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Old 07-15-2015, 10:22 PM
 
4,043 posts, read 3,421,671 times
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Who is the most tactful person you know? Are they charming and suave as well?

I noticed that there are a lot of things I really should say and tell people, but I have always hated hurting people and having them angry at me. Sure, I could just say things as they are, but if I can help it, wouldn't it be nicer to let them know and not have them be angry? Unfortunately my approach takes too long for me to say something because I'm trying too hard in my head to say what I'm thinking and not hurt the person that most of the time it goes unsaid because too much time has passed. I know a few people who have been able to just say things as they are and if they make a few enemies then oh well. Unfortunately I do not feel I can afford that, as I am young and need not to **** people off for my career and most of those people are men and I am a woman and I feel like women would probably have a harder time trying to do that. Didn't mean for this to turn into a gender thing but that is how I feel.

Hoping for some tips on speaking the truth but in a way as to not offend anybody. Or how about just knowing when you can throw something at someone the way they are?

For example, I'm working on this group project and the group is split into two sections. One of the group members from the other section never contributes or says anything when we work as a group. She does other work during our meetings. We came up with some things and started working on it. Then they just tell us while we're in the middle of working that we're not going to do that anymore, and we're going to do a new thing that they came up with and they planned the whole thing out, but that part was my job. They didn't want to do their job because they didn't want to or didn't really know how. I really wanted to blurt out "why are you doing my job?" but I was afraid they would say something like "well you weren't doing it" or I wouldn't have another comeback. I think I need to learn how to reply to replies to my objections as well, because even when I can say something and the other person responds, I have a hard time responding back.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:51 AM
 
Location: rural south west UK
4,726 posts, read 2,995,098 times
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Tactful? ME? you've got to be joking, I say what I think and to hell with the consequences
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:49 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 13,586,932 times
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I think the best thing for you would be to get into an assertiveness training group. Psychologists and counselors have these groups from time to time. Look for mental health or counseling in the phone directory, then call around and ask if anyone is having those groups.

Colleges/Universities may also have these. Also try the student health service or mental health. Or your local county health department - low cost there.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:28 PM
 
9,238 posts, read 21,920,505 times
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Being tactful is not the same as, or necessarily connected to, being charming or suave. I consider myself to be VERY tactful, but I'd never be accused of being suave or charming.

To me, the biggest lesson is figuring out when the message (the thought in your head) needs to be expressed or not, and then determining the most appropriate way to package that message.

There are people like you (OP) who might have difficulty with assertiveness and how to "package" their messages, so they err on the side of not saying anything. Some of that will improve with age and experience. Watch the people who you considers to be good models of professionalism and tact, and emulate them. If Joe always behaves in a professional manner, and his opinions seem to be respected, watch how he speaks. What are his facial expressions and body language? Is he able to express a negative opinion in a way that doesn't alienate others? When the situation comes up for you next time, ask yourself, how would Joe respond to this?

I think the bigger problem today is the people who have no filter, who have no concept of tact or why it's needed. They proudly say "I tell it like it is!" or "if it's in my head, it's coming right out of my mouth, and to hell with anyone who doesn't like it." They might even accuse tactful people of being disingenuous or "fake." But in reality, those people are not respected. They might be listened to, they might make others feel intimidated, they might even gain power, but they aren't truly respected.

Not every thought in our heads needs to be expressed. When it does need to be expressed, the package can be just as important as the message itself.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:55 PM
 
Location: NC Piedmont
4,023 posts, read 3,560,094 times
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What kind of moronic question is that?

I once told someone who would not acknowledge something that he had his head in the sand or some other location that restricted vision in a similar manner. Is that tactful?
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