Years and years ago, there was a guy that I met through mutual friends one summer at a cookout. He called our mutual friend asking for my number, and my friend gave me a heads-up he was interested in me. However, I wasn’t interested in him, so when he called, I did the craziest thing.
I told him that.
Now before you write me off as a major jerk, just hear me out.
He said he’d like to take me out, and I replied very politely, “Thank you so much for the offer. That is really kind of you to call. I’m not interested in going on a date, but I really enjoyed meeting you and I’d love to hang out again if our friends get together.”
There was a pause on the other end of the phone, and then he said in an amazed and happy voice, “Wow. I can’t believe you just said that.” We both laughed and he continued, “I’ve asked girls out before and they say yes, and then they just stop answering their phone and disappear. I’m just so impressed you were just honest and told me. Thank you for that.”
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SEE. I’m not a huge jerk! That’s what being honest does, y’all!
When you just shoot people straight and tell them the truth with kindness, you’re communicating several very important things.
1. There are no games or manipulation or weirdness.
2. There is no confusion, and there are no mixed signals. You say what you mean and mean what you say.
3. We feel like we’re doing people favors by dishonestly telling them what they want to hear, but in the end, everyone appreciates honesty. They respect and trust you for it because you are a person of integrity.
4. Dave Ramsey says, “To be unclear is to be unkind.” People know where they stand with you and they appreciate that, too. You’re actually being kind.
5. You’re giving the other person dignity by honoring them with the truth. By telling them the truth, you’re communicating that you believe they can handle it. Believe it or not, that is a compliment!
That’s the reason I could actually turn this guy down for a date and he actually appreciated it! He said he really respected the way I handled it.
So the next time your natural reaction is to weasel around an issue, side-step or sugarcoat an answer, or just flat-out lie and tell someone what you think they want to hear, stop and shoot them straight instead.
The truth may be hard and ugly, but it also creates trust—and trust is what real relationships are built on.
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