How many times have you wanted to tell someone something and feared that it would be misunderstood or hurt their feelings? The truth can be hard to digest, yet in the end it is indeed the kindest thing we can give people. We know the truth, we want them to know AND understand the truth, the hard part is finding the right way to communicate it so the message is understood. There are actually three sides to any story: your side, their side and then what really happened which is in essence the truth.
The truth may be good news, it may be bad news, it may be unwanted either way simply because it is the truth. As the messenger the important thing to process through is how to craft the words, body language and emotions behind the scenes that support whether or not the truth is digestible. Important note here is that your opinion may NOT be the truth you think it is. As an opinion it has been soaked and washed in your head, through your beliefs and comes out the other side tinged simply because your head has processed it through many thought cycles. For the truth to be true it MUST be based on facts.
As the bearer of the truth the first question we need to ask, “Is what I need to tell them based in fact?” If someone else were to deliver the message would is be the same or has your opinion toned the message to your side of things? The second thing to ask ourselves, “Am I the best messenger for the truth?” Just because you know the truth doesn’t mean you are the best person to deliver that message. It is arrogance to assume that because you know it you have to be the one to tell it. In service to the truth think long and hard before you decide that you are the best messenger. When in doubt ask someone else then listen up to their advice.
And finally, last question to ask, “What is the best place and time to tell the truth?” Family events, moments of heated passion, anger, fear and even joy have a way of muddling the message. For the truth to be best digested people need to be calm, open to it AND given space and time to digest it. Just because you know it now, now may not be the best time to deliver a truth that could end up being a bomb. Bombs explode, destroy, hurt and maim people. Use great caution when sending that truth bomb out into the world.
Last bit of truth wisdom, just because the truth is right does not make you right. We all carry around our own opinions, personalities, perspectives and issues. Knowing the truth, sharing the truth, and digesting the truth from a source that we do not respect does not make the source right. If there is no relationship between the sender and receiver that is built on respect NO truth will be well received no matter how well you have answered the above questions. We must be invited into people’s lives in order to be a resource for delivering the truth into their world. No respect, let someone else deliver that truth…sit down, shut up, give it up, and walk away with the relationship in tact.
Sharing the truth demands a great deal of us, especially if we are doing it for the right motives. If we are telling it simply because we are right. That’s WRONG no matter who or how, no matter the place or time. The truth is the greatest kindness we can give people as long as we have checked our motives for being the messenger. Pride cometh before the fall…words of great wisdom especially when telling someone the truth.