Forthrightness

  • 9 Replies
  • 669 Views
*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 115
Forthrightness
« on: March 02, 2019, 11:56:55 PM »
I have a dear friend who tells me I am not being forthright about things, that I behave like a victim in talking around an issue instead of just stating how I feel.

Does anyone have comments on how to speak your opinion with kindness vs tiptoeing around an issue? Have your interactions with a PD shaped your ability to be forthright with others? Are you less forthright with the PD in your life, and do you feel that this is wrong and lying? How/where do you draw the line?

Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

biggerfish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1032
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 07:46:15 AM »
Proverbs 25:11 "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver."

Hi Mary. I hear you. For most of my life, I thought that I either had to be harsh or say nothing at all.  It took time and practice, but eventually I developed a new habit of saying something with humor and gentleness.  Here's my filter:

Is what I am about to say going to be good for my self-respect afterward?

Keep in mind, though, that some folks will never be happy. So do this for yourself, not for anybody else.

At the same time, I also learned to extend grace, and therefore I often just let stuff go.

So, it's not one or the other. Personally, I would not like any friend telling me I'm not forthright. Only you know where your genuiness comes from.

*

coyote

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 5707
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2019, 04:10:58 PM »
The book The Four Agreements; "be impeccable with your word" and "Don't make assumptions". Two powerful agreements we can make with ourselves.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

*

Julian R

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 95
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 08:55:46 AM »
Sadly, often when I try to be forthright or assertive or whatever we want to label it - then I get put down for being aggressive hurtful etc. I am a bit tired of it - too easy to just let things pass ...

*

Danden

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 136
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 10:41:29 AM »
Julian, I can relate.  I find that I often speak very clearly about things, and that may not always be tactful.  Because it was always such a struggle to figure out exactly what my M was saying and what she meant, I learned be very clear in saying what I mean,so that people would understand me.  I may sometimes come across as too forceful or dogmatic.  But I am just trying to make sure people get it, because my experience taught me that I can count on people to not get it.  I think other people say it once, not necessarily as forcefully, and they feel heard. With me, not so much.  I always seem to feel that people don't understand me and I need to make sure they do.  I think I also need reassurance that not only do they understand me, but they care about what I am saying.  It all goes back to what I experienced, I think.

*

biggerfish

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1032
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 11:37:26 AM »
This is an interesting thread. I always thought all I had to do was be articulate enough to persuade people. Now I realize that they feel manipulated when I try to bring them around to my point of view. I've dropped trying to persuade people. Instead, I accept the they have their thoughts, I have mine, and we can still find some way of working with each other. I've since started noticing how creative people can be, including with me LOL.

Over time I've found the right mix of how to handle myself, but exactly what I do depends on each circumstance, and takes time to creatively think through. Now I know I can stay quiet for a day or a week or a month, while I think. I now understand that this isn't the same as stuffing my feelings. So initially, yes, I sometimes "wear the mask."

Geez, even the idea that social situations require time and creativity still fascinates me. I didn't know that was a thing. Now I think I'm getting kinda good at it.

*

Bloomie

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 12593
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 12:29:08 PM »
Mary - having grown up in a home with uPD parents where my voice was not my own and speaking directly resulted in harm I found I swung from one end of the spectrum to the other extreme in using it. Learning about trauma responses - fight, flight, freeze, and fawn - was very helpful for me.

Using my voice to speak in that home was a cause for hyper vigilance and fear. My voice could be welcomed and championed, used for another's purposes, or met with physical violence. Even benign comments were not safe. I learned to communicate from a place of fear. :no:

I also grew up in a religious system that had a rigid view of a woman's role. I was taught to be bold and share my faith and at the same time to be meek, submissive, cooperative, mostly silent except for when with other women and children, and when I did speak, to validate the dominate and dominating people around me who had positioned themselves as the "truth" speakers for everyone, including God. I learned to communicate from a place of confusion.

Into adulthood I began to realize that I needed to learn some communication skills and be aware of and learn to manage my trauma responses which were driving my communication sometimes at very strategic moments with those I hold most dear.

I did not know how to speak assertively unless triggered and in fight mode. I was intimidated and more focused on the shifting sands of another's response to what I was saying and if they deemed it "okay", if I was "heard", than to staying with myself and communicating my truth, or position, or needs, or boundaries, or standards.

Sometimes I would couch something so carefully as to not "make" another person "feel" bad that I was not clear. Sometimes I would be triggered by verbally abusive or rude behaviors I would come out fighting and not couch my words at all.  :upsidedown:

Quote from: biggerfish
Over time I've found the right mix of how to handle myself, but exactly what I do depends on each circumstance, and takes time to creatively think through. Now I know I can stay quiet for a day or a week or a month, while I think. I now understand that this isn't the same as stuffing my feelings. So initially, yes, I sometimes "wear the mask."

Geez, even the idea that social situations require time and creativity still fascinates me. I didn't know that was a thing. Now I think I'm getting kinda good at it.

Very well put and I really relate to the way biggerfish points out that social situations require our attention and at times our creativity and taking time to think something through is not the same as stuffing it or freezing or fawning in a triggered state.

Pushing in to the deeper aspects behind why I was so hesitant to speak clearly I have unearthed - through prayer and self examination - has been the humbling realization that for me, it is judgmental and self preserving to decide ahead of time what another person wants to hear or how they will respond, and to offer them less than honest, kindly worded, clear communication.

I do not have to sacrifice kindness to be clear and assertive - a woman who is impeccable in my word in all circumstances to the very best of my ability.

Most likely you have heard of this acronym for THINK which I find is a quick filter to run things through - is what I am going to say....True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind?

Some conversations are uncomfortable to have and yet to avoid them is not love or kind such as setting boundaries. Sometimes having those uncomfortable conversations are the only hope for a connected relationship going forward. Sometimes remaining silent is the wiser course of action and actually quite clear communication in specific circumstances.

Kindness is not determined by if another person likes what I have said to them for me - and believe you me, that has been a long time coming. If I am unwilling to develop the skills to speak clearly and with love in difficult circumstances, if I am determined to wait it out until I either can't take it anymore and come out fighting or am "comfortable" enough to find what I believe may be the exact right words that are "safe" then I am not coming at things from a relational stance. I am coming at things from a motivation of self.

I have found that most people prefer we speak to them clearly, directly, forthrightly, and that this is most often equated with honesty and respectful communication. For those of us whose communication styles have been moulded and shaped by parents or partners with PDs, learning to communicate and respond in a way that manages our reactions is part of growing ourselves up.



« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 12:30:57 PM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

*

Julian R

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 95
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 02:40:35 PM »
Thank you for the reminders that all social situations need communication skills and creativity and that is especially the case with PDs.

The problem is, I find, that what might be a perfectly reasonable way of expressing oneself with most people is not seen that way by some PDs.  In making the remark about my uPDw - most would see me as a gentle person, too passive and non assertive - but when I try to practice a little assertiveness with my wife she perceives it as aggression and it is not just me, she can get this way with any comment that she perceives is mildly threatening from anyone (although more commonly with men).

OK - I can get somewhat irritated sometimes and this is translated in my voice - and I need to and want to control this better but she is soooo exasperating and frustrating and hurtful - and the irony is that she onbly sees aggression and hurtfulness in others and not in herself as her reactions can be off the scale compared to mine.

Apologies for the moan - maybe I am struggling a bit ...

*

Mary

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 115
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2019, 02:37:09 AM »
These responses are very thought provoking. Thank you to each one. I had not heard of the freeze, fawn responses before, but it gives meaning to what I've experienced in the last couple of days. The threat was so intimidating that I could not think how to respond. Fighting with uPDh is counterproductive,  flight not an option, I'm not giving in to the threat (hiding this), so I guess that leaves freeze. The physiological response was so strong, I couldn't sleep most of the night. In the end I felt like such a liar by refusing to admit his perception was right. But it would have opened such a can of worms. I'm just trying to stave off that fight as long as I can, hoping and praying for a workable resolution in the mean time.

As for my friend, I'm reading in your posts to handle non PD interactions differently and with an eye on how I've trained myself towards certain responses.
So much to consider.
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

*

Cascade

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 462
Re: Forthrightness
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2019, 01:29:19 PM »
Quote
Are you less forthright with the PD in your life, and do you feel that this is wrong and lying? How/where do you draw the line?

Yes, I'm less forthright with my PD husband and I don't usually feel it is wrong unless it is an outright lie. I know there are some that would disagree. So I draw the line at lying but leave some details out or withhold information when I sense he would react badly.