Being Straightforward Vs Diplomatic

This topic has been a pet peeve of mine for many years. Growing up, while in college, I always considered it better to be straightforward as against diplomacy. My friends and I were proud to be called a forthright person and proudly proclaimed it. So what changed now??

Well, life happened, and we realised that being straightforward is not suitable for everyone. With limited exposure in college life, we did not see the pitfalls of this attitude. As we were among equals, we spoke honestly, and there was a limited range of responses to expect. We either appeased the group, or we angered them. We either hurt feelings, or we invigorate people. Whatever was the reaction, we knew the response that we could expect. Things were simpler.

In the present day, I see people being straightforward and notice the same set of reactions as before. However, what has changed now is that I have become conscious of the emotional toll it takes on the listener. It is a different thing when you hurt a person and make them cry, the ones to take special notice of are those who get hurt and not express it. Either, they have accepted our remarks as truths and diminished their self-worth, or their hurt is getting pent up. It will express itself violently at a later time.

The same applies when we freely express our discontent and dissatisfaction. It causes the opposite person to become demotivated, disheartened and lose faith in the process. This would not matter earlier because there was much less stress in the society and the youth. Nowadays, everyone is so high strung that a small remark is enough to start an avalanche of emotions.

As compared to being straightforward, a diplomatic person manages to soothe or appease the fragile mind of the opposite person. Such a person is not necessarily a liar or someone on the fence. They just don’t forcefully express their views as compared to a straight talker. It may appear that a diplomatic person is not firm and steadfast in conveying their point of view or that they are people pleasers. However, I feel that there is nothing wrong with softly and sweetly relaying one’s opinions rather than being forceful. I believe that it is not worth hurting a person just to make a clear statement by straight talk.

What are your opinions on this matter? Do you agree with me, or do you oppose?

Be The Change You Want To See

I have not coined this term, ‘be the change you want to see’ however, I want to endorse this statement. If you are a sceptic, we can rephrase the term as ‘Practise before you preach’. Motivational speakers will say, ‘Lead by example’. Religious people might connect to the statement, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Whichever way you choose to word it, the meaning remains the same. If we want to bring about a change in this world, it starts with us. 

Anyone who observes the current situation in the world today, we can all agree that we need to change. We need to change our attitude, outlook and approach to viewing, handling and resolving issues. The issues we are facing are not new and unsuspecting, they have been brewing for quite some time without any signs of abating. Until now, all our efforts to resolve have only served as bandaids on a fractured bone. We have missed the mark one too many times. One of the reasons that the same issues continue to fester time and again is the lack of change. We need to make fundamental changes to the way we approach the problem, change our perspective. 

As a party to this conflict, our perspective, opinions, solutions often, tend to be biased, one way or the other. Asking an oppressor or an oppressed for their opinion will yield results coloured by their experiences. To correctly identify the root cause, we need to see the problem with an unbiased set of eyes. This unopinionated set of eyes are the most difficult to come by. 

I know that some of you are thinking that the only unbiased set of eyes can be that of aliens 😜because everyone else has already picked sides. There is, however, another solution, be the change you want to see. If you wish for the oppressed to stop complaints and be thankful, then you start practising it. If you expect the oppressed to stand up for what is right and speak up at the right forum, then you practice it. If you want to see tolerance in this world, then you be tolerant of people who disagree with you. If you desire to see friendly faces, then you smile and be open to friendship with strangers. 

I hope my message catches you in good spirits, that you see my perspective too. Have a great day

Image Courtesy of canva.com

Don’t Waste Your Forgiveness On Everyone

Many people offend us or hurt us in different ways, all through our life. Some of them apologize for this, some don’t even realize that they have hurt us need to apologize. But, how many times do we forgive people wholeheartedly? I do not mean saying the words, “It’s alright” or “All is forgiven”. I mean how many times do we accept their apology and move forward? I’m guessing it is not many times.

My intent is not to say that we are not forgiving people by nature. In fact, we want to forgive them. But our conscience cannot allow us to forgive them. What could be the reason for this?

Many people say sorry without meaning it. They apologize now but, repeat the same mistake again. Some people make light of their error by joking about the situation. By doing this they are belittling our emotions. In some cases, people apologize and hold a grudge in their heart. They start distancing themselves from us and avoid interactions. All the above actions indicate that the person is not really repentant. Should we forgive a person who is not repentant? I believe we shouldn’t.

I am sure most of you are thinking of the saying, ‘To err is human, but to forgive is divine’. That saying might be true. However, I also believe in ‘Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’. I love the second saying. What about you my friends? What is your opinion on this?