Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Say It Nicely

It's not only what you say - it's how you say it. I've said this a million times or more I'm sure.

This is a concept I have tried to instill in my girls, and I firmly believe it to be true. Words have a power of their own without the need of added belligerence, rudeness or hostility.

You know what I mean ... you lovingly call your kid's name (like only a mom can) and they answer "what???", fully charged with indignation and impatience. Excuse me for caring! Or someone hollers angrily at you that you jumped the line (inadvertently of course) - when a simple "excuse me, the line starts back here" would suffice.

You can disagree, share a strong opinion, deliver bad news, express disappointment or anger - all in a respectful manner - no shouting or hostility required. I've had to say difficult things like "I'm letting you go" , "your performance is weak and needs work", "I hope you'll understand if I don't return your calls", and "I felt abandoned by you". In each case - although I was uncomfortable delivering these messages - I did it with kindness and respect, knowing that the person receiving them could be angry or emotional.

We need to be able to speak our truths, to clear the air and to be authentic in our feelings and opinions. That being said, we have to also remember to be polite, respectful and empathetic when saying difficult things, and let the words express. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Just say it nicely.

1 comment:

  1. My husband has been blessed with the gift to always be truthful and regardless of how he comes across people love him and appreciate him for it because they know he tells it straight.

    I am not so lucky. I worry about hurting feelings and such, but I'm working on it.

    As you said, it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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