Diplomacy and tact are worthy pursuits. It doesn’t harm you to slow down and provide a little thought before spouting off something that could be hurtful to others. There’s no reason to be intentionally rude when making a point. When you’ve got the choice to be either kind or right, I agree, it’s better to be kind. Nonetheless, I do not cheer shrinking violets. I prefer the candid and outspoken. There’s a way to be kind AND blunt.
My mother was a worry-wart, and though she may have kept her more vivid imaginations quiet to protect people from undue influence, she never shied away from sharing her opinion.
My stepmother’s common sense and sound reasoning could cut like a stiletto, but you knew where you stood. She regularly shared her opinion and respected you enough to let you hang yourself with your own rope.
I worked with a guy who was a master of listening to his gut. If an interaction felt “off” or threatened to damage the relationship, he would stop, and with great candor, not let you go until everything was rebalanced.
I was married to a woman for over 24 years who struggled with the art of tact but handled difficult conversations with aplomb. Her approach was and remains refreshing.
Sometimes awkward, sometimes inappropriate, but always appreciated, these four people — and more, have solidified my preference for the outspoken. Even with incorrect assertions, the outspoken are masters at driving conversations toward the truth, spawning thought, and igniting action.
There are those who get offended — that taboos or unspeakable things are given voice, mores challenged, traditions upended.
Agreed, it can be jarring.
As long as the outspokenness comes from a good place, is not meant to cause harm, but illumination, bring it on.
Strengthen your resolve to give and receive feedback with grace and graciousness, and you will eliminate animosity, find quicker solutions to problems and destructive patterns, see with fresh eyes, and often build stronger more meaningful relationships.
Know your truth and be a voracious advocate for it. You have a preference, choose it. You have a voice, use it.
Also published on Medium.