Well, this is it. There’s no turning back now. I’m about to introduce you, the readers, to a deeper side of me. Something that strikes me to the core is being real – being honest – being straight forward. Now…does this mean I’ve never told a lie? No. I am human. But I do try very hard to be real about my life and the world around me. I often find myself in situations where I’m expected, or asked, to give feedback and each time I know that it is either going to go very well, or horribly bad. Reason being, I’m going to tell the truth. This of course also means that “the truth” is what is “true” to me, in my opinion. I am not always right, but I do say what I genuinely believe.
One would think that this would be a good thing. Ha! Let me tell you, it is NOT always well received when you choose to be honest when asked your opinion. I reflect a lot on this concept and why I so often (without ill intentions) offend people. It is certainly not my nature to purposefully upset nor offend anyone (at this stage of life; I did have my not-so-friendly days when I was younger and trying to find myself in this world). However, in today’s society, I often find that people are not too thrilled about hearing the truth from others. I believe there are many reasons for this, but I’ll give you a short list:
– People are so worried about if they are being politically correct, or if there’s anyone that they will offend, simply from having a different point-of-view that they will not say when they truly think/feel. Here’s the reality – we have different views! That’s one of the wonderful things in life. We have unique ways of seeing things and we can choose to either stay in our narrow window, or we can interact with one another and have mature conversations that can lead to growth. It’s not a bad thing just because you do not agree with someone. And just because you disagree does not mean that you have to bash them on social media. Remember that old saying, “We can agree to disagree”? It’s okay to disagree. It’s not okay to be disrespectful, or worse yet, to cause injury to someone else, just because they had a different opinion than you. Today we have created a society where only certain opinions are politically correct to publically share, which stunts honesty.
– We have built up egos to the point where people do not know how to react when you are not boosting them up. Everyone should NOT get a trophy! I won’t dive deep into that topic because there are hundreds of blogs out there that talk about the benefits from losing. The reality (again, let’s be real here) is that you will not always win in life. Losing helps to shape us and redefine us, as does winning (though I personally believe the experiences where we lose/fail/suffer allow us to grow even more). Society has begun to experience only “winning.” Everyone gets a trophy, everyone passes their yearly review at work, everyone passes on to the next grade; yet the reality is that not everyone should be. We are not all designed the same. Just because you excel in your career and receive corresponding reviews, does not mean that the person in the next cubical is at that same level of success. And guess what!?! That’s okay! Life is all about variety. How boring would this world be if we were all the same?
– Lots of people today are truly hurting inside. When you hear feedback about yourself, or your work, and it is not what you preferred to hear, it often will make you feel either sad or angry. This is completely normal. It stinks to hear something that goes against what you were hoping to hear. However, this does not make that feedback incorrect, nor does it mean that the deliverer of this information is the Devil in human form. I believe that many people in today’s society are hurting somewhere deep inside (and I also believe it often comes from the increased number of broken homes, but that’s a topic for a different post). This hurt causes us to seek acceptance, approval, success, love, you name it – we want those feel good emotions (that temporarily cover up the hurt). Due to this, when someone says something that is negative about our performance (career, social life, personal life…), it puts us on the defensive. We try to defend ourselves and deflect any new pain. But the truth is that it is okay for someone to give you honest feedback about your performance. This honest feedback provides us with a new opportunity to grow. It opens a door that we might have been missing. If the person is not real with you, how can you improve? After all, no one is perfect.
I promised to keep the list short, so I will stop at three (at least for today). This post is going into the “trunk” section because it is the knowledge of this topic that will help us to grow as we educate ourselves and one another. Here’s the big picture – no matter what is seen as politically correct in today’s society, if we do not allow ourselves (and others) to be real and honest about their opinions, how will we ever reach our potential as a contributing members of society? Having others around you who will be open and honest allows you with valuable resources to take what you are and become even better. I admit, this is not an easy road. Personally, I have a hard time taking constructive feedback, even though I know it can help lead me towards improving in areas of my life. For example, my husband is real with me about when I do something that perhaps was not the best choice. It is hard for me to hear his opinion, but I listen (not always on his first attempt to tell me) to his viewpoint. And truth be said, more often than not, his honest dialogue has helped me to grow into a better wife, mother, relative, friend and woman. So, I understand the struggle with hearing the truth and getting yourself to a point where you can genuinely receive another’s differing opinion.
All that being said, what’s your opinion? Can we be honest and real about our thoughts/beliefs? Or should we remain politically correct in an effort to make sure no one is offended? Which of the two options allow society to advance and become a stronger community? Share your thoughts below! After all, without sharing your real opinions, how will development take place?
Ahmeli… that society unites through speaking honestly, instead of staying silent and becoming more divided.
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