Have you ever met people who claim to be very blunt but are, in fact, just emotionally unintelligent and insensitive to other people’s feeling? Ah! Them plenty. We see them all the time on social media, they are the ones who, in a bid to form savage, will insult others for a slice of clout. They are also those who think they are so intelligent and then under the the guise of enlightening others or “telling the truth” will say vile and mean things and claim “I said what I said.”
Some may legit be hitting the nail on the head and telling (what is considered to be) the truth, still, sometimes, the things you say do not matter as much as the way you say them. How you communicate ideas or pass messages across is so important because the other party’s reception to your ideas/criticisms/praises/complaints hinges heavily on this.
Emotionally unintelligent people will say things like “If you read more, you’ll not be this dumb,” and then conclude with “I’m a very blunt person, I say things the way it is.” No, mbok, you’re not being blunt – you’re being rude and insensitive.
What’s the difference between being blunt and being emotionally unintelligent? There are times we feel people need to hear the ‘truth’ – especially when they consistently misbehave and you need to “talk sense” into their heads. But in pouring sense into a person’s skull, do you consider if you are hurting the person’s feelings or not? Or if your words will affect the person’s mental health or not? Or do you just talk with the assurance that they’ll be fine laslas?
It is important to let people know what you really think about them, but in doing so, do you blurt it out or do you pause, think about your words, weigh the impact it may have and then filter it while speaking? If your colleague has a mouth odour, do you just say it one day because “I say things the way they are,” or do you consider that saying it may hurt the person, keep it to yourself, and then manage the smell as he/she talks to you?
If someone does something wrong and needs to be scolded for it, do you blurt out what you really think about the person and his/her actions or do you count your teeth before speaking?
Some would say that it’s important to be careful about the things we say to people because words are like eggs; once broken, they cannot be made whole again. In many cases, the sayer of the words may have forgotten about the things they said, but you see the hearer? Mean words haunt them for long and sticks to a side of their head.
Others would argue that when speaking, you shouldn’t mince words and if a person continually does stupid things, what’s wrong in letting the person know that he/she is stupid? If person F up, then we gats clear am say im F up. Sometimes, you don’t even intend to be mean but the other party picks offence no matter how polite you think you sound. It is what it is.
Still, isn’t there a need to be sensitive to other people’s emotions and filter the things we say to them. Before we speak, is it not important to ask ourselves if we’ll be happy to be at the receiving end of the words we want to dish out?
What’s the difference between being blunt and insensitive? At what point do you move from telling people what you consider to be “the truth” and simply being inconsiderate about their feelings?