Sincere is a strange word. I say that not in a judgmental way, but rather just as an observation. Think about the last time you wrote a letter (or email, or facebook message, etc.). What was the nature of the letter? To whom were you writing? Would you consider that person to be a friend, acquaintance, family member, enemy, ally? Or is that person's role in your life something altogether different? Now, think about how you signed that letter. If you were taught the same way I was in elementary school up through some parts of college, there's a great chance you signed that letter, "Sincerely, [your name]".
I know for me, if I'm signing a correspondence with "sincerely," there's a great chance the person with whom I'm communicating is not someone I would deem "close" to me. For my "close" friends/family members, etc, I usually sign something to the effect of "xoxo, Becca" or "love, Becca" or even sometimes a "love and God bless, <3 Becca".
That gets me to thinking, though...why do we (or, well, I) reserve the "sincerely" for those I feel I don't know very well. After all, isn't sincere one of the bet gifts we can offer others? I mean, don't the people we love--and who also love us--deserve the highest degree of our sincerity?
Sincerity can get you into trouble, though, can't it? Exhibit A: "Loved One X" comes to you wearing his/her favorite new clothing purchase and asks, "This doesn't look good on me, does it?" Now, I would venture to say the majority of people (myself included) would discount that statement and say something along the lines of "It looks great! What are you talking about? You're totally rocking that!" And to be completely honest, I know I would rather have that response from someone as opposed to someone saying, "Well, it's okay, I guess, but it's not really flattering on you." Are you with me on that? I want a show of hands.
HOWEVER, all of us (well, at least a lot of us) quick to implore others to exercise sincerity in their interactions with us.
Wait, wait, wait, wait a second.
It seems we (or at least I) have a double standard, doesn't it? I don't want sincerity from someone who is going to tell me my new shirt from Hollister doesn't look very nice, but I practically demand it from someone when they are giving me an apology (although I'm more frequently the one doing the apologizing...I'm sure many people who know me would say I apologize so much it's annoying!!).
How's that work? In short--it doesn't. Or at least, it shouldn't. We can't pick and choose when and where and what situations constitute real sincerity. That will not only hurt our own minds trying to keep track, but will also make our relationships with others confusing because our loved ones will constantly feel like they are having to decipher what we're thinking and figure out if "situation A" mandates 32% sincerity or 86% sincerity, or anywhere less, in between, or more.
I'm not sure if this makes sense at all to anyone but me, but I think there's some truth--or sincerity--in at least some of what I've written.