Emotionally Unintelligent Bluntness: Are You Trapped? | #PeopleSkills

Are you trapped by your emotionally unintelligent bluntness? Do you claim that frequent bluntness is OK and even necessary? Have you made up reasons why it’s OK?

Or are you emotionally intelligent and find other’s bluntness to be intolerable? Well, let’s pull back the curtain and expose the truth about emotionally unintelligent bluntness. Knowing the truth, you can escape the trap and have great relationships.



Emotionally Unintelligent Bluntness: Image are two blockheads.

Emotionally Unintelligent Blockheads: Are You Trapped? Image by Joe Goldberg via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Joe Goldberg via Flickr Creative Commons License.


The Truth About Emotionally Unintelligent Bluntness

I had posted the following quote on Twitter: “Honesty, authenticity, and transparency don’t justify being blunt and boorish.”

Emotionally Unintelligent Bluntness: Image is Kate Nasser quote to not be blunt & boorish.

Authenticity and honesty do not justify being blunt and hurtful. ~ Kate Nasser



In response, someone on Twitter tweeted back at me:

“This is predicated on the idea that you are somehow responsively for other’s emotions. You are not. There is nothing wrong with being blunt. People need that bluntness in their lives or else they can dismiss ambiguity and convince themselves you were somehow incorrect.”

This four sentence reply is loaded with mistruths and sly writing. And if you read it out loud, you can almost hear the childish tone of “I’m right, I’m right, I’m right” ringing in the background. So let’s examine these four sentences and expose the truth about emotionally unintelligent bluntness.

Behind the Curtain of Bluntness

The first two sentences in his reply say that you are not responsible for other’s emotions. Notice he chose the phrase responsible for other’s emotions. He said nothing about being accountable for how he affects others — and yes we must be accountable for our words and actions. Then he uses that creative logic of not being responsible to claim there is nothing wrong with being blunt. In this age of incivility, his claim feeds the fire of bullying.

Then we come to his final sentence where he claims that bluntness is necessary. And why is it necessary in his mind? So nobody can claim he is incorrect. Every sentence in his reply shows his emotional unintelligence.

The Truth About Using Bluntness

  • Denying. Being blunt and claiming you aren’t responsible for the results is denial.

  • Unaccountable. When you state that you can say whatever you want without consequence, you are showing that you are unaccountable. This is immature, selfish, and self-absorbed. Quite disastrous for personal and professional success.

  • Controlling. Part of this emotional unintelligence is the strong desire to control others. In fact, it is part of bullying. Yet the truth is, if someone doesn’t agree with you, trying to force them with bluntness won’t work. They may appease you with a “yes” temporarily, yet they will move away from you and still think you are wrong. Why? Because you didn’t make your case with great communication. You resorted to bullying.

  • Mixed up. Bluntness and honesty are not the same thing. Honesty is truthful while showing respect. Bluntness is raw emotion-packed opinion often mislabeled as honesty. Don’t conflate the two.

  • Presumptuous. Bluntness is a privilege someone explicitly grants you. It is not a right you already have.



Escape the Trap of Emotionally Unintelligent Bluntness

Think about how your bluntness is a form of bullying. Then develop your ability to influence instead of using bluntness to force and bully others. Consider how bluntness will limit your personal relationships and professional success. Leaders who are brutally blunt drive employees and their talent away. Customer service reps who are blunt with customers drive customers away to more caring competitors. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who are brutally blunt with patients reduce compliance with recommended treatment.

You don’t have to be trapped by your own emotionally unintelligent bluntness. Swap out bluntness with caring honesty. Be honest without dumping you judgmental views and opinions on others. Bluntness is emotion-packed and you must be accountable for the results when you dump that on others. Yet, honesty is your understanding of the truth right now and said with an openness to discovering what you did not know when you first spoke.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Are You Brutally Blunt or Helpfully Honest?
Bluntness Bombs Out for 6 Smart Logical Reasons
People Skills Secret: Uninvited Bluntness Loses

©2020 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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