Story of a lost journalist

June 15, 2008

Bluntness – bad or good?

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 21:44

A friend of mine recently told me about the problems of being too blunt. I told her it was not a bad thing at all; it only mattered how you expressed your self. But of course just like in every matter I offer my advice, I was quite a loser in being the blunt girl my self.

I was telling my mother today a couple of instances. Both happened in my first days of Infosys training in Mysore. One was this. This boy who went to tuitions with me back in 11th and 12th grades came and said hullo. Ms Bright Lady Cris of course couldn’t place him. So while I was busy frowning and thinking (both of which are hard work!) he introduced himself. Aha Bright Lady Cris brightened with happy identification.
“Wow you have a moustache now! You are a big man now!” – This in front of a few common friends, all loud and cheerful.

While I was still beaming happily about my intelligent observations, the poor boy blushed and went away with some excuse.

Scenario 2. I was talking to a girl who I just realized happened to be from the same building I stayed in back in Trivandrum! So the first thing I say as part of knowing her family is tell an unpleasant incident which concerned her father and our car. Our car was blocking entry to her Dad’s one day and well, he didn’t take it too well. I tell this to her happily and “boink” she lost all the color of probable future friendship from her face. I don’t remember any other conversations with her after that.

Sigh! This is not about just being blunt. This is being stupidly blunt. It’s about knowing when to stop your uncontrollable mouth piece!
I am usually a quiet person when it comes to making new acquaintances. But the little I say is so full of not-sayables, I am convinced more than ever I should probably promote introvertism in me as much as possible.

Yesterday I was talking to a girl about how bad it is to be an introvert. She told me an interesting theory about how extroverts like herself actually needed introverts like me to talk to. “We draw our energy from talking, you draw yours from listening”. Hmm interesting. Made sense in a way. So after all, the world needed people like me. I better not try and break the balance. But then I couldn’t help noticing how bad it could be for the I-verts because there silence was not always a matter of choice. People who wanted to talk and are quite capable of doing a good job of it are sometimes helplessly held back by their timidity or reservation or whatever that makes them so. Extroverts on the other hand I pointed out to her, could always stop themselves when they felt they were boring other people. They had a choice, we didn’t.

Well while I am sympathizing with the I-category people, I also realize … oh… emm I actually forgot what I meant to type here! Another characteristic of Ms Bright Lady Cris! Mmm maybe I will keep this one short… err shorter than usual. Anyway I mean to come back to talk more about the troubles some things you say/do without thinking can land you into.



  1. Bluntness is not generally accepted by our society although I often wonder why. Personally I prefer people to be blunt and give me the bare fact than beat around the bush and keep me guessing. Everybody should be given a course on “Information Theory and Coding” and they will understand the beauty of being blunt.

    Comment by Anoop John — June 16, 2008 @ 00:58 | Reply

  2. Small addendum to the above observation.
    Since we still live in a society where people expect others to be not blunt, it is safer to play the diplomat by not being blunt and obviously get whatever you wanted to get done, done.

    Comment by Anoop John — June 16, 2008 @ 01:00 | Reply

  3. What anoop said is great, I too have thought of it earlier. When my father repeat old stories and when I start to wonder is it my mobile phone or is it a radio, I would tell him, you make a register and code all those stories. In future, refer only the code. For eg: 54-2A (year 54 2nd month incident A). That contains all the information and you need not repeat. But as far as life is concerned, I feel something beyond such coding exist. The DNA contains many genes which carry information. But there are also plenty of redundant information present. So is such redundancy required for life ? Or one should not be reserved and produce redundant information ?

    How would this be

    B: hru

    G: fne

    B: 2/A01=true

    G: 0

    B: Load 25/44/B6

    G: done

    B: process

    G: “Just forget it”


    Comment by manu — June 16, 2008 @ 09:27 | Reply

  4. @Anoop, sounds like the solution is to be blunt in the best way possible 🙂
    @manu, I didn’t get the connection between bluntness and redundancy. You are trying to say about being blunt when someone’s repeated stories annoy you?

    Comment by Cris — June 16, 2008 @ 09:40 | Reply

  5. What I wrote was in response to the solution suggested by Anoop: that is speak less and optimize the words/communications according to the Information theory. And being blunt is beautiful. I was trying to say, that model has got certain shortcomings because the role of redundancy in life is not fully understood.

    Comment by manu — June 16, 2008 @ 11:25 | Reply

  6. I have a habit of being too blunt sometimes as well. However, it’s not the problem of being blunt, it’s the problem of making sure you say it in a way that it doesn’t seem like you’re attacking the person.

    Comment by Lauren — June 17, 2008 @ 05:30 | Reply

  7. @manu, mm thats food for thought
    @Lauren, well-said 🙂

    Comment by Cris — June 18, 2008 @ 14:30 | Reply

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