Posts Tagged ‘Joyce Marter’

Being Too Direct or Not Direct Enough — Here’s Help

Horseshoe Falls at Sunrise

Photo Credit — Joseph Sohm

Written for In Care of Relationships by Terri Crosby

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?


ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?


ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?


ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.


There are folks who speak their mind without hesitation — like the Witness in the above interchange.

I also know people who do not have a direct bone in their body. They barely say what they say.  Some avoid conflict at all costs.

While it is clear to me that I’m certainly on the “speak up” side of the equation (I was born with some spunk, I’d say) there are also times when I notice I hold back and don’t say what I think. Perhaps most of us straddle the line here and there.  We do a little of each.

Whether you feel you need to speak up more — or less — here’s help for both sides of the question.

In an excellent Huffington Post article Free Yourself By Being Direct, author Joyce Marter says, “Being direct and assertive involves being honest and genuine while remaining appropriate, diplomatic and respectful of yourself and others. It is not passive (being a doormat or a wimp), passive-aggressive (indirect communication, like not returning calls or emails hoping somebody gets the hint) or aggressive (being hostile and rude.)”

She gives examples of situations in which it may be scary or difficult to be direct, talks about what keeps people from being direct, and gives reasons why being direct is a good thing.

On the other hand, if your directness is not working for you or others, here’s an article on the other side of the coin: “Too Direct? Five Ways To Dial It Back.” by Mary Jo Asmus.

She says, “An overly direct leader can be abrupt. They may not recognize when they have not provided the care and time needed to speak to others in such a way that there is a give and take in the conversation. They may appear to have an attitude of “its my way or the high-way”. They may be rushed, and may not be fully present in the conversation. An emotional hot button in the leader may be hit, and their tone of voice may escalate and become more insistent.”

She gives five good ways to soften an overly direct approach and says, “You can still be honest and direct without crossing the line into bluntness and shutting others down.”

Photo Credit -- Joseph Sohm

Photo Credit — Joseph Sohm


What’s Good About Being Direct

All in all, the most valuable thing about being direct is that it gives us the golden opportunity to wake up wherever we are.

Ka-POW! She said what?!? And I reacted how? And what does that show me about myself? Is there anything I prefer to shift about that? What can I learn here?

Ka-POW! I said what?!? Did you hear what just came out of my mouth? And he reacted how? And did that work? Was my communication successful? Is there a more effective way I could have made my point? How can this help me?

Everybody wins when everyone is awake.

(And responsible.)

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Intimacy Is Everywhere

Hello Everyone,

Today, intimacy.

Love to you all,

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Friday Love: Bam! Gate Breaking, Anyone?

Good Friday, Everyone!

Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!

Let me know if you relate…

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Enough with the Name-Calling

It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.
Much love,

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Terri Crosby

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