Can I be good at calling people on their crap?!?

Writing about something I'm good at should be easy, right? We all know what we rock and where fall short. I thought about an answer to this one for a few minutes and kept coming up with really mundane stuff that is super lame and embarrassing.

After getting this latest ChicagoNow Blogapalooza-Hour topic/question, I queried my closest friend who replied (very lovingly, I might add) 'You are nurturing and a caretaker, your're a good listener and provide sound guidance by asking open ended questions and letting the person come to the resolution on their own...and you're good at calling people on their shit, in a nice way.'  She's mostly honest and has known me for a long time so I believe her.
I really *am* epically good at calling people on their shit in a nice way. It is totally possible to do this in a nice way, actually. I don't know if I do anything specific that makes me good at this 'thing'. Maybe I have a keen eye towards noticing when people are deluding themselves about something or justifying a situation. It is usually accompanied by lots of extraneous detailed information to support the choice. You can almost picture people moving fast so that the details around what is going on gets blurry, maybe so they don't have to sit still for a moment and think about what they really already know about the problem or situation.
I think it is important not to be a truth-teller when people are trying to do stupid stuff with their lives. We all have known truth-tellers; the people who will tell you that they 'say it like it is' and don't care what people think. These are the truth-tellers. Truth telling usually lacks kindness and compassion is has absolutely nothing to do with the person receiving the information - it is all about the teller being the subject matter expert. I envision a bold, brash and likely lonely person who just walks through life telling the truths according to themselves. These folks love drama and chaos and stirring up big pots of trouble. This is of absolutely no interest to me - I'm allergic to needless drama. We've all known truth-tellers like this. I don't think calling people you care about on their crap is the same as truth-telling at all.
I might ask a friend/colleague/client about what led them to making the choice at hand if it seems a little 'off'. If I am invested in the person and care about them or respect them, I will ask a few follow up questions to get more information. It helps that I am a good listener and people tend to tell me lots of stuff about their private lives. When something they are telling me doesn't really fit or make sense, I might just say something like 'that's interesting that you choose that path' or 'I'm worried that doing this in the past has had bad results'. I'm not passing judgement or telling them what to do - I'm just pointing out something that doesn't seem to make sense.  I don't ever do this with people I'm not particularly invested in.
Now, what I'm not good at is calling myself on my own shit. At all. In this regard, I'm an absolute and total hypocrite.

Filed under: About Me, Family, Uncategorized, Work

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