Yeah I’m that guy.
I’m that guy who when I know I have something tough to say to someone I’m saying the conversation out loud in the car before I get there. I actually have the conversation out loud with myself. I think about their possible responses and I think through how I’m going to communicate how I really feel. The problem is there is no way I can think of every response.
Many of us when faced with a conversation that we’d rather not have tend to shrink back in the moment and not say the hard statement that may need to be said. This tends to create in us an underlying frustration of not being able to say what we really want to say, whether that’s with a friend, spouse, someone we lead, a leader and so on.
Bill Hybels (Pastor of Willow Creek) called that in a recent interview “not saying the last 10 percent”. We instead to desire to say as much as we can without having to feel awkward, hurt the other person’s feelings or put strain on the relationship. It is essentially communicating out of fear. Fear of people thinking we’re over reacting, them not liking us anymore….rocking the boat essentially. When we reserve what truly needs to be said we are doing ourselves and the other person a disservice.
Now hear me with balance: Saying the last 10 % doesn’t mean ripping someone a part. It means communicating succinct truth with love, regardless of how they may or may not receive it. This will change how you communicate in your relationships, workplace and life in general. Say it.