A recent interaction became the point of origin for this personal reflection.
“Have my dark circles become better?”
“I think they have grown darker!”
Validation is what they seek, judgement is what they get
When someone asks you, “Do I look okay?”, what should you say? Should you give a comment that ‘you’ regard as ‘real’ or should you tone it down?
Let’s look at it with an example. Someone you meet daily and that someone who you regard as close to you asks the question, ‘Does my skin look better?’ Now, this question is not in a vacuum. The person did not ask you a general question but a rather specific one; Something centric to the skin. This can very well lead to the assumption that they might have tried a new skin treatment, an organic moisturizer, or a vitamin supplement; point is, they have been making an effort towards their skin. So when they ask what they are obviously looking for is validation. In that case, what should be your answer be?
According to this recent interaction, it was a rather harsh comment. And it was immediately accompanied by the statement that “Oh, I like to be real with friends you know, no sugarcoating.”
Couldn’t ‘real’ be subjective
Thinking about it a bit more, I realized that this idea of being ‘real’ almost always results from the understanding that you can be harsh to your friends. And it is always cloaked in the idea that a friend has to be real.
But what is real?
Because it is only ‘real’ when you are the one making a comment. When you are on the receiving end, however, it is not real anymore, it is only judgemental.
Ans when one keeps getting these ‘real’ comments from close friends, do you really think they would have the same love for those close friends?
The offenders may think that at least they are not giving unsolicited advice because the other person asked for it. But, and now, here comes your emotional intelligence, do you really think the person asked you for the advice at that moment? Or do you think they asked for a compliment…for validation?
Think about it!
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