16 Jan Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.
“Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” -Brene Brown
This rings so true for me. I have always been uncomfortable with conflict and confrontation, so I grew up learning to avoid conflict at all costs, which meant placating, making excuses, avoiding, or sometimes flat out lying in order to sidestep uncomfortable conversations in all areas of my life.
When someone who I wasn’t interested in asked me out on a date, I thought I was being kind by making an excuse that I already had plans, rather than flat out rejecting them. Then I would find myself getting flustered when they asked me out again the next weekend and I’d have to come up with another excuse. Didn’t they get the hint? Here’s the thing, it’s not fair to make people guess. Brene Brown talks about the consequences of avoiding tough conversations and how it affects trust and leadership. Great leaders are clear. They have courageous conversations. They have enough respect for themselves and the people around them to be honest and state what their needs, expectations, and boundaries are. There is no guesswork when we are clear.
As a recovering people pleaser, this has been one of the biggest lessons in my life and I admittedly still have moments where it feels easier to avoid an uncomfortable conversation or make excuses. But in those moments, I remind myself that clear is kind and unclear is unkind. It’s the hardest work, but the simplest solution.