Jane shrugged. “Hypocrisy is unavoidable in modern life.”

“That’s a rather dim view to take, don’t you think?” said Paul.

“It’s a sensible one,” Jane said. “All but the most careful people will eventually contradict themselves, and nearly everyone holds others to higher standards than they hold themselves–it’s just human nature.”

“Don’t you think it would just be easier for everyone if we said what we felt?” said Paul, pushing a little.

“I don’t necessarily believe that the disguising of one’s feelings is hypocrisy. If everyone openly displayed their feelings and was completely, brutally honest, I hate to think of what the world would be like.”

“Oh come on,” Paul said. “I don’t know that it would be so bad.”

“Tell me, if you thought a woman was ugly as a warthog, would you tell her when she asked?” Jane pressed. “If you were in a lousy mood, would you make sure everyone knew? ‘How are you doing?’ ‘Lousy, you piece of crap! Piss off and leave me alone.'”

“Well, no,” Paul said sheepishly.

“See? That’s not hypocrisy. Hiding one’s feelings isn’t always best, but it does serve a purpose, and more importantly, it’s not a contradiction that others can see. I could be smiling on the outside and sullen on the inside, but who could tell? People could guess, but I would rarely, if ever, state my true feelings if I was hiding them.”