Honesty with Others
"You have to say that. You're my mom." Whether the topic is an outfit or a school assignment, when a parent gives positive feedback to a child on something the child feels insecure about, the child assumes the parent is being polite. Friends and coworkers can also feel this way, "Oh, she's just saying that to spare my feelings." The problem with being polite is that it brings integrity into question. If friends and coworkers never receive any negative feedback from me, how can they trust that my positive feedback is honest?
Through the years I've built credibility with family and friends. If they want the truth, they know they'll get it from me - a kind, but honest appraisal. If they want their feelings spared, they know to seek other counsel. When I have a negative critique, I offer it as gently as possible. But I don't lie to spare feelings - especially where my kids are concerned. If they don't get honesty from me, someone else may put them in their place harshly.
Do friends and coworkers come to you when they want someone to tickle their ears? Or do they trust you to give genuine feedback?