The title of this story was messaged to me with no explanation of its meaning, so at first glance, I completely missed its significance.
I thought of the abundance of love I feel for my ultimate concierge, my pooch America and my family, and the abundance of warmth and true friendship I feel toward so many others that it is easy to tell it like it is … with love.
After I typed the title on a sheet of clean white paper in Word, on my new MacBook Pro Computer, which I love, it dawned on me that I was on the wrong track. The woman who wanted to know how to tell it like it is … with love, was in need of help.
Telling it like it is … with love also means how to tell a person candidly, but in a loving manner, something they do not want to hear!
My first thoughts: That obviously takes skill! That certainly is an art! To tell it like it is … with love.
I then asked myself, “What artful skills are needed?” I thought and I thought. I left my computer, took America for a peaceful walk in my favorite park, eventually sat down on a bench, and thought and thought. One of my first thoughts…
”Why can’t people be like dogs?”
The world would be almost perfect. Fortunately and unfortunately we are a communicative, chameleon-like society where people often blurt out words (sometimes contradictory words) from both sides of our mouths without using a very important art.
One Word: Diplomacy
That art can be summed up in one word. The word diplomacy is my first choice, the skill of knowing how to deal with a person in a sensitive and effective way. Diplomacy, darlings, is a skill we all wish we had when we want to tell it like it is … with love. This is not easy. How many times have we put our foot in our mouth and said the wrong thing or kept silent when we knew we should speak up? We are not schooled in the art of diplomacy so we clam up for fear of sounding insensitive.
But telling it like it is … with love and skill can be refreshingly welcome. I admire women who can do this. They know how to be candid and give honest feedback. They have the skill, the diplomacy, to tell those they feel close to their honest opinion sensitively but not shying away from the truth. They have learned that silence does not protect or grow a relationship.
One Answer: This is about the person’s best interest … not yours.
Telling it like it is … with love should be done only when the person’s best interest is at stake. In other words, ask yourself, “Who is the truth serving?”
If it serving you, stop and rethink. I am fortunate to have girl friends who are skilled in diplomacy. I hold them close because they have gained my admiration and trust. As I reflect on my closest relationships, the ones I truly value are the friends who are REAL. When my close friends tell me like it is … with love … I know they’re doing it for my well-being. I call these friends “keepers.”
When my ultimate concierge, my husband Sheldon Good, tells me like it is … with love, I may get annoyed but when I hear him say, “I am telling you this because I care,” my heart melts because I know he is real.
So darlings, when you are going to tell it like it is to a friend, a child, a spouse or a significant other it must come from your loving heart. They will know and hopefully, they will grow … because they know what you say is coming from a loving place.
One Lesson: Your opinion is just an opinion
It is important to remember and understand that your opinion is just an opinion. Being honest is a reflection on you. To share every thought and opinion you have about a person who has not sought your take on their failings is a very sensitive topic. You can come across as very arrogant even when you are telling it like it is … with love. Therefore, I suggest before you have that conversation you should remember … think twice before speaking once.
One Last Thought… Courage and character
It is important to be kind-hearted yet direct in a loving relationship because beating around the bush will eventually make you unhappy, and the other person will feel your distance and ultimately the relationship will sour or fail. Telling it like it is … with love takes courage and character.
Darlings, we must be who we are wherever we are. Please don’t alter your essence for anyone. What I mean is this: Telling it like it is …with love sometimes means your silence is…telling it like it is …with love and you are quietly deleting yourself from the relationship. That too is a form of diplomacy.