I sit here, in my home office, having just returned from an evening meeting after work, thinking about an outing with a girlfriend from work the other night. It was a gorgeous summer like evening so we decided to head downtown to one of my favourite haunts for dinner. I am thinking about several things she said during our 3 hour dinner and chat. First, some context, or maybe more accurately, background?
I have known her for about 15 years. She actually did some work for me on a temporary basis and saved my butt when I was in Slovenia for extended negotiations for a chunk of time, and she was back at the office keeping things moving. So we have some history, so to speak. One of many of her qualities I truly appreciate, is her ability and willingness to be brutally honest. She doesn’t mess around. If she has a question, she blurts it out. If something is on her mind, she states it. No cutesy or time wasting stupid games. Up front and honest. And she makes no apologies for it. It’s who she is, like it or lump it. I like it.
People like her are invaluable in my life. I can always count on her to not sugar coat things and just tell me. The raw truth. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard to take at first, to figure out that this is just the way she is. She doesn’t mean any harm, but doesn’t see the point in beating around the bush. So, she’s somewhat refreshing, as dealing with cutesy carp is exhausting.
The same goes for questions. If she doesn’t know or understand the “how and/or the why” of something, she’ll just come out and ask. And trust me, there was a lot she didn’t know or understand about being trans. Although she has been super great with me right out of the gate, she wants to learn. Which is awesome….I’m always up for that! I know I can always count on her to tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. And she will do it quickly and to the point. As a result, we have wonderful discussions.
Everyone needs to have at least one person like that in their lives. A true supporter. Not just a cheerleader. I try to be that, but I admit, I find it difficult at times. When someone needs to get a whack over the head, I have a tendency to wrap that two by four in so much bubble wrap, that my message is lost. Some call that compassion. And maybe that’s what and who I am. But there are times when that may not be want the person truly needs. I’ve never been good with “tough love”.
So I learned something. Maybe I have to work on this a bit more. In the grand scheme of things, what I tell people is really just my opinion, usually based upon my experiences, lessons learned, research etc. At the end of the day, they can take it or leave it. Their choice. But people at least deserve the opportunity to hear that information to add to their knowledge bank, in whatever form that may take, or not at all if they don’t want to. Maybe I’m doing them a disservice? Maybe I’m not effective or truly helpful?
More to think about….but that’s a good thing.