Know your audience
One of the best pieces of life advice I have ever gotten is to wash your face before you wash your ass. The next best is to “know your audience.” The less you know about a person, the easier it is to offend them or make them uncomfortable. If you indiscriminately flaunt your beliefs you may alienate others, but not in a fun anal-probing kind of way.
This is especially important in business situations when the relationship being formed may or may not make you money. There is no need to share your opinions about how we never landed on the moon, or if we did land on the moon, the government planted the theory of a hoax making people think we didn’t’ land on the moon because they found all sorts of alien secret stuff up there and didn’t want us to know about the secret technology of an unknown space species. It is better to engage in the classic small talk about the weather until you get a greater sense of where your audience is coming from. Just don’t talk about how global warming is real, but also a hoax to create environmental taxes, but also so real the government wants you to think it’s a hoax.
Of course being too guarded will make you boring to be around, and no one likes to be a bore. So you also have to know your audience enough to know when you have to know your audience. Some people you can be totally unfiltered with. There would be no reason to self-sensor because even if they didn’t agree with you there is a foundation of respect, a freedom to speak your truth without fear.
But sadly, with most dynamics you have to be somewhat aware of what you are going to say before you say it. No reason to tell grandma that you can’t masturbate with your left hand, or explain to your friend’s friend at a cocktail party that you don’t eat bell peppers because they cause you genital leakage. You don’t have to talk about politics with everyone, or what you think about genetically modified human babies. Maybe the best strategy is to throw a bone every once and a while to hint at what kind of person you are dealing with, and see if they bite. If they don’t get your innuendos they aren’t worth exposing your inner mind to them. Keep that for the people that get you, and by get you I mean that you don’t really give a care what they think.
“Hey Munch…. I think giraffes are pretty lame, and Winnie the Pooh is wack. Oh, and btw, I also think Elmo is a tool.”