Or; "I Believe What You Say As Truth"
This is day four of the YourTurnChallenge and today I'm going to piggy back on the blog Seth sent out this morning; Optimistic Time (vs honest time). I think this is the first time I've felt validated about a trait of mine that has been brought to my attention as and inconvenience; "you take everything literally."
Seth's article is about the accountability of our words. In relation to time he points out that if we say we're going to be somewhere at a specific time or say that we're going to finish a project during a specific week, the people we tell plan on that as truth and expect that it will happen. That's honesty. According to Seth, the difference between honest time and optimistic time is that the optimistic planners say things that may or may not happen but they hope that if they say it out loud, it will encourage them to get it done.
I've heard "you take everything literally" often enough that I've paid attention. I even warn people of this quirk. My thought now, after reading Seth's blog, is perhaps those of you that are flexible with your intentions and words could take into consideration there are others out here that believe what you say to be the truth and perhaps you could practice authenticity when you speak.
When I say I'm going to be somewhere at a certain time, I'm there. When I express something I want to do, I really do want to do that thing. When I say I can make something happen, I will make it happen. What I've encountered are people that say they are going to do things they don't intend to do or things they're only thinking about doing, yet say they're going to do them. It confuses me and feels dishonest. Perhaps they agree in hopes they can do it or they say what they think I want to hear?
In relation to time, as Seth's article targets, I don't feel there's wiggle room for anything less than honesty. In my business, if I don't show up when my appointments are scheduled, I lose business. Why should it be any different for my clients? Is my time not just as valuable as theirs? This is a matter of integrity and respect.
Not long ago I was engaging in a conversation with a close friend and after a while they referred to some of the content as "half truths" (If you're reading this, I hope you're chuckling). This struck me instantly and I found myself pulling away because I suddenly questioned the honesty of what I had believed up until that point. It was very unsettling for me to consider things weren't what they seemed because they were only giving me 50% truth. (Watch my thought process and you'll notice I believed what I was receiving up until that point as 100% honesty and the minute they said "half truths" I believed that to be the truth - still taking things literally.)
I feel fortunate to have had a myriad of training in personality type theories and character strengths and I understand that neither of these viewpoints, while very different, are malicious; we've all adapted to our environments with skills that have served us well. Some might say one is rigid and the other chaotic, both of which are judgements and untrue. I firmly believe we are all doing the very best we can at any given moment.
In between these two viewpoints are stories. If we're in the opposite camp we tell ourselves stories about the intention of the other. Unvalidated stories are a downward spiral. I'm suggesting that we recognize that the person or people we're communicating with most likely have a filter different from our own and may receive our content differently than we intend. If you're someone who plans optimistically (flexibly), make an attempt to be clear and honest in your intentions, and if you're an honest planner, confirm the truth of the other if it's a deeply important matter to you.
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