Discretion & straight talking

Telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. Not the best move. Telling someone what they want to hear isn’t the same thing and shouldn’t be confused with telling them what they need to hear.

For some, it may not only make our situation worse, but for others it may interfere with their relationship too. Although someone may be disappointed by what you’re telling them, others may be more disillusioned if what they need to hear isn’t what they’re being told and their situation doesn’t work out as a consequence.

People tend to have more respect for those who are honest with them, instead of just coming up with something that sounds about right. I have never bought into this philosophy myself. I remember a situation where a friend of my brother had his hair cut and someone blurting out that it was the worst hair-cut he’d ever seen.

At the time, I remember thinking how horrible that was and although it was a blunt response that didn’t need to happen, there was no doubt in my mind there would have been a more tactful way to deal with the situation. Tact and diplomacy is all it would have taken, to turn that situation around.

Obviously, the above example is different, but it’s not always that what we say is bad, but how what’s said is received that usually offends. If the other person takes what you say the wrong way, they probably would have taken it the wrong way anyway.

I would rather be told something that didn’t match up to my own thoughts and feelings. For me it’s all about honesty and integrity. Telling us what we need to hear incorporates both.

23 Sep, 2012

6 thoughts on “Discretion & straight talking

  1. I remember in high school I had a friend who went out with this girl.

    Immediately, they were not right for each other. My friend was a ‘goodie goodie’ and she was a pot smoking type of girl. All of her friends were saying ohhh you guys look so good together, so cute and things like that.

    I said to my friend, ‘I don’t think it will work out.’ Sure enough it didn’t. I know I could have been more tactful.

    I like to speak my mind, so I’ve tried to keep my words in check. It’s very hard, but I try.

    1. As a child Mat I got lots wrong. You try and that’s good. Eventually you’ll find what works and what doesn’t.

      It also depends on who we’re talking to. It’s not always what we say that gets us into trouble, it’s sometimes how the other person perceives what we say.

      It’s important to know our customers! That always helps.

  2. I agree with you. I’d rather have someone tell me up front the truth and for them to not ‘hee haw’ around the situation.

    I try to be upfront and honest with people and usually am. I like to treat people better than I’m treated.

    1. Ditto on your thoughts. I believe that how we treat people should be how they treat us, in equal measures. Relationships and trust works both ways. That is so important.

  3. I’ve spent the majority of my life telling people what they wanted to hear rather than them not liking me or being angry with me.

    It is very hard to change that mindset now, but I know I have to or people will always continue to walk all over me.

    I just don’t have the patience anymore to candy coat what I have to say to people since sometimes; they really need to hear the truth!

    1. I agree with you completely and you’re right, if what is said is directed at us, people if they are that way inclined may begin to walk all over us. I have had that too.

      Perhaps now it’s time to say what you really need to say. I think we get hurt more when we don’t.

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