Tell it Like it Is

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid that you thought it was real? Well, I often do.

I had a dream that I was in Israel on business. I walked into a cafe to order a cappuccino. As I waited at the counter for my coffee, I heard my name being called. I turned and saw two women at a table waving at me excitedly. With the sun streaming through the window, they were silhouetted so I couldn’t see their faces. I approached with curiosity and they slowly came into focus. My heart stopped. I knew these women well….they were my cousin Toby and my aunt Debbie.

They both jumped up to hug me. “It’s so great to see you,” said Toby. “I’ve missed you and everyone so much,” said Debbie. I burst into tears. “Why are you both here?” I blubbered as I hugged them tightly. “We’ve been waiting for you,” they said in unison.

I’m sure I screamed in my sleep. I awoke with a start and my throat was sore. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding and I was sweating. Toby and Debbie are dead. What did they mean when they said they’re waiting for me?

Needless to say, I’ve become a bit paranoid since the dream. Am I running out of time?

***

I reposted a friend’s Facebook post this week. The article she commented on is called, Psychology Explains Why Blunt People Make the Best Friends. Now first, let me say the obvious. I reposted the piece because I consider myself to be a blunt person. Now second, let me be honest. My bluntness had not made me everyone’s best friend.

It was interesting to see how many times the article was shared and the number of supportive comments that were made. It seems I am friendly with quite a few Queens of Blunt. I wonder though…in this era of Donald Trump and others saying exactly what’s on their mind, is being blunt really a good thing? Do people really want to hear what you think and how you feel about them? Synonyms for the word “blunt” include: straightforward, frank, plain-spoken, candid, direct, bluff, forthright, unequivocal, brusque, abrupt, curt, terse, bald, brutal, harsh, stark, unadorned, undisguised, unvarnished, and upfront. Depending upon the context, not all of these are the nicest of words.

The intent of the article, however, is positive. Why do blunt people make the best of friends? Because:

  1. They tell it like it is.
  2. You’ll always know they want to be your friend.
  3. They push you to be better.
  4. They are not afraid to apologize.
  5. They won’t let you get harmed.

And this brings me back to where I started. When Debbie, at the age of seventy, passed away almost eighteen months ago after a relatively short (but horrible) illness, I dramatically vowed to live as if I were on borrowed time. I regularly ask myself….Am I living today to its fullest? Am I doing things that make me happy? Am I taking steps to leave the legacy I want to leave? Do people know what I think of and how I feel about them? Have I said “I love you” and “I appreciate you” enough?

For me, given that time is ominously ticking, bluntness can be a good thing. But only if I try to deliver feedback in a way that makes the recipient feel valued and loved.  I vowed to make the best use of time and promise to do everything I can to help those I care about. If that means being “blunt,” then so be it.

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