.

And it’s not irreparable. You got something in your teeth – you grab some floss and get it out. No problem.

I wish more feedback could be like that.

In the words of Avenue Q, Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist, but being called out on racism feels a whole lot different from being called out on having something in your teeth.

One is certainly more offensive to others, but in a lot of ways it’s not that different.

Nobody frames everything perfectly all the time.

Nobody is free of bias.

We all say things we don’t mean to say. We all say things that are interpreted differently than we intended them to be.

And perhaps more insidiously, we all think things we wish we didn’t think.

But you have to admit that you thought it and admit that you said it. You have to learn from the experience and move through it.

After all, when someone says you’ve got something in your teeth, you shouldn’t tell them they are wrong – you should grab some floss and take care of it.


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