Stop Telling People What They Want To Hear

Why oh why oh why?  If there’s one thing I’m proud of about myself is that I’ve always told it like it is.  I’ve never been one to sugar coat things.  I can’t be inauthentic and not just keep it real.  I’ve found this has given me confidence and respect from people who appreciate the cold hard truth.  Telling it like it is can mean, not always a pretty picture.  It can mean you might upset people.  It can mean you might lose a friend.  Most of all it means you probably did more good than harm because you told them what they needed to hear instead of what they wanted to hear.Now when I say tell it like it is I’m not talking about being mean and telling someone you have evidence their boyfriend is cheating although this is probably a bad example and something I would most definitely tell it like it is.  I’m talking about telling people what you really think.  Being passionate.  Having an opinion and not being afraid to express it, even it’s not status quo.  Touchy subjects for instance.  This can be difficult because people are so uncomfortable with so much.  I think the more we read and learn and explore the more comfortable we are engaging.  Also for me I live authentically.  I can’t put on fake hi’s and bye’s for anyone.  If I don’t like you I probably won’t engage you.  And I only don’t like you cause you don’t like me.  Otherwise I like everyone.  I’m a people person at heart and will talk to anyone and everyone who’s willing to chat.  If you’re afraid of people and strangers than I’m afraid of you too.  It’s all energy.  What you put out, you get back.  I love people. Although they do scare me sometimes.  Not all of them, just the one’s who are not open to engaging the world around them.  This is how we connect to the world and this is ultimately how we find ourselves.  It’s through deep meaningful interactions that life takes on shape and purpose. Not surface talk.  That is inconsequential, is un-substantive and means nothing.  It’s not just engaging people we know, but being open to engaging those we don’t.  It’s powerful and transformative.  It’s the ultimate opportunity to connect with humanity and feel the kindredness among strangers.  This is when we stop getting defensive and begin to feel truly safe in the world.  It’s that confirmation of goodness that gives us life.Unfortunately people’s insecurities get the best of them and there are certain subjects and for some people lots of subjects that cannot be talked about.  I know people who are not comfortable with their emotions so anything emotional is absolutely off limits.  This notion is a little beyond me because life is made up of emotions, ups and downs, highs and lows.  This is what makes our pulse race.  That’s how we intuit good from bad.  It’s only instinctual to feel.  Suppressing feelings and emotions is not healthy and will not help in our soul evolution.  It’s perfectly ok to express emotion.  Without expressing your emotions ever, you are a mere facade not able to fully tap into life, others or yourself.Telling it like it is letting people know how you feel about the “off limit” topics like politics and religion.  Race is another very touchy subject that most people are unable to talk about or get very defensive over.  (Look out for my upcoming interview with Dr. William Armaline, SJSU Human Rights Professor, a most formidable and insightful professor on this topic).  Also telling it like it is, is letting people know they pissed you off or you’re offended or you don’t appreciate something about them or their viewpoint.  Telling it like it is letting people know what you need from them even if that makes them uncomfortable.  Telling it like it is means living in your own truth.  Telling it like it is practicing authenticity regardless of what others may think.  That’s powerful.I’ll use a good friend as an example for telling it like it is versus telling him what he wants to hear.  We all struggle in life and we also all have repetitive patters that are hard to break.  So on occasion when the issue of a cyclical struggle comes up, on many occasion I’ve had to tell him like it is versus consoling him and telling him what he wants to hear in that moment.  Telling someone what they want to hear really does them no good whatsoever.  Yes it offers instant gratification in that fleeting moment, but it does not empower them to change there circumstances.  It bandaid’s the situation and moments later they are exactly where they were at the start of the conversation.  I know for me I want to hear what I need to hear.  When I’m down and out and feeling helpless I need someone to check me and speak God’s truth and nothing else.  I’ve been called a counselor by friends and always have been more than willing to lend an ear in down times, but also have been the go to friend because they need to hear what I’m going to tell them.  They can count on me to tell it like it is when no-one else will.People need people and when we have their best interest we owe it to them to lift them up and give them the words of empowerment and not pity.  It does them no good.  While we might upset people here and there cause they don’t like certain subject matter being honest and forthright with people if nothing else will leave them thinking.  In my humble opinion provoking thought is a deed well done.

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.

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