The mother in the film, played by Maureen O’Hara, prided herself on “telling it like it is,” which got her in more trouble than did her more good.
It does the same for me.
Some people love me for it, some people hate me for it. Some times I will tell you exactly what I’m thinking, some times I’m passive aggressive (shocking, I know), other times I’ll sit there like a quiet church mouse and reserve comment, afraid to alienate people.
Around work, I’ve had a hard time “finding my voice” in the last six months because of my probation period, but in the last few weeks, I’ve really tried to voice opinions in committee and association meetings, especially when it concerns an area where I have a lot of knowledge like media or technology.
But last night, I was asked for an opinion outside of work, outside of a social setting, but from someone who I consider so sweet and dear and would not want to offend, but I would not want to blow sunshine up their ass either.
So I told it like it is…in the best way possible.
Crafting a message on your feet can be the most difficult thing, and I’m supposed to excel at it (although I feel like a giant failure at the best of times), but it all comes down to honesty, directness and openness.
I told her what I thought, what I thought was the issue, and what I think she could do to improve the situation so that she could get a “yes” to the question she posed to me, maybe not today or tomorrow or in the next few months, but some day.
It wasn’t about crushing a dream, telling her it was impossible or flat out saying no, it was making her realize that she has potential in her. See, it goes back to the other day and those “I can’ts” that I hate so much. It’s more about seeing the POSITIVE in her and building from there.
It’s like our struggles with weight-loss, weight-gain, food, running, whatever – we struggle, we fall, we have good days and crappy days. We can do it. Take away the negative and see the positive. Don’t make me bust out that hokey crap from the Secret on your ass.
I’m not one to tiptoe through life, but not about to tell people they can’t do anything. And you shouldn’t be telling yourself that either, for crying out loud.
Try and fail. Eventually you’ll succeed. If not, you’ve got great stories to tell, battle scars to prove it and probably make a hell of a lot of friends a long the way.
Tell them I told you so.