“Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships.” ― Steve Shallenberger, Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders

I like to think I keep it real. I try my best to be authentic, embrace and elevate vulnerability, and listen to others. Sharing is essential. But in our quest to be more open, to acknowledge the challenges and complexities of the human condition, we encounter people who give opinion without consideration and/or cause. Here is where rudeness enters, disrupts, and most dangerously, disengages others from connective possibilities.

The point here is not to withhold what you share or curate who you share with, but rather to manage your expectation when rudeness, whether accidental or purposeful, comes to fruition. Share fears. Ask for advice. Be real. But know that being real can also come with rude responses and/or dismissive and divisive action. There is a cost to being real that even the most sensitive must acknowledge and accept. Not everyone is going to be able to handle you, agree with you, or endorse your thought processes. This is okay.

I have always struggled with balancing the need to please others while making and maintaining peace for myself. In the struggle there is guilt, shame, and most notably, fear. But if I fight through it using every bit of grace and grit within reach, I emerge stronger. In the end, being genuine is a gift and most pleasing for all.

As we work through a new season, pandemic fatigue, and impending holidays, there is going to be some confusion and conflict in our communication. Sharing what you think is best, safest, or most appropriate might not align with others and their choices. Remember that no amount of rudeness can compete with integrity, kindness, and compassion. Keep it real.