This weeks tips:
- Leave an honest comment on an article or post.
- If someone uses a word you don’t know, ask them what it means
- If someone asks “How are you?” give them an honest answer
- Give someone a genuine compliment.
- If you don’t understand something, speak up!
- Instead of making small talk, dive right into a deeper conversation.
- When you feel like lying to spare someone’s feelings, try to find a nicer way to tell the truth.
This week was a little different. Not so much because I changed my approach, but because honesty is a tricky thing to use when it comes to work, especially evaluations. There is a balance between taking responsibility for your own actions but also recognizing when your successes and failures are at least in part due to others. Maintaining that balance, especially with supervisors can be difficult.
Second thing was I may have accidentally made a friend seriously re-evaluate their presentation just from a flippant comment. On one hand, I don’t regret what I said. And my friend doesn’t either, because it made them come to a realization. On the other hand, it was also something that I had apparently been thinking subconsciously, so it was kind of an accidental honesty. Which can be good, but I hate it when I say things without having the chance to realize them first. By some funny happenstance, a blog I follow had a pretty great article about a similar matter today: Honesty can be pretty damn rude.
With regards to meeting the tips and tricks for the week, my comments tend to be a little too honest, I have a bad habit of asking too many questions, I have a tendency to be too honest about how I’m doing (even to strangers on the internet) though I have made a promise to myself to stop answering that question with “Good, but busy” (partially because of this great article), I strive to be genuine and grateful, prefer deep conversations to small talk, and have a terrible habit of being blunt instead of tactful (I’m a firm believer in tough love).
Bonus tip/first tip of this week: Ask yourself if you have any bad habits. I have a lot of them, and tend to be my own harshest critic. And am pretty honest about them, so a public feedback session might be in the making.
“I have a bad habit of asking too many questions.” You and me both! Then again, I’m a journalism major, so I suppose it’s often expected from me.
Another bad habit of mine: I tend to over-compliment people to the point of sounding insincere — even if I mean them wholeheartedly. Making people smile and feel confident in themselves is important to me, and I’ve realized that even the smallest friendly gestures or shortest string of kind words can make a huge difference. But I’m trying to remember that less is often more if I want to be seen as a caring friend rather than a flatterer.
Perhaps the best we can do is follow the age-old saying, “think before you speak,” and make sure what comes out of our mouths is what we really mean — and also what we really want to say out loud.