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On Being Tactful

On Being Tactful

I came across this via MotivateUs.com and began to wonder if being tactful is something I want to be. Does being tactful also involve being a bit dishonest, I ask. But is it always possible to be completely honest?

21 Comments

  1. Larry Larry July 9, 2011

    Sometimes i wish i could acquire the tactful gene, but alas i’m the gentle giant, like a bull in the china shop, shooting from the hip, direct and to the point, you either love me or hate me, but you never forget me. That wasn’t very tactful was it.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 9, 2011

      Dear Bull in the China shop – in my brief interaction with you, I’ve never found you to be tactless. The gentle giant is more like it!

  2. debra elramey debra elramey July 8, 2011

          I have a writer friend who’s always seeking my advice.   When I’ve  given her constructive criticism in the past she recoils and pouts like a kid.  I call it being tactful to tell the truth, especially if you’re trying to help someone grow.   I call it tactless to pretend her work is perfect when it is far the best she can do.  I didn’t tell her it sucked (which would have been tacky).  First I did point out the strong points… then the things that needed strengthening.      

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues July 9, 2011

      Knowing you, I’m sure you’ll know just how to phrase feedback. It’s surprising that it’s not appreciated. Please send some feedback my way – would love it!

  3. Kriti Mukherjee Kriti Mukherjee July 8, 2011

    Corinne it is way too important to be tactful now as it was decades ago. I think its a better word for the term “politically correct” in an more ways than one. I sometimes fail at being that way but am learning quick : )

  4. Bonnie Gayadeen Bonnie Gayadeen July 8, 2011

    I believe in tact..and have to admit at times I have not used it…I call myself honest and expect that from others..but I am also aware of others feelings..and i never set out to hurt anyone with malice or on purpose..there is a fine line between honesty and tact.. and using either one can still cause hurt…I feel intent has a big role-play in this…As always…XOXOXO

  5. Sweepy (A D Joyce) Sweepy (A D Joyce) July 8, 2011

    My instinct is to be blunt and sometimes there’s no stopping it. But at least 60% of the time, I’m tactful. I think a person can be truthful and tactful at the same time. Not hurting someone’s feelings is a good thing! 🙂

  6. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl July 8, 2011

    I like the Buddhist concept of right speech.  I think we need to be responsible for what comes out of our mouths.  We might have different ideas about that, but these three questions offer some guidance.  Is it true?  Is it necessary?  Is it kind?

    I like that first definition of tact about the lightening.  I am not always known for my tact.  I don’t think being tactful is being dishonest.  It is being considerate.

    Great post.  Thanks.

  7. Pamanner Pamanner July 8, 2011

    I like this and the word “tact.”  I haven’t heard in a while and your post provoked contemplation.  You’re right.  Being tactful is a good thing!  Sometimes hard to do but worthy to strive for!  xo

  8. Adriana Iris Adriana Iris July 7, 2011

    love this post tact along with common sense are non existent 

  9. Bec Owen Bec Owen July 7, 2011

    Sometimes ‘speaking the truth’ can be an excuse to pursue someone’s personal agenda…after all, whose ‘truth’ is it, really?  I believe that everyone has their own unique perspective, or truth, which they are entitled to.

    Being able to honor both honesty and compassion at the same time, is, I believe an art, if not a virtue.  Like you, Corinne, I strive to do this each day.

    Thank you for another wonderful post.

  10. Sonia Rumzi Sonia Rumzi July 7, 2011

    If not said in kindness there is not need to say it. It causes more harm and does nothing but inflame pain and hurt. Always inspiring. Hugs.

  11. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda July 7, 2011

    Great conversation, as usual, here!

    I didn’t get the name Dangerous Linda by being super tactful — haha!  I enjoy honest, straight forward communication. 

    If I have a difficult “truth” trying to get out of my mouth I’m more likely to check in with God (or whatever name one uses for that Higher Intelligence) rather than checking in on what I think the other person will think or feel about what I’m about to say.  Sometimes I’m called to speak an uncomfortable truth, so I say it.  Sometimes I realize it was my ego trying to be bossy or right, so I don’t say it.           

      

  12. BlogNostics BlogNostics July 7, 2011

    It takes a lot of courage to consider another person’s feelings than just our own. The truth must free both the persons involved. It takes a lot of daring and charity. Just say, I have a choice and I choose to say this…

  13. Jimi Ann Jimi Ann July 7, 2011

    Hi Corrine, I’ve been keeping up with your posts, although I haven’t commented in a while.  Your post today reminded of a simple spiritual truth, that we SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE.  The truth can be very harsh, and have the opposite effect we would like it to have.  People have used truth to hurt, as well as to heal.  A tactful person has empathy and understanding. They’re able to put themselves into the other person’s shoes, and treat them how they would like to be treated.  Very simple when you think of it.  Follow the Golden Rule.  🙂  Blessings to you today, my friend…Thank you for your inspiration.

  14. Melissa Tandoc Melissa Tandoc July 7, 2011

    There’s so much to it that I need to explore. It entails a lot of freedom on both sides. Not everybody is ready for an unexpected blow… I’m always reminded by my spiritual director to be gentle and firm at the same time. It also needs practice…I’m journeying along with you…

  15. Alpana Jaiswal Alpana Jaiswal July 7, 2011

    As long as you are not harming anyone,I think there is no harm…and at times you have no other option left also,other than lie..I think its justified..what do u think Corinne? Great post..

  16. Rimly Bezbarua Rimly Bezbarua July 7, 2011

    I think sometimes a white lie is good, that I feel is also being tactful. Without hurting the person you get your point across is often difficult because the truth always hurts but the way you put it across is the art without hurting the other. I try and be as tactful as often as possible but very often I speak the what is on my mind and sometimes hurt the other but I always try and make it up. Thank you for sharing this Corrine.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.com/2011/07/last-dance.html

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