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hurtloam
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03 Oct 2019, 9:37 pm

Do you have issues with people getting upset with what you say when you didn't mean to say anything hurtful, but it turns out what you said was actually hurtful.

I used to have more of an issue with this, but I've learned through trial and error to be more tactful.

I find that due to my experience I cut some of my friends a but more slack with their blunt communication because I know they don't mean to be unkind, they're just saying what the actually think.

Thing is. A very nice friend pointed out to me today that I don't actually have to take it if what someone says is hurtful.

Mind blown.

To be fair I don't always just accept the bluntness

I have a friend who got upset with me this week because she criticised me rather than comforted me, but she really genuinely believed she was showing camaraderie. I pointed out that what she said can be taken as a criticism and she got upset saying that she was only trying to help.

Other friends said supportive, truthful things to me that hurt less, so it's possible to be truthful and kind.

I can imagine that it's frustrating to always have people misunderstand the intent off what you say.

But words matter. You can hurt people needlessly.

My musings on blunt communication...



shortfatbalduglyman
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03 Oct 2019, 9:42 pm

Anyone could correctly claim that anything "hurt" them

"Hurt" is about emotion

Everything:. "Helps" , "hurt", both, or neither

It is for the recipient to say, which one

Nobody can cross examine

Not all "hurt", is Mandated reporter violation

Not all "help" is Nobel prize

Extroverts are lil drama queens



Magna
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03 Oct 2019, 9:45 pm

I save most all of my blunt communication for my family. I'm not blunt with coworkers or acquaintances because I'm aware that nearly anyone who doesn't know me well would be offended by me being blunt.

I'm very blunt with my family. They're used to it. They will still tell me when something I say is something they consider to be offensive and then I can explain why I said what I said. They also know that I don't say things to be purposely hurtful or hateful.

A recent example of being blunt and being called out on it:

I told my wife that she and I need to keep encouraging one of our adolescent children to wash his face and forehead with soap and a washcloth often because otherwise kids might end up calling him something like "zit face". She told me that I should NOT tell that to him. I will therefore try to refrain from telling him that.



hurtloam
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03 Oct 2019, 10:20 pm

Can I just point out that you're wrong as well. Over washing can affect the ph balance of the skin and cause more zits, especially if you're using regular soap. It can dry the skin out.

Caring for problem skin is a very difficult thing to do.



Magna
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03 Oct 2019, 10:23 pm

Thank you for pointing that out. What is the best remedy? There has to be remedy.



hurtloam
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03 Oct 2019, 10:25 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Anyone could correctly claim that anything "hurt" them

"Hurt" is about emotion

Everything:. "Helps" , "hurt", both, or neither

It is for the recipient to say, which one

Nobody can cross examine

Not all "hurt", is Mandated reporter violation

Not all "help" is Nobel prize

Extroverts are lil drama queens



I get the sense that you may actually have some genuinely toxic people in your life and I'm very sorry if you do.

But ordinarily taking people's feelings into consideration is a very good thing. Pandering to toxicity is not, but the vast majority of people aren't toxic.

Don't let the bad ones cloud your world view.



hurtloam
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03 Oct 2019, 10:28 pm

Magna wrote:
Thank you for pointing that out. What is the best remedy? There has to be remedy.


I don't know. I've struggled with acne off and on for years. Mine is a hormonal and auto immune issue.

Google may help, but a dermatologist would be better.



Magna
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03 Oct 2019, 10:30 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Magna wrote:
Thank you for pointing that out. What is the best remedy? There has to be remedy.


I don't know. I've struggled with acne off and on for years. Mine is a hormonal and auto immune issue.

Google may help, but a dermatologist would be better.


Thank you for the suggestions.



Jakki
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03 Oct 2019, 10:36 pm

Augh...... yup can do blunt , and do, do blunt . Sometimes just not very sharp on these things ,
But i am me .. and if can be a knowing bluntness , try not to intentionally step on toes . Even my own .
Having said that , always amazed when the brain and my nervous system do not seem to agree on simple stuff . Not un coordinated ....! Just maybe mis coordinated . Engage mouth , insert foot.


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Mona Pereth
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04 Oct 2019, 2:10 am

hurtloam wrote:
Do you have issues with people getting upset with what you say when you didn't mean to say anything hurtful, but it turns out what you said was actually hurtful.

I used to have more of an issue with this, but I've learned through trial and error to be more tactful.

I find that due to my experience I cut some of my friends a but more slack with their blunt communication because I know they don't mean to be unkind, they're just saying what the actually think.

Thing is. A very nice friend pointed out to me today that I don't actually have to take it if what someone says is hurtful.

Mind blown.

To be fair I don't always just accept the bluntness

I have a friend who got upset with me this week because she criticised me rather than comforted me, but she really genuinely believed she was showing camaraderie. I pointed out that what she said can be taken as a criticism and she got upset saying that she was only trying to help.

Other friends said supportive, truthful things to me that hurt less, so it's possible to be truthful and kind.

I can imagine that it's frustrating to always have people misunderstand the intent off what you say.

But words matter. You can hurt people needlessly.

My musings on blunt communication...

It might be helpful if both you and your friends were all to study the following tutorial: How To Be Assertive Without Being Aggressive (podcast & transcript). Then you could have a common reference point on how to give each other constructive criticism without being hurtful.


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Ashariel
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04 Oct 2019, 8:26 am

^ Thanks, I just read the transcript - some excellent points there, that were new to me.

An issue I have with bluntness, is that I feel it's expected of me, on internet forums. By nature, I'd prefer to use smilies and exclamation points, to show that I mean something in a cheerful, friendly way. But I've learned that it annoys people, so I've trained myself to just use periods - which comes across as 'blunt' to me.



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04 Oct 2019, 8:35 am

I'm blunt by nature, but have forced myself to tone it down somewhat. However, if I'm together with someone I consider to be safe company, I don't hold back. Of course I try to not make anything sound offensive, but sometimes people get offended anyway. I'm against white lies, so if I can't be blunt to someone about some particular topic, I just won't speak to them about it at all.



SharonB
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04 Oct 2019, 10:29 am

I have been told that I am very critical. I have been told I don't take criticism well. Phooey.

I have high expectations. It's good (I've achieved a lot). It's bad (I'm fairly anxious).

I'm looking to unmask, so I'm actually wanting to be more myself (blunt), but looking to script it for NTs: "Do you mind if I say something blunt?" or "This may be blunt..."

And as your friend... If I have my wits about me (not much yet), I would say "I know you were trying to help. I have such... that when you say... it hurt. What was your...?"



hurtloam
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04 Oct 2019, 11:54 am

Ah, yes, "I know you were trying to help" is a good phrase.



SharonB
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04 Oct 2019, 12:23 pm

The problem is I am a (wonderfully and terribly) unassuming person, so I don't really KNOW, but I guess I would go with probability and precedence. My husband used to say to me: you have to trust that I care for you! (I would constantly question him when something hurt, rather than just being hurt - if you know what I mean.)



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04 Oct 2019, 12:39 pm

It can be a very nuanced issue, but a fascinating one.

Since I travel a lot, I also noticed that even in the West, manners, styles of communication and what's considered rude or not can vary to a surprising degree - but that's a whole different discussion.

The best guidelines for me were: adapt to your audience/company and practice "active" compassion/empathy.

For instance, in somebody else's house I would say "can I have some water (please)?", at home neither of us minds if we just say gimme some water etc. So as a first step, keep in mind the personality and the type of relationship you have with whomever you're interacting with, some people are more sensitive, formal, easily offended etc.

Speaking of zits (btw Magna, at that age is usually hormonal and scrubbing will make the problem worse) - my son is lucky and still has china-doll skin, my daughter, poor thing, not so much. My first inner thought was along the lines, get over it, it will go away, you won't even remember in a couple of years. Then I stopped to think and remembered how intense everything feels at that age. How it might not necessarily go away and even if it does, kids can be nasty and a hefty blow to her self-esteem at this age might actually do significant harm.

This part of actively trying to see things from someone else's perspective needs constant practice and can be tiring. I put in different degrees of effort depending how much I care about someone and how important the relationship is.

I don't do any roundabout and coded small talk though, it gets on my nerves and find it useless and am polite but use zero fluff at work. My team actually gave lots of good feedback to my boss for being the only lead that keeps meetings short and to the point. In certain situations, bluntness and precision have their value.


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