I consider myself a direct person but at the same time, I work hard at trying to take other people’s feelings into consideration. With some, you can be more subtle in your directness and with others, you must be more aggressive. However, you also have those that no matter which direct mentality you utilize, they simply refuse to accept where you are coming from. These type of people are more confrontational in nature and that is not my MO. It always amazes me how many people call themselves direct or in slang terms, “keeping it 100”, when really they are nothing but a bunch of loud mouths that no one wants to deal with.
Direct to me means you say what you mean, you mean what you say, and most IMPORTANTLY your actions follow suit. Being direct does not mean you use social media to send subliminal messages nor does it mean you walk around with a chip on your shoulder ready to pounce on whoever you deem is deserving of a tongue lashing. There is a time and a place for everything and I don’t feel it is always appropriate or necessary for that matter, to “tell it like it is” all the time. You can get your point across without offending, arguing, manipulating or creating a mountain out of a molehill.
Most people who love to say they don’t sugarcoat their words are really just individuals who operate solely off of their emotions and no common sense. They continually demonstrate poor judgment in their relationships with others because all they really want is to feel powerful by “telling someone off”. Confrontational people are their own worst enemy and generally play the victim in every scenario because of course it is never their fault, someone always forced them to react negatively. Deep down, these individuals are really nothing more than bullies who have deep-set, unresolved insecurity issues.
In my opinion, to be successful as a direct individual, you need a sense of refinement. You need to be able to ascertain the extent of directness and the appropriate time of use with people in everyday life. For example, I have a very close friend who brought me a peace of gossip from Facebook about an ex-friend. Once I stated that she need not worry herself with reporting anything that person had to say, she understood and respected my wishes. It is one of the reasons she has been one of my best friends for over twenty years. To me, it is all part of her refinement; she not only respects and cares about me but our friendship as a whole. She is a direct person who can appreciate someone being direct with her as well.
Now let us take the ex-friend in the same exact scenario. My preference about the exact same scenario fell on deaf ears repeatedly. In her mind, she was doing me a favor because she thrives on confrontation. These type of individuals go through life disregarding everyone’s feelings but their own and no matter what you may say, they always have some type of issue that needs to be addressed. Confrontational people lack the basic understanding of peace since they stay riled up all the time, ready to pounce on their next victim. It really boils down to confrontational people not realizing when to just SHUT UP! This is the very reason why I feel it is key to pay more attention to people’s actions as opposed to their words.
One thing Corporate America prepares you for is being ‘politically correct’ and diplomatic. Diplomacy is exactly what confrontational people lack. I believe even above diplomacy, the majority of these type of individuals will claim to be God-fearing Christians, but does God really want us all walking around in such a selfish mode of being? Isn’t part of love thy neighbor taking a step back, learning each others personality, respecting different personalities and establishing a mutual level of respect for expectations and differences of opinion?
My overall point is directness is not about language, it is all about actions, refinement and diplomacy as opposed to confrontational being about ignorance, lack of maturity and manipulation. Actions always speak volumes over words. I think it is also prudent to understand that directness is absolutely wasted on confrontational people since they only care about having the last word, out doing everyone and having their way. If you let them, they will steal your joy, annoy and frustrate you to no end.
So to all those that supposedly “keep it 100”, please shut up if you cannot back it up with your actions. You need to stop hiding behind social media, a computer, a text or even a phone call. Think before you open your mouth because as my better half would say, most of you are “not going to bust a damn grape”.
Until next time, remember to say what you mean, mean what you say, act accordingly or keep your mouth shut!
~ Mara Prose
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