“This Is Hard for Me To Say” Is Garbage

Don’t cushion your words by telling us that they’re tough for you to say, because you’re either lying or shilling for sympathy, and neither makes us want to believe you.

The preacher says, “I have to say some difficult things about homosexuality”mere hours after the Orlando shootings, and what follows is a breezy sermon filled with adjectives like “disgusting” and “gross.” To watch him and his amateur Power Point, it’s the easiest thing this preacher has ever done. He’s clearly lying: there’s nothing difficult about this for him, and that makes him dangerous, because he’s worse than wrong (and ill informed and tasteless); he’s a liar, and we will never believe him.

Yet even if “This is hard for me to say” is authentic, it’s manipulative. You’re shifting the burden of your task as a truth-teller onto your audience, and that’s not fair. If you’re straining under the weight of words that must be said, we’ll see it. We will judge the words on their own merit, though, and not on the basis of our perception of your effort. If you make a show of your effort, forget it.

Don’t lie. Don’t manipulate. Say what you need to say. Trust us.

 

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