25 May 2010

Honesty & Tact

Ever since I started this blog, I knew that I was going to remain diplomatic in most issues. I rarely, if ever, talk about "hot topic" issues such a politics, religion, or sex. But, that doesn't mean that you, my readers, don't get a sense of who I am as a person.

Does it?

Being honest, but being tactful about it, goes along way in my book. I take great care in directly giving my opinion in the softest way possible. That way they understand I'm not trying to hurt their feelings, but I can tell them the truth.

If someone is tactful, it means they show skill and sensitivity when dealing with people. It means that they have a sense of what is fitting for the situation and show consideration and respect for others.

I have been blessed to have several people in my circle of family and friends that posesses this trait naturally. Therefore, I've been able to learn and observe people handle themselves (and what they need to say) with grace.

So, it's not a shocker that I would want to do the same in my writing.
Though, some may argue that I will never be a successful writer if I cannot commit to one side or the other. 

But, I argue, that I commit myself to understanding all people and their views. I work hard to understand different cultural, religious, and political views. And it is important for me to make others feel welcome to discuss these things without being judged. This is where honesty comes in. In order to find a place in me that can look at someone's life, no matter how vast a difference, and feel like we can connect, takes honesty. I have to be honest with myself.

It's difficult.
Can you look at yourself and pick out the prejudices you have learned?
What stereotypes do you hold on to?
Do you make generalizations about groups of people?

See.... its hard to do...

I truly believe that this is essential to building meaningful relationships. Without it, it can be limiting.

Back to honesty and truthfulness....
As you are trying to understand another point of view, it is perfectly okay to say that you disagree.
But, does it have to be harsh? accusatory? degrading? or belittling?
Can you find words that can get your point across without hurting someone's feelings?

I guess my challenge is to: 

Be honest with yourself, so you may be open to opposing views. Be tactful with your words, because there is a person on the receiving end of them.


  1. YES YES YES!! I love it. My thoughts exactly. I was actually going to write a blog similar to this, had it all written out on my notebook. You said it well.

  2. I am very opinionated and I struggle with being gentle sometimes.I am working on it.

  3. AnonymousMay 25, 2010

    I agree. I'm sure this inspired message may have had to do with some of the more recent "drama" on Facebook, and for that I apologize. Sometimes people, myself most certainly included, have one thing in mind when discussing a subject, one they have true and honest feelings about, one that possibly angers them and when writing do not realize what they say could be taken offensively to others outside of their realm of thought. I deal with my cynicism everyday, and try my hardest not to let it get the best of me, but sometimes it does. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us to settle down, because without a mirror, how would we ever see our own reflection? This was very well writen and hit home for me. Good job Katherine =]

  4. I love this post. I'm usually really honest no matter what the cost but over the last year I've tried to learn a little bit of tact.