GREAT day at work – awesome communication successes, particularly with a previously difficult employee who is no longer difficult at all – which is as much about me as it as about her 🙂
And…tonight I swallowed my internal fear and put on my tap shoes and did my routine for Marcus 🙂
So in my meditation this morning I did a little deep dive into asking the universe what ELSE is part of the authentic me besides being open minded. The first thing that popped into my mind was “honest to a fault”.
I know I phrased it that way because I was thinking about the dual sides to that. So, I’m not just honest to a fault, but I also am not at ALL afraid to say what is on my mind, either good or bad. This has resulted in many awkward/uncomfortable moments throughout my life. People are not quite sure what to do with my very open nature. I often warn folks “don’t ask me a difficult question, because I will answer you.” or “Don’t ask if you don’t really WANT an answer.” I’ve just never properly learned the social graces that most people learn that direct one towards either “little white lies”, deft avoidance, or just the act of being silent.
As such, I know I have told people what I think, good & bad, quite often and that both examples cause cringe inducing moments. Of course, I *get* why me telling you negative things about you or your family (yes…embarrassingly, I’ve done that!) is offensive or unwanted. In fact, on that topic, I have been working quite hard on that SILENCE skill. I’m pretty sure the last time I said something that I view as kind of awful to someone was about 18 months ago so I think the new habit is forming nicely.What gets me though, is when folks seem a bit flustered or taken aback when I compliment them. A genuine thank you or a moment to tell someone how much I admire a skill set they have seems to be SO ODD to them!
I think that is sad! And no, I am not stopping myself from speaking my mind when it is GOOD. Now, I promise that I am not gushing at someone. I’m not acting like a goofy fan girl.
Here’s an example from yesterday: “Hey, listened to that webinar you did on the new budget tool – GREAT piece of info on how to handle dependent scholarships – I’ve always wondered what you guys did and it’s great to be able to understand what we can do to help! Thanks for sharing that!”
Is that so weird?
Another time I told a friend how much I admire how well she juggled the many personalities and perspectives of multiple parents at a planning meeting.
Those are the kinds of things I say. Now, in both those instances the recipients were quite gracious. But sometimes I can tell people are not quite sure what to do with someone so genuinely telling them why they LIKE them! It’s so funny.
At a deeper level I do know that I cannot/will not play games. I say what I mean and mean what I say. There are no hidden meanings. I don’t play coy. I don’t subtweet 🙂 I don’t vaguebook 🙂 So I know that I cannot adopt the Little White Lie skill which is why I aimed for just keeping my mouth shut in situations when I am not exactly thrilled with people and there is no good reason for them to be made aware of it.
My oldest son’s dad used to try to get me to lie, or to cover for his lies and I just could NOT do it. It caused me so much anguish because he would pressure me so much and I would truly TRY, but I just couldn’t keep track of who was supposed to know what and which lie was I covering for and…GAH! My brain cannot do it. My parents are direct and honest and I know no other way to be. It’s actually quite easy and frankly, as I told Marcus one day as we talked about this “Hey, I’m LAZY! It’s just EASIER to tell the truth, then I don’t need to keep track of more than I need to!”
SO, the fact that the affirmation on my birthday was “I act with honor and integrity in all that I do” was absolutely spot on.
It’s a part of my authentic self for sure: I have an open heart and mind and I act with honor and integrity in all that I do.