As another month draws to a close, I find myself looking ahead, in a figurative manner, but literally as well. Recently, as I turned the pages of my planner to get a sense of the upcoming weeks, the illustration for the new month gave me a prompt that left me considering a great deal:
Tell it like it is. I consider myself to be an honest person, but I don’t think that I’m particularly forthcoming and overt with said honesty, if that makes sense. So while I often an expressing my feelings or opinions, it’s in a waxing and flow-y manner, and very seldom “like it is.” I usually find myself wanting to spare the feelings of others at the expense of getting a message across, often leading to confusion and over-explanation. Blunt and deliberate honesty has a bad connotation, as it is frequently presented as being synonymous with rudeness. I, however, do not find that to be the case and think it is admirable that people can speak freely to their thoughts and ideas without having worries of perception altering their discourse.
As we look to the beginning of the new month as a starting point in which we place our hopes and objectives for the next thirty-ish days, here are the methods I (and maybe you too!) will put into practice when “telling it like it is”:
Make eye contact when you’re speaking with people. – Nothing depicts a lack of confidence better than an inability to look at those you’re directing your conversation with. Conviction begins before your mouth even opens.
Don’t be totally consumed by the feelings and emotions of others. – The point of any conversation should not to hurt another, but by overly safeguarding and adjusting your narrative to protect the feelings of others (or to protect yourself from the response you believe they will call upon as a result of your conversation), you are only diluting your message.
Be comfortable with silence. – Not every moment in a conversation needs to be occupied with dialogue. Allow your words to hang in the air; give yourself time to respond thoughtfully and (of course) honestly to what is said to you.
Tough conversations and confrontation are never a pleasure to endure, but often a necessary and uncomfortable facet of life. I hope that in this new month, instances of strife are few and far between, and that if they do arise, you have the tools and skillset to handle yourself with grace.