We often do we a verbal dance with one another. For instance:
when we don’t want our parents finding out about what we did the night before
when we’re trying to hold ourselves back from saying something that we KNOW will piss the other person off and likely hurt their feelings
when you’re trying to avoid getting pegged with something that could damage your reputation or credibility
The different dance steps come in a number of flavours: fibs, lies, white lies, omissions of truths and euphemisms to name a few.
I’m pretty sure that we’re really dancing the wrong dance, here.
DON’T give people the run-around, forcing them to try and read between the lines of what you’re saying, unpacking the true meaning of the words you give them.
DO be upfront and honest with people from the get-go.
Say what you mean, mean what you say.
I touched on this briefly a while back, but honesty is a damn good policy, and that’s not something that’s going to change any time soon! When I speak about “honesty” though, it’s not as simple as just not lying — there’s more to it than that:
- Getting the message you mean to say out the first time without sugarcoating it
- Not omitting any pertinent details when asked a question
- Not making up stories to make other people feel better
Really, it’s just better off if you say what it is that you want to say the first time. Why?
- Takes less time since you’re getting your thoughts out the first time
- Getting stuff out of your system will take a weight off of your shoulders
- Not lying means less to remember, meaning you can use that lovely grey matter for more productive activities
- You might not get the reaction you’re hoping for
- The truth can destroy relationships forever (though if someone was doing something bad enough to make this happen, perhaps the relationship shouldn’t have continued in the first place)
- Once you’re caught in a lie, it’s really hard to get that trust back
So think about it. Think about getting the right (and true) words out the first time and not wasting so much time skirting around things because you’re worried about the fallout. Who knows, the fallout may never come and you’ll be better off not harbouring things inside that are better off not bothering you at all.
And if it has to do with me, feel free to let me know any time.
But I can give you about 100% certainty that you’ll get it right back, so choose those words and choose them WELL.
–Casey E. Palmer