Speaking your mind vs. politically correct…

A few nights ago, Kate was explaining a situation that she encountered. She said a few times “What I WANTED to say was…” which made me realize how many times in a day, week, etc, that I say that phrase as well. Once I was on THAT thought train, it derailed on the corner of “why the fuck don’t I just say what I want?” with the cross street of “because you’re human and care about the feelings of others”.

Here’s the question that I posed to myself (and now to you, the three that read my blog), how often to you stop what you really want to say to be politically correct to the person that you’re speaking to?

Honestly, I probably don’t do this as much as I should. I have a really, really, (really) hard time at hiding my feelings. It doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, annoyed, indifferent. I wear my feelings on my sleeve, and sometimes (okay, most of the time) things fly out of my mouth before I realize what I’m saying or how they can be construed by others.

I really never mean my words to be offensive or mean or bossy. I’m sarcastic by nature, and pretty blunt, which is never a great combination. I also have about zero patience with people that aren’t under the age of 6, and that isn’t the best thing in the world, either. I often feel incredibly… volatile? I don’t know if that’s the exact word that I want, but I feel like a lot of situations get blown out of proportion because I feel the need to defend myself, my position, and while I can see another person’s point of view… in my head, they’re normally wrong.

It’s not a great personality trait to have, let me tell you.

But back to the question. Should what is said to other be censored? I understand that there are certain situations that require a different manner of speaking than others. And the way that I speak to my friends will greatly differ from the way that I speak to my boss.

But where do you draw the line?

Not only that, but where does the line blur and become gray? I work with a lot of my friends. There are people that I adore as friends, but not really as co-workers for one reason or another. There’s a sense of entitlement that flies around that makes me insane – but do I address it? No, because they’re co-workers, not friends…. at least when we’re in the work building.

However, SHOULD I be able to address it since technically they ARE my friends? Oy, I could go around and around with this one for days and never come up with the answer.

On a different note, should I have to watch what I say when I’m defending myself or explaining myself because the person I’m speaking to MIGHT take offense to it? Or should that person just be an adult and treat me the same way?

I’m really not trying to sound sassy or flippant or like a total bitch, which is how I feel this is coming out. I’m legitimately  wondering if anyone else has these thoughts.

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9 thoughts on “Speaking your mind vs. politically correct…

  1. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer here, honestly. I think a pretty convincing argument can be made for both sides.

    What I DON’T LIKE about this post is how often you put down the way you are:
    * I probably don’t do this as much as I should.
    * I’m sarcastic by nature, and pretty blunt, which is never a great combination.
    * I also have about zero patience with people that aren’t under the age of 6, and that isn’t the best thing in the world, either.
    * It’s not a great personality trait to have, let me tell you.

    You recognize traits/patterns that maybe you don’t like about yourself as much as other things, but to imply (or flat out state) that they are WRONG or BAD or SHOULD or SHOULDN’T bums me out. You are you and that’s fine. That’s GREAT, actually.

    Continue this conversation and find out your answers and how you would PREFER to react to a situation and try to do so, but don’t put yourself down in the process.

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    • You’re right – I need to not do that as often as I do. I’m looking at it from the perspective of how these traits aren’t the ones that I’m the most proud of and how they may appear to others. But you’re correct, it IS me, and while I can control some of these things for the most part, they are me… and that’s okay.

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  2. I don’t think that this is a PC issue. I think this is a being honest issue – not the same thing. I’ve been working at it for a long time, and am constantly reminded that I’m not doing that great of a job. Try speaking your mind when you’re hurt by something. Start with the people who are safe. Try it out with K, R or me. I love you, sweetheart.

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    • Thanks, E! I never thought of it as an honesty thing. Honesty is something that I’ve REALLY been working hard at over the past 7 months, so maybe that’s why all of this is coming up now.

      It’s difficult, but I know it’s worth it – I just need to find the balance between being honest and hurting people’s feelings when I don’t mean to.

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  3. I think sometimes people confuse being honest with being mean and they’re not the same thing. There is a way to phrase whatever it is you’re saying such that you’re honest about your feelings without being mean or overly aggressive. For instance, if we’re out shopping together and I pick a dress that is a hideous color and makes me look fatter than I already am, you could either say ‘that’s an ugly dress and it makes you look incredibly fat.’ Or you could say, ‘that dress doesn’t work with your skin tone and it doesn’t flatter your figure.’ It’s exactly the same thing but one is less likely to hurt my feelings. I suppose you just have to consider your audience. I tend to be a direct person and I don’t mind when people are direct with me. I actually prefer it. But even with me being direct, there are different levels. I’m more direct with my family and close friends than I would be with one of my work-buddies because my family and close friends know how much I love them. My work-buddy is more of a casual acquaintance who may or may not understand how I communicate. Ultimately, you can’t control how people are going to receive anything you say. The only thing you can do is try to give them the same respect that you would ask for yourself. Besides (as my grandmother used to say) everyone doesn’t need to know exactly what you’re thinking all the time.

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