Wednesday, October 7, 2015

To Be Blunt

You know those little ice-breakers or self-awareness activities that require you to list out five words that describe you? When it's my turn, you will (almost) always find in all-caps: BLUNT. This constant desire to tell it like it is has always been burning, and it burns even more so now that I am (arguably) an adult.

Beating around the bush wastes time and energy that I don't have. I'd much rather tell someone an unedited truth than take the time to filter it down so much that it will barely resonate with them. This quality has become a source of confidence for me, and I prize it very much. The positive impact it has had on my life has inspired me to want to help others become more outspoken as well. I am always encouraging my friends to stand up for themselves when they previously wouldn't and to show them the positive impact it can have. 

I can honestly say that I have seen the damage that results from consistently avoiding conflict. You might think that being passive is the better way to go - "no drama" - but in reality that drama will often bite you in the ass later anyways. Conflict is what helps us learn from our mistakes and admit that we are human. And if you're avoiding tension in your relationships and even other social situations, you are restricting not only your growth as an individual, but also the growth of those around you. You are enabling people to avoid taking responsibility for themselves and their actions and hindering your own personal progress in those areas as well. 

Don't get me wrong - being blunt isn't all peaches & cream. Being blunt usually requires a level of confrontation that some people just aren't willing to consider. If you want to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, it will almost always come with a particular amount of resistance. But this experience is great. It helps you grow, and it helps you determine when you really do need to step out of your comfort zone and say something when you normally wouldn't. 

This quality also requires a level of empathy - you can't just run around saying hurtful things just because you associate them somehow with "honesty." Being blunt doesn't mean being a bitch. It's not about calling it like you see it just for the sake of calling something. It's not about insulting, belittling, or embarrassing others. Being blunt is about advocating for the truth because it will provide a greater benefit, not unnecessary harm. Being blunt is about being honest with yourself and those around you for the sake of benefiting the progress of your relationships, yourself, and society. Knowing the difference between being blunt and being a hand-full of other adjectives you don't want to be can go a long way.

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