Being Blunt Hurt My Career But Kept Me Grounded

Here’s how being blunt hurt my career but overall kept me grounded personally. I will tell you how but first I have to setup my tale.

Being Blunt Hurt My Career: This Personality Trait Developed During My Childhood

I dislike participating in a farce. I’ve been this way since I was a child. I’ve could’ve been like that when I was toddler. Unfortunately, I was too young then to form memories. Yet, my mom said I’ve been independent since the day I was born. (How can an infant be independent? I asked my mom that same question and she said she saw that trait in me.)

Why did I dislike cooperating in such mockery? I didn’t like to feign happiness or joy or whatever emotion an adult wanted me to have at whatever event I was in. If a field trip was boring I was bored and looked it. To make matters worse I would break off from the class to poke my head in places it shouldn’t be to entertain myself. If the presenter at the school assembly was lackluster I looked bored. To make matters worse, again, I picked apart the presenter’s speech to entertain myself. Sometimes I would share my reaction with a teacher if asked, which never went over well, especially if the teacher liked the presenter.

Since I didn’t try to hide my boredom or overall displeasure I earned the ire of some of my teachers. Even some of my classmates didn’t like my behavior. I acted this way at home too, which made some of my family members mad too.

You would think I would’ve changed my behavior after getting in trouble but I didn’t. Why should I change and lie? Why should I pretend things were exciting or fun when they weren’t? For one, adults taught me taught lying was wrong. Next, I wasn’t acting like that out of spite. I didn’t take pleasure in hurting others. The problem was I this: I was a blunt child. Well, I think most children are. Then their parents and teachers suppress that part of their personality.

Then I Became A Teenager

When I matured into my teen years I finally learned how to tame my blunt nature: Through constructive criticism. This concept blew my mind. I couldn’t believe people sought to hear my criticism as long as it sounded nice. This lead me to learn the craft of constructive criticism. Soon, teachers sought my opinion on various topics instead of avoiding my raised arm. Some of my classmates were happy to get my thoughts too, along with my family members.

I enjoyed this because I got to learn different viewpoints and had to confront my beliefs. This exercise made me grow emotionally as well as improving my intelligence. No longer did I think my answer was the right solution to the problem. That I should listen to others and consider their positions.

Being Blunt Hurt My Career: I Made So Many Mistakes As An Adult

When I matured into an adult my constructive criticism craft changed. I started working in Corporate America and I had to overhaul my skill-set to fit the new environment I was in. Unfortunately, I didn’t tame my big mouth enough and caused problems with my career progression.

I saw how so many employees pretended to be happy or fine with the various problems happening in our department. While we whispered about these issues on the elevator or in the parking lot after work, we didn’t take any action to improve our situation. So I decided I would. With my naivete I answered the work surveys truthfully and listed all the problems in the department in a tactful manner. I brought up issues with my manager during my one-on-one meetings. In short, I put a target on my back and didn’t realize it. And I repeated this practice over and over at different employers. It took me a long time to learn from my mistakes.

I learned not to replicate my mistakes again. Now, I wouldn’t lose my critical authenticity, as I wasn’t going to change myself, but I wouldn’t showcase my true feelings at work. If I ran into problems at work outside of my daily tasks, especially if it involved management, I stayed out of it. If someone asked my opinion I would offer generic responses. Although people above me in higher positions said they wanted the truth really they didn’t. The truth hurts. The truth causes disruptions. And the truth shows their processes and procedures are flawed. And anyone who pointed this out would have a target placed upon them.

I didn’t want that anymore.

What I Wanted

What I wanted was to do my job, go home to work on my projects, and stay true to myself. Thus, I used my constructive criticism skill-set to help others personally, and to keep myself grounded. I performed the latter task most often, turning an analytical eye on my viewpoints and my choices and my plans. It’s true you are your worst critic but that’s because you expect so much from yourself. I have high standards for myself and I don’t want to fall short. Thus, I judge every choice before and after I make it.

This tactic works well for me. Although being blunt hurt my career, it also helps me to stay true to my ideals and what I stand for.

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