Thursday Therapy: The Art of Tact
I was raised with the notion to look for similarities between myself and others because that is what created connections, friendships and eventually community. It appears that this idea does not carry as much weight as it used to. Maybe it is just that we are within a month of an election and that is how campaigns work, right? Highlight the differences between the two candidates, political parties, neighbors, etc. I get that, I really do. What I do not get is how it has become acceptable to speak to each other and about each other in a way that is disrespectful at best.
I believe the notion my parents tried to instill in my siblings and myself was the idea of tact. Being respectful, taking others feelings into account before speaking and NOT saying things that could hurt others are just a few ideas of what it meant to be tactful. Furthermore, my parents helped me understand that a differing opinion was not wrong, just different.
I would like to create a movement to bring back tact. I will start with myself. I promise to be considerate of others opinions and feelings. I promise to state things in a way that will offer my point of view without tearing down the person I am speaking with. I promise that I will be gentle, diplomatic and objective when communicating with others. Most of all, I promise to begin teaching my young children this now so that by the time they could hurt someones feelings with their words, they will choose not to.
Whether planning for a special event or speaking to a family member, being tactful will ensure a smooth conversation. Part of being tactful is being sensitive to what is appropriate within a conversation. This is challenging because we are all so intertwined through social media that the boundaries can easily get blurry. Bringing back tact offers us the opportunity to slow down and respond rather than react. I look forward to this. I would love to have you join me.
Have a great week-
Janel Perez, M.S., L.P.C
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