Have you ever been accused of being overly critical of yourself, even when you know that you’re right? Most people want to lift you up, not put you down. It sounds nicer to make up excuses for someone, than it does to be honest with them.
Rarely will you hear…
“I’ve gained so much weight.” – “You sure have! How did you fit into that?”
“How selfish of me for not going there and doing that.” – “You’re right. You should have been there. They needed you.”
“I should have spent more time with my children yesterday.” – “Yes, you should have. You really need to get your priorities straight.”
Although this is what people may be thinking, rarely will they say it. It’s not just because they don’t want to offend you, but mainly because they don’t want to add more disappointment and stress to your already critical state. They want to make you feel better.
That’s very kind, but kindness isn’t always what people need. Sometimes we need to hear the truth. We need people to be bold enough to tell us what they really think. If we lie and tell people that everything is okay and that they’re being too hard on themselves, then what will motivate them to make the proper changes?
When people open up to us about their concerns, they are doing so for a reason. Of course, there are a few who want us to disagree with them just so that they can on living the way they’re used to. But normally, it’s because they are seeking confirmation. Sometimes our honesty is what takes them from thinking about change to making a change.
Of course, there is a way to say things and a way not to. This is key. People aren’t looking to be pulled down. They’re looking for guidance. We can be bold, without being hurtful.
Sugar coating peoples’ behavior may be easier. It may even feel better to those of us on the receiving end, but it’s not always helpful. When we care about others, we should want to lead them down the right path. We shouldn’t however, hold their hand while they’re walking down the wrong one.