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Please Stop Proclaiming to be “Telling it like it is" - The Ninja Pencil

Jan. 6th, 2013

02:11 pm - Please Stop Proclaiming to be “Telling it like it is"

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One thing that really sets my teeth on edge is when individuals stick their chin in the air and declare that “people hate me, because I tell it like it is. They hate the truth and I speak the truth. They don’t wanna hear the truth, so because I speak it, they hate me.”

If you are someone in the habit of doing this, please put yourself on pause for a moment and listen.

Nobody hates you for “telling it like it is”. They hate you because you tell it like it is impolitely. You do it belligerently, aggressively, you do it without considering the feelings of the people to whom you are speaking, and you do it with the assumption that nobody but you cares how it is, whatever the “it” may be. Everyone is interested in clearing things up and getting to the bottom of problems, and so to proclaim that you are the only one with an interest in improvement is extremely offensive. Nobody hates the truth – they only hate rude assholes, who cannot communicate like civilized adults. They don’t hate the things you are saying, they hate the way you are saying these things, because the way you say these things lacks respect for the people with whom you are trying to communicate.

In all probability, you feel the need for this belligerent approach because you are accustomed to not being heard, especially when you have tried politeness several times, and this did not work. Nobody listened. This is frustrating, and stirs up anger. This frustration and anger causes you to drop the pleasantries, increase the volume and aggression in your inflection, and yell out at inappropriate times what you have been trying to say all along. Suddenly the room goes quiet, and mission accomplished – you have now been heard.

But the things you were saying were not actually heard at all. All that was heard was your bark, your implied threat, your aggression and your instability. People heard your volume; you made them jump. They heard your anger, which to them came out of nowhere; this makes you seem irrational and unpredictable in their eyes. They heard you throw a tantrum, and they suddenly feel less comfortable being around you, to the point where you stop getting invited to meetings because you tend to conduct yourself like an asshole.

Here is the point where you draw the conclusion that people hate you because you just speak the truth and tell it like it is. You are reaching the wrong conclusion, and in doing so, decreasing the likelihood that people will want to listen in the future.

There is a polite way to tell it like it is and be heard, which is delivered respectfully, in a non-threatening or aggressive manner, at appropriate times, when it is your turn to speak, and with relevant, logical background information to support the reasons they should pay attention.
Try this approach, and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Comments:

[User Picture]
From:mylefteye
Date:January 7th, 2013 12:50 am (UTC)
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Such boasts, because that's what they are, usually start with, "Of course, you know me, I had to tell them..." Blah blah blah.

Yeah, we know you. Dickhead.

Great post, Chris.
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[User Picture]
From:ninja_pencil
Date:January 7th, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
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Thanks Mike! They are absolutely boasts. "I never take anyone's shit, I would never sacrifice MY principles and keep quiet."
(Yes, you would never keep quiet, on that much we definitely agree.)

Edited at 2013-01-07 02:20 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]
From:joysilence
Date:January 7th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
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Ha well said! I've noticed that for some reason racists seem especially prone to talking like this. In their little world everybody secretly agrees with them but is too afraid to speak out, whereas in reality everyone thinks they're lazy eejits who try to blame their own failures on phantom immigrants. As a woman who has worked in a male-dominated company, I totally appreciate how horrible it is when people appear not to be listening to anything you say (and I do mean "appear" - it's startling how many macho men will pretend they're not listening in front of their friends but then comply with your wishes as soon as their friends' backs are turned) but blowing up in everyone's face is not the way to go about it.
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