Honesty Doesn’t Have to be Brutal

Handle With Care

How are you at receiving criticism? Do you prefer that others treat you with kid gloves, or go for brutal honesty?


(Today’s prompt, https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/truth-or-dare/, is essentially the same prompt as we had on Sept. 24, 2014.  Here is the way I responded then; nothing has changed )

I got plenty of the brutal honesty thing growing up, so no, it doesn’t appeal to me very much.  But, as I said in my title, honesty doesn’t have to be brutal.  If criticism comes from someone I know cares about me; if it is given in a spirit of concern and kindness, then I’m fine with it.  Some of the best advice I’ve ever received has been given in the form of loving, caring criticism.

It’s never easy to hear criticism.  Most of us, I think, would like to believe that we don’t deserve it 🙂  What I’ve learned, over the years, is to toss out the snarky kind and treasure that which is meant to help and encourage. I’ve grown a thicker skin, learned to sort out the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve also developed pretty good radar.  I usually know the difference between well-intentioned and just mean.

And that’s all good, because in my work I am often called upon to say things my clients don’t always want to hear.  Years ago, someone told me, “Linda, you can say almost anything you need to say and it will be accepted if you say it with a genuine smile.  If people know you care, you can tell the truth.”  He said this to me after putting me in a place of leadership that would indeed require me to deal with difficult situations now and then.  It was an excellent piece of advice, and one I’ve tried to follow through the years.

Honesty doesn’t have to be brutal.