The generosity of concealment
Human beings never reveal all of our emotions.
We don’t simply blurt out the first thing that pops into our head in a meeting, or insult someone upon meeting them. We’re able to give people the benefit of the doubt (which requires doubt before we can offer the benefit) and to plan for the long haul.
And yet we do this essential work without thinking about it or working to get better at it.
When we’re engaging with someone, both sides benefit. And a key part of our contribution to the interaction is a willingness to conceal emotions that would undermine the efforts of our partner in this work.
There’s a lot to be said for honesty and directness. But concealment can be a generous tool if it helps everyone get to where they need to go.