There’s nothing my ego wants more than for people to like me. And sometimes the my true feelings don’t flatter. Consequently, I often put honesty in the back seat.
For this challenge, I spoke honestly all day.
Here are the honest things I said to people
1. Told my friend “You’re not listening to me.”
My friend called me upset. I tried to console her. However, she kept talking over me and jumping to conclusions.
I normally, wouldn’t be so upfront. But today, I told her, “You’re not listening to me.”
Immediately, she quieted, giving me an opportunity to better explain my thoughts. In turn, my friend understood my point. And what I explained helped her feel better.
2. Told a new mentor that I couldn’t understand his accent
Later, I had a video call with an Indian developer. The signal wasn’t great. On top of that, the developer had a thick Indian accent. And spoke fast.
Normally, I’d be afraid that pointing out an accent would offend someone. But I tried pointing it out anyways. My intentions are good and that’s what matters. All I want is to understand him.
Personally, I’d rather someone tell me they don’t understand me than waste my time having me speaking for no reason.
So I told the developer I had a hard time understanding his accent and asked if he could slow down. The key here is tact. I made the issue about me and how I have difficulty understanding accents. Additionally, I told him I had a very thick Chicago accent, and sometimes people misunderstand me too.
3. Told the CTO of my apprenticeship, “Don’t rely on me”
I had another video call with the CTO at my apprenticeship. I was feeling silently guilty because I didn’t know if I was committed to the apprenticeship yet. By not saying anything I felt, deceitful. Did they assume I was commited to a timeframe?
Instead of holding it in, I told the CTO not to rely too heavily on my longevity with the company. I admitted that I still wasn’t sure how it would work out.
While I harbored guilt over my small omission, the CTO explained that he totally understood. Furthermore, he said that it’s common for people to come and go in startups.
I was relieved! I felt so much more comfortable and excited to continue on with the apprenticeship.
4. Asked my Grandpa if he remembers that he forgets things
My grandpa came over for dinner. He’s been having memory problems and he kept remarking about how he didn’t remember making dinner plans.
When my other grandparents had memory problems, I tiptoed over the issue. What if I confuse or offend them? But, if I had memory problems, I’d want someone to treat me normally.
Instead of avoiding my real thoughts, I asked my grandpa if he remembered that he has poor memory.
He said yes. We talked about how he still was sharp in the moment. And how he’s like Buddha, always living in the present.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
Honestly relieve me of unnecessary guilt. It helped me communicate effectively. And it enabled me to truly connect with my grandpa.
The key is to be kind and honest. Not many have the tact to deliver honesty effectively.