Brutal honesty has the perfect name. It isn’t honesty – well it is, but it’s more than just the truth. Brutal honesty is raw, it hasn’t been softened by our desire not to hurt another’s feelings or have ours hurt in return. It’s as real and uncut as it can be. It’s also about as rare as seeing someone who can take brutal honesty without fighting, crying, or becoming emotional…
Which is also why we don’t use it.
If we were to be brutally honest with everyone we saw, we’d be lonely human beings. We’d have enemies, people wanting to tear us down because they believe that we’re out to do the same thing. But we’re not. We’re trying to help them succeed; the form of delivery was just unwelcome.
Brutal honesty between two people doesn’t happen very much. Even in marriages that have seen decades of success, growth, and happiness, true, brutal honesty is pretty much non-existant. Probably for good reason. That marriage may not be if what was truly thought was expressed in a blunt manner.
As we are, right now, most of us can’t take brutally honest criticism.
If we’re going to be at our best in business, health, fitness, and as men, we need to be able to take even the most cutting criticism as words that help us, not hurt us.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Encourage Brutal Honesty Within Your Life
A few days ago I was on the phone with a buddy of mine. I told him about a new idea for my business and he crapped all over it – with good reason. Here’s the thing, I’d already done a ton of work on it, so to come to the realization that it just wasn’t the right fit was devastating. So I lost my cool a bit.
Most people wouldn’t have given me the criticism he gave me. But I needed to hear it to avoid the mistake of making that move with my business.
I’m lucky enough to have people in my life who are willing to be brutally honest with me. It’s a blessing. But I have to be man enough to accept it for what it is: a HUGE HELP. If I want to improve, I can’t put up a fight anytime someone comes to the table with something that either hurts, or I may not agree with.
Harsh criticism is far better than watered-down, flowery half-truths. We need honesty that cuts us to the core if we’re going to make the changes we should be making in our lives.
Don’t Be So Emotional
Emotions are beautiful. To feel them wholeheartedly is to live. To love, to fear, to hate, to feel life passionately, is a beautiful thing – something we all need to do. But emotions have their time and place.
Emotions have no place in business, in criticism, or in decision-making.
We need to leave our emotions out of the picture if we’re going to accept brutal honesty and the myriad of benefits that it brings with it. If people feel that they can be brutally honest with us, they’ll be far more forthcoming with the truth we need to hear.
As a result, we’ll know how we’re actually make people feel. How we look, perform, and how we’re perceived will no longer be a mystery if we are able to leave our emotions out of the picture when we’re being criticized, and when we’re being told the cold, hard truth.