I tend to be pretty direct in my communication. Yet I’m also an eternal optimist, the one who sees the silver lining, whose glass is always more than half full. And I try to be kind. Add to those that my job often requires me to portray difficult messages in the most positive light.
Add these qualities, habits and conditioning together and sometimes I end up coming off a bit like a spin doctor.
So I’d love to hear what you think: Should I continue to be kind and “spin” the message — or would it be better, more instructive in the long run, to be completely, blatantly, directly honest?
Consider the fellows I went out with last weekend. I mostly blathered something about not feeling any magic or chemistry between us. But if I shot from the hip, like this?
- To guy A: “Honestly, you dress like you come from an outer-ring suburb, you’re a stingy tipper and you eat like a caveman. That’s why.”
- To guy B: “You’re a whining infant, and I cannot wait to get as far away from you as humanly possible.”
- To guy C: “It’s because you wore shorts with an elastic waistband. The gulf is too wide for me to cross.”
As an aside, I’ve found it very amusing that, in telling my dating stories to male and female friends alike, the men I know actually had stronger reactions to the dude wearing elastic waistband shorts than the women. A girlfriend sympathetically said, “Oh dear.” The guys came up with questions and comments including these:
- “Did he take you to a buffet?”
- “Was he planning on gaining a few pounds?”
- “Wow. That’s not even trying!”
But I digress…
Like I said, I don’t want to be known for spin — and I don’t want to be known for being a bitch. But there may be a nugget of helpful information in my brutal examples for these fellows…
How much honesty is too much? What do you think?