We have all had someone say to us “I’m just being honest” or “I’m speaking my mind”, and my favorite “I’m just telling the truth” and its usually followed up with a negative opinion.
There are some folks that practice the art of candidness very badly. They seem to do it often and never are better for it. This person often gives their thoughts on the subject and they are almost always negative and never constructive.
I find that those folks who pride themselves in being a “truth teller” are usually the ones that are just being plain mean. They feel if they can thinly veil their comments in what they call “candid honesty” then their words are justified.
They also believe that if you are offended by what they have to say then you are sensitive. The issue in the situation solely rest with you. It can’t possibly be the insensitive comments they have just shared with you.
These folks do not believe in “If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all” notion. They will be heard regardless of what this candid thought will do to others.
Admittedly, not all candid thoughts are bad. Those that are helpful, constructive, and productive should be shared. Those that benefit a person should be said.
Here a few stipulations that can help you decide if your candid thought is helpful or hurtful:
1) Figure out why you are making this candid remark. Am I saying this with negative intent?
2) Will this do more harm than good? Is this for the other person’s benefit? Can this advise actually help?
3) Am I sharing this critical thought just so I can be heard? If so do I really need to say it?
Overall, the thought that you have may be valid and it could be helpful to a person but you should find a tactful way to say it. Tactfulness is a very important skill to have. There will always be a right way to say something and a right time to say something. Figuring out that combination is very difficult. However, if you learn it you will find that your personal relationships will flourish.
Proper candidness can get your point across without offending someone. There is nothing wrong with being candid with another person. Being truthful is something we should all desire. We should all want to us our words wisely.
God affirms in James 3:6 “ The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
This highlights how seriously our words can affect one another. They can greatly affect people while providing the speaker with negative consequences as well.
We should look to use our words cautiously and purposefully. We should desire for people to be positively affected by our words. Words do matter. Our words are some of the most beautifully dynamic and yet destructive things we use. Words teach. Words persuade. Words convey love. Words unite people.
This in itself is humbling.