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?

Political correctness

In the present day, more than diplomacy, political correctness is more important. Many of us do not bother much for diplomacy and prefer straight shooters. However, no one wants to compromise on political correctness. So what is this political correctness, what exactly does this entail? Is it really that important or necessary to be politically correct?

Before launching into this discussion, I would like to tell a little about myself. I am very lean, I wear spectacles and had buck teeth. As a result, I have often borne the brunt of the jokes of my friends and colleagues due to my appearance. I would not say that I was bullied badly, but I have faced some hurtful and insensitive comments, whether it be intentional or unintentional. My experience on the matter of bullying, prejudices, may be limited, though they give me an insight into that world and need for political correctness.

Being politically correct means to speak in a way that does not offend or hurt the sentiments or feelings of any community, race, sex or ethnic group etc. Being careful in our choice of words and usage of expressions so that one does not demean or belittle people of disability or different abilities. In a world of bullies and trollers, being politically correct and being considerate of the sentiments of all groups of people is a good thing and many consider it an essential attribute in communication. The intent of the concept is to make everyone feel welcome and included in our world and not to differentiate. People around the world have taken to this concept very seriously and practice it. However, is the good intention behind this concept really working, how far is it helping?

Political correctness is like a mask that one wears to hide true identity. The problem with haters is not so much with their words or actions but with their intentions. While practising politically correct rhetoric, one can still harbour hatred in their hearts. In fact, I feel, when a person is not allowed to speak their minds and when society starts policing the freedom of speech and expression, the hatred only grows.

Any dispute, disagreement or agreement can only be resolved when all parties speak openly and honestly. With a veil like this, one can never completely address the hatred, xenophobia, bigotry, intolerance in the society. Even if we set aside the matter of fighting all these battles and only consider the fact that most of us just want to navigate through life peacefully and calmly. Would it not be simpler if we knew each other’s standpoint on issues of race, abilities, ethnicity, etc? I can at least steer clear of those that do not match my viewpoint.

The concept of Political Correctness, in my opinion, only masks the ugliness that lies within. To truly rid the society of such ugliness, we require a change of heart, ideology and thought process, not a change of wording or change of rhetorics. We should all think honestly and deeply before we come to any conclusion and stick to our guns in this fight.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.