I introduced a friend and a colleague to each other this past week through email. The correspondence was a short letter introducing one to the other. One replied to the introductory email saying that my words were “too kind.” I responded, that the truth is never too kind.
The problem with the truth is that we add context to it; we decide how we want to perceive what we hear from others. When we hear words that are flattering or kind, we often respond in a positive way. We thank the person for sharing those sentiments. The opposite tends to happen when the ideas shared are a little harder to hear. In these cases, we often deny what others are saying because it is not what we expect nor want to hear; and it is easier to shift that blame elsewhere than to be introspective and reflect on possible issues we might have.
We must realize the truth is just that: the truth (based on a person’s perceptions and current reality). The truth owns no context, no excuse, no escalation, no emotion. We personally add all that; we add the context to make ourselves feel good, or to excuse our poor behavior.
If what is spoken is fact, the only choice should be to embrace it, learn from it, and get better because of it. Truths we view as positive or negative can provide growth. We need to accept them, for better or worse, as an opportunity to learn and progress.
What you do with the “truth” is your choice. The truth is simply the truth, your reaction to what you have been given is what matters. In fact, your reaction in any situation is all you can control.