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The Truth About Honesty

Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain Media

Science, Arts, Social Sciences, Performing Arts

4.6 • 39.3K Ratings

🗓️ 31 July 2023

⏱️ 55 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript

Summary

Think about how often you hold back honest opinions of someone else because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. But there are times when this well-intended restraint can be a mistake. This week, in the second part of our series on failure and feedback, psychologist Taya Cohen helps us understand when — and how — to be honest.

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0:00.0

This is Hidden Brain. I'm Shankar Vedantam.

0:03.0

In one of the most famous episodes of the TV show Seinfeld,

0:07.0

the character Elaine, played by Julia Louis Dreifis,

0:10.0

takes to the dance floor.

0:12.0

All right, who's dancing? All right, who's dancing?

0:14.0

Come on, who's dancing?

0:16.0

What follows is hard to describe.

0:19.0

Elaine's dancing resembles a giraffe

0:22.0

navigating an ice skating rink on roller skates.

0:25.8

Elaine's coworkers watch with Mautse Gabe as her hands and feet fly off in different directions.

0:32.4

Here's the thing though.

0:35.0

No one tells her she is a bad dancer.

0:38.0

Later, behind her back, her friends George and Jerry discuss Elaine's dancing.

0:44.9

Have you ever seen Elaine dance?

0:46.7

It's more like a full body dry heaves at the music.

0:55.0

Did she do the little kicks and the thumbs? What, you mean you know about this?

0:57.0

Is one of those problems I hope would just go away?

1:00.0

There's only one friend who is willing to tell Elaine the truth.

1:03.0

Kramer, the character in the show, who often says and does things that are socially inappropriate.

1:09.0

When Elaine breaks into her trademark dance moves in front of him, he asks her what she thinks she is doing.

1:16.3

It's dancing. No, that ain't dancing salad.

1:19.5

I dance fine.

...

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