When Bluntness is the Most Caring Approach

Estimated reading time: 7 mins

Do you possess a blunt, straightforward approach in your personal and professional relationships? Does it concern you at times that your bluntness might be making you look like an insensitive, rude person? Do you sometimes find it difficult to get along with other people? You do not need to worry so much, as from my personal experience, some of the best friends and colleagues that I have had have been honest about their opinions. In this blog, I will try to explain why.

Why Should You be Proud of Your Blunt Personality

People have varying personalities and this makes life intriguing and fascinating. If you are straightforward and blunt, you might confuse the people around you in understanding your true intentions. However, there will be people in your life who will admire and respect you for your straightforwardness and honesty. Here are my 6 reasons why you should be proud of your blunt personality:

  1. People know the True YOU. The best thing about you, if you are blunt is that you have no phony side to you. You are what you are and what people see in you is what they get. No matter what the situation, you always show your true colors, even if your behavior is cold and people do not approve of what you have to say. There are no guesses when you speak and there are no hidden meanings to your words. Even if you might come off rude at times, people will like you for being truly genuine.
  2. Honesty is the best Policy. You are gifted with the ability to be honest with everyone at all costs and in all situations. No wool is getting pulled over other people’s eyes. Your friends can count on you to lay it on the line with all your cards on the table. Because they trust that you will always be truthful come what may, they can trust that your opinions are stated with clarity. This honesty makes you the person to consult with if someone needs real help.
  3. You are Thick Skinned Too. If you are tick skinned, there is a high likelihood that you are thick skinned too. This means that people can be equally honest with you like you are with them. You can easily handle any criticism that comes your way, without getting offended or personal. All that you will have to watch out for is to not step too hard on their toes or counter back with your own words of criticism – let the bashing be one way at a time.
  4. There is No Drama with You. You know that your life is free from all the drama. In fact, you intentionally avoid all drama around you as much as possible. It is when people feel offended, hurt, or misunderstood by your intentions that the ‘real’ drama starts. Since you do not play that game, it all soon dies out. You can call yourself an open book with clear rules that you follow earnestly.
  5. You Know Exactly What You Want In Life (And You Get It!). You are not just honest with others, but also with yourself. This means that in most cases, you know exactly what you want in life and you do what it takes to reach your targets. With a laser focus on your goals, you tend to be more determined than those people who pretend to their own selves over their wants and needs. This makes you determined individuals who has the ingredients of being a good leader.
  6. You are Packed with Confidence. For most of the people, it takes courage to speak their minds aloud. For you, it is a mere habit; just like being confident all the time. Even if you do not know, you are radiating confidence that most other people lack. You have a certain control over your actions, words and the subsequent consequences and you are not afraid of the challenges. This trait of your is very desirable and it can help you in the trickiest of situations.

While straightforward personalities are often misjudged as rude and harsh, the truth is that if people are willing to look closely, it is this bluntness that can be the most caring approach anyone can take. There is no point in deceiving others with lies and opinions that you know are not true. In fact, there is nothing better than an honest friend giving an honest, constructive criticism.

How Being Blunt Pays Off

I have seen a negative stigma around someone being termed “the blunt friend”. The reality is that people usually have a wrong perception of bluntness and that needs to be cleared up. In reality, being blunt is hardly ever a bad thing, if done with honest intention. Society as a whole, need to change how it looks at straightforward people. Below are some ways in which being blunt should pay off for you:

  • Being a Blunt Friend. While you should try to not hurt your friend’s feelings, sometimes they do need to hear the harsh truth for their own good. It is your duty as a friend to be honest as much as possible if your friend is in trouble. All you need is to let your feelings out in a respectful manner and if the relationship is good, it will benefit both of you. Good friends consider such comments instead of getting angry. In fact, such honest y will further build a trustworthy relation.
  • Being a Blunt Spouse/Partner. Honesty is the cornerstone of a good, healthy relationship with your spouse or partner. If you really love them and cherish them, you need to be blunt in your opinions. You should not be scared to tell your partner the truth – they expect you to be honest. You should be blunt in setting up any relationship rules as well. Tell your spouse or partner if you do not like anything and set honest expectations. Doing so will set a stronger and more loving relationship. If your partner does not respect how blunt you are, it might be a sign for you to look for someone else.
  • Being Blunt at Workplace. It is important to set clear boundaries with a colleague who tends to take advantage of you. You need to let them know what you will and what you will not do for them and set all the expectations that you have from them in return. In the same way, you need to be vocal in a meeting in which something is presented that you honestly feel will not work. Offer helpful, solid ideas that you truly think the company can benefit from. Again, this kind of bluntness will help you gain respect among your boss and colleagues.

How to be Blunt and Not Look like a Jerk

I look at being blunt as truly caring for someone or something. You will never put in effort to give honest advice on something that is not close to your heart or you do not care about. While I truly believe that blunt people are not doing it because they are bullies, there are certain things that they can do to not be labeled as jerks:

Listen to Others. You need to understand that your sole reason for being blunt is to give honest, helpful advice. It is equally helpful for the people around you if you also give them a chance to talk and not just steamroll your own opinions. Take out time to listen to their side of the story and then give them a piece of your mind. You might also look like a bully if you do not pay attention to what others have to say and just wait for your chance to retort.

  • Have a Constructive Argument. A big difference between being a straightforward person and someone who is just aggressive is how you have a constructive tone. You are not there to just point of the issues and the problems but also give solutions that you think can help others. Not doing so will make you sound mean and pushy, not adding any real value.
  • Focus On The Work, Not The Person. This one is for your workplace. When you are working in a team, it is always a good idea to not target any criticism or judgement towards a person, but rather towards the issue in the work under scrutiny. Addressing the work or the processes will make you look less of an attacker and more a helper. Failing to do so might make others get personal and have biased dislike for you.
  • Be Mindful of your tone. Most of the times, it is all about the tone that you have with others. You need to be conscious of what you are saying AND how you are saying it. Showing distaste for something with an “eye-roll” moment will not help you in such situations. Be considerate of how others will perceive your opinions and have a gentle, honest tone to be more effective in communicating your opinions.

Are you labeled as being blunt? Let me know in the comments section how have you developed yourself as an individual in your professional and personal life.

This post is part of 23 in the series Effective Communication

About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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