Let's be real, there are times we find ourselves in a position where we may have to talk about something unpleasant...something that may ruffle some feathers. Some of us are blessed with the uncanny ability to approach such topics with style and grace. Our words are gentle and, despite the topic, make all parties involved at ease. Then there are those of us - like me - who tend to be more blunt. That style and grace, those gentle words that set others at ease don't always come as easily to us. This isn't to say we don't try to approach certain topics in a gentle manner, we just have to put forth a bit - a lot - more effort.
So, by nature are you gentle in expressing yourself or do you tend to be more blunt?
I have a bad habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time - I'm constantly upsetting my oldest daughter, as if I'd ever want to! Maybe she's just too sensitive, I dunno. But I would prefer gentle, diplomatic language in tense situations. I just don't seem to do it well. However, I think there are some occasional situations where blunt is the only way to go, like "sorry, you've had too much to drink, hand over the keys."
I have to work hard at being tactful, because it doesn't come naturally. I don't enjoy arguments and conflict and want to set people at ease, but I've learned that I can be easily misunderstood unless I'm careful in my phrasing. I try to think before I speak and be aware of who I'm talking to and how they'll hear what I say, and when I write, I edit, edit, edit.
*Finally decides to hit submit after multiple changes and much rephrasing of one short paragraph*
Family trait - of the women anyway - we're New England stock, think Kate Hepburn. I've had to learn tact as an adult, especially with clients. Doesn't help that most of my career, I've been told to be as terse and direct as possible in my writing.
Oddly though, when I offend someone it's usually because they misconstrued my meaning. So maybe I'm not as direct as I think.
(This post was edited by Annael on Oct 20 2016, 3:33pm)
To paraphrase Gandalf, there are certain topics that, if one is to be successful in discussing with others, need to be handled with tact, and respect, and no small degree of charm. ;) Sometimes this means simply knowing when to keep my mouth shut.
When it is necessary for me to speak up, I always do my best to be diplomatic, and I've been told that I'm good at expressing myself clearly, especially in writing. I'm quick to read situations and the people involved, and I've learned by experience and observation how best to talk to others in a way that makes them feel respected and keeps them at ease. If I'm misunderstood, I'm quick to apologize, admit my mistake, and try to clarify, rather than become defensive and make things worse. It's how I've always been.
Different situations call for different approaches, but I always work hard to treat the other people involved with respect. Everyone has their own perspective, and it's important to take those all into account and make sure everyone's voice is heard.
I try to be tactful and gentle, but I have a terrible habit of speaking before I think things through, and although I've never been one to sugar coat things or dodge the truth, sometimes the situation calls for a different approach.
I try to be gentle. I like listening to differing experiences and points of view as I'm always hoping to learn and understand new things. I do admit, though, that certain opinions and attitudes tend to bring out the jerk in me.
I spend so much time around children and raising them that when it's time for those occasions to converse with other adults, I tend to drop the gentleness I more often than not have to saturate myself with. Just fed up by that point, I guess.
Understand, I'm very, very rarely mean, but I do think it would pertinent for more grown individuals to grow a spine and cut the sugarcoating and placating when having a conversation with another adult.
Don't waste time; be blunt yet kind. Could be my personal mantra.
... and that's saing something If you ask for my opinion then my opinion is what you get. Nevermind if you're my boss or not. Also I tend to go to super-German mode when I need something. Most likely person to pick up the phone and go "Hi, it's me. I need this, this and that". Usually I remember that I probably should have asked how the other person's day was only after I put the receiver down again.
The good news is - usually I also know when to hold my tongue altogether.
(This post was edited by Misto on Dec 17 2017, 8:20pm)