When do you say the FACT as it is or when do you use TACT to tell the truth?
There is nothing on the surface of this earth that beats the truth. How you present it however is a different matter entirely.
My Granny (God rest her soul) was known for her bravado in bluntly laying out facts. In Lagos pidgin English she does it in an ‘I no send’ manner.
One of her ‘I no send’ outburst stuck in my head forever. Please bear with me this story:
Granny had glaucoma operation in one eye. Following her discharge from the hospital, she came home with bandages over her two eyes. This means for a few days she depended on her other senses like ears, nose and touch and of course her daughter (Mom – God rest her soul) and her grandchildren for her daily needs. One certain weekend, even in her temporary ‘visionless’ state, Granny still managed to pull one of her ‘I no send’ scenarios. Here goes:
One of Mom’s Cousins came visiting whilst Mom was out but he met Granny, my Sister and I at home. Granny had an issue with this certain Cousin and has always wanted tell him off or find a way to send him a nasty message. Granny however in bandages did not know it was the same Cousin waiting to see Mom. She actually thought it was the younger brother to the said Cousin she had the issue with. Anyway, Granny welcomed him to wait for Mom as she was only a few blocks away. After a few minutes of Cousin settling to some snacks, in her ‘I no send’ manner Granny decided to send a NOT very nice message to the Cousin through the ‘brother’. When she was done, Cousin was embarrassed, but kept mute. My Sister and I almost collapsed in shock but we couldn’t help the awkward situation. A little while later, Mom walked in and Granny repeated her ‘accusations’ in Mom’s presence. Mom realised that the ‘accused’ Cousin was the one sitting mute! Knowing her Mother’s ‘I no send’ lifestyle, Mom immediately knew what could have been said and tried to ‘save’ the day.
Mom: Granny why are you doing this? You are unaware reporting Cousin to himself!
Granny: (Nonchalantly) Really? I did not know he was the one visiting o……
Mom: You really should be careful how you carry on in this your ‘I don’t send manner’. It is not nice.
Granny: (Completely ignoring Mom, turned to the direction of visiting Cousin and said…) So, if I was reporting you to yourself, what exactly can you to do to me? Beat me up? Abegeeee!
The rest of us: GASP! (Lord have mercy!!)
Honestly, English language can not adequately capture the moment but if you can appreciate that her ‘I no send’ comment in Ijebu language? It’s GUSTO!!!
That is my Granny for you! Fearless and ‘she no send’!!!
Back to the matter at hand. I went through that scenario to bring up a very common societal issue – being blunt or being tactful about a matter. With Who, When, Why, and How? Hubby and I have discussed this matter now and again and it will be great to hear what others think about it.
I like to think myself as being truthful and fair when discussing a sensitive matter but I have ‘grown’ up a bit to know when to call a spade a spade. I however sometimes wish I have the daring attitude like my Granny. 🙂 Why? Some people in this world only deserve such :).
Some people do shy away from being blunt for fear of hurting their friends or family and would rather talk about them/their issues behind their back. I don’t favour this style much. Whilst sometimes the recipients may not be open for such blunt discussions or may look at such as a personal attack, keeping mute to be fair and ‘nice’ might be to their detriment. Or rather, should we find a way to relay the truth in a more subtle way? A balance or a twist?
Over the years, I have carefully identified my acquaintances, friends and ‘frenemies’ and I can sometimes tell when to handle matters either with fact or tact. But I am still learning too. You can never be an expert in this but I can share the following from experience:
Twenty odd years ago, a very good friend of mine asked of me ‘no matter what, always tell me the truth and I will do the same to you’. To date, even though we both live countries apart, that friendship remained the best one I have made in my life and I really wish the whole world see it that way.
I also have another friend (we were both born on the same day, month and year but different continent :)) that we confide in each other for sensitive matters and we do not hold back on the truth from each other no matter how it hurts. (You know yourself babes – thanks for being such a confidant! You are indeed a friend that stick closer than a ‘sister’).
Again, I have another very close friend that is now a Pastor (bless him!). We both know when he should wear the hat of a ‘friend’ or ‘brother’- this is when we discuss everything without anything held back. We get to share our joy, pain, anger and blessings. And we both know when he should wear his hat as a Pastor. It is only with him that I am confident that I can touch ‘the anointed’ without the fear of thunder striking me from above! (Which I think is at the back of the mind of a lot of Nigerian/African these days if they speak about a ‘Man of God’ – LORD help me!).
So then it is over to you my folks – when is it a fact or tact? Or when should you say things as they really are and not sugar coat it?
- When your best friend is combining colours of the rainbow as fashion – Fact or Tact?
- When you think your friend is being silly on social media – Fact or Tact?
- When you hear a friend gossips about you – Fact or Tact?
- When you find out you are wrong about an issue you had with a friend – Fact or Tact?
- When a boss or spiritual leader self-appoint himself/herself as a demi-god – Fact or Tact?
- When a colleague at work or business stabs you in the back – Fact or Tact?
- When a spouse is taking some factors in your relationship for granted – Fact or Tact?
- When a friend is taking you for granted – Fact or Tact?
- When the government is leading your country to the wrong path – Fact or Tact?
- When you want to correct your friend’s children – Fact or Tact?
- When your friend tells you how to raise your children – Fact or Tact?
- When you caught a married friend cheating – Fact or Tact?
- When your friends in Nigeria/Africa is asking for Money – Fact or Tact?
- When your Dad or Mom disapproves of your fiance/fiancee – Fact or Tact??