One of the more obvious genetic traits I’ve inherited from my mother is the gift of gab. Not just any kind of gab, the foot-in-mouth, non-think-before-speak, blunt, candor gab.
I used to encompass tact when talking to friends, colleagues, supervisors, family in regard to issues of a sensitive nature or conversations that required a dosing of political correctness. Somewhere in my mid-20s, I completely lost that filter.
This change became obvious to me by my move to DC over two years ago. Perhaps it was the unravelling of a relationship, the arduous quest for a career, the competition to get ahead, and the spawning of new confidence the city invoked in me that changed my sentiment to “say what you mean, and say it direct.”
Many of my friends like me, or say the like me, for this. They ask me a question and I don’t give just any answer, I give them an answer loaded with fact, opinion, and the character flaws of everyone involved in the discussion.
Some of my friends aren’t the biggest fans of my conversation conduct, but they know what they are getting themselves into when they ask for my opinion or bring up a topic they know I feel passionately about. They usually let me preach from my soap box, and then disregard my words pretty soon after I vocalize them.
I like when my friends call me out when I’m being a little too much. It’s risky for them because much of the time I can dish it out, but not always take it. When I start saying something like, “I know I don’t always have tact when I say things…”
Friend sarcastically, “No…”
Or when I vehemently tell my friends why her boyfriend or why his girlfriend isn’t good enough, they have to stop me sometimes and say, “just be happy for me.”
It’s good to hear, keeping me grounded.
In my work, I’m the same to my superiors. If I feel, or think, or know, that I am better informed on a project or an issue, I say “yes” or “no” or “no way.” Fortunately, my boss appreciates this and wants this directness from me. This is fortunate because I have no other way to be but overly assertive. The trick I learned is, even if I’m right, even if I’m not, the end word is the person signing my paychecks.
I step on toes of friends and strangers. I take a risk in being overly vehement with family and coworkers. However, my assertive nature and confident style is enough to at least make my audience pause, consider my thoughts as fact, and then disregard them.
By nature, I talk and I talk too much, but when alcohol is involved, there is nothing that can stop my projectile word vomit. Opinion spouts and life stories all throughout the bar…