There's A Difference Between Being Blunt And Being Rude

There's A Difference Between Being Blunt And Being Rude

Stop hiding your poor manners behind a word.
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If there’s one thing that makes my blood boil, it’s constant, unapologetic bitchiness.

It’s people who say mean or hurtful things and don’t care how it affects other people. They don’t care if other people take offense to what they say; they just want to be on top and make their power known.

What’s even more obnoxious than this kind of person is one who makes excuses for their behavior to establish more dominance. The most common one: “I’m just blunt.”

“Blunt” is a word people most commonly use to describe themselves if they speak their mind without hesitation. It’s how people explain their straightforwardness. They usually take great pride in this trait. What many of these people don’t realize – or even choose not to accept – is that it’s not an acceptable excuse for rudeness.

There is a huge difference between being blunt and mean. Bluntness is not being afraid to be straightforward about something, while still being considerate of the other person’s feelings. It’s not beating around the bush with what you want to say.

Being blunt does not mean being overtly inconsiderate. If you say something without considering how it will affect another person – or say it and not care – then you’re not being blunt; you're just mean. Even if it’s not sugarcoated, “bluntness” is not the way to excuse disrespect.

No matter who you talk to, it’s important to be respectful. This trait is pushed from a young age, but somewhere along the way, people seem to forget what it actually means. They believe they can stop being respectful simply because they’re around people they know. Some will stop being respectful because they don’t like a person or the way they’re being treated.

This lack of respect means not considering how one’s actions or words affect another person. It means using attitude and statements that can be seen as hurtful or degrading, and doing things that establish dominance over another person. People are under the impression that this behavior is perfectly acceptable when in all honesty it’s one of the worst behaviors a person can have.

Nobody should be allowed to manipulate the meaning of a word because they then exempt themselves from the consequences of having nasty manners. One cannot play around and use different words to label themselves simply because they want to get away with a false image. It’s not only misleading, but means they’re being held unaccountable for their actions.

Being blunt is usually a mixture of confidence and consideration. It’s being unafraid to say something while still being courteous of how the other person will feel.

Being rude but hiding it behind the word blunt is weak. It’s not owning up to the fact that what’s being said is harsh and not being a decent enough person to respect other people. Rude people are awful, but those who try to get away with it-- and demand respect-- are even worse.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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One of the Boys

Why can't girls spit on the sidewalk or join in on a basketball game?
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For my First Year Seminar class, I was given an assignment to transgress a gender norm by performing an action or series of actions that are typically considered characteristic of the opposite gender. As soon as a child is born, the public immediately associates the child’s gender with certain interests that the child will have. If the child is a boy, family and friends will often assume the child will grow up to play sports, like to play with trucks, or play video games, to name a few. As for girls, society tells us that she will be a dancer or a gymnast, for example, and she will love princesses and playing with dolls. Taking a few steps back, the public generally assumes children will be cisgender, identifying their personality and gender with their sex at birth. These stereotypes continuously affect how parents raise their children and can contribute to a child’s confusion if they do not feel they fit into these stereotypes. Similarly, fixed societal stereotypes based on gender can make it difficult for parents to accept if their children do not conform to these constructed ideas. “Tomboys” are frowned upon in society, as are boys who are more feminine.

Even in college, these stereotypes play a role in many students’ outlook on the world. The fact that we live in a largely patriarchal society doesn’t disappear when one enters college. Even as adults, boys are still expected to be athletic, strong, and powerful while girls are still seen as frivolous and weak, which led me to challenge this stereotypical phenomenon by performing a social experiment. During a retreat that I attended as part of the CHARGE (Wake Emerging Leaders) group on campus, I joined in on an all-boys basketball game while the girls of the group sat on the sidelines and watched. While I expected the guys to question my actions and exclude me from the game, after some confusion and resistance, they were much more inclusive and accepting than I had anticipated.

Though I was nervous and intimidated to perform an action that would transgress this gender norm, doing so ultimately instilled hope and positivity within me. When I walked up to the court, I could tell that the guys playing assumed I was just passing by to go to the bathroom or refill my water bottle. When I stopped in the middle of the court and asked if I could play, they each had a unique expression of confusion and bewilderment. It remains unknown if they agreed to let me play because others were watching, or if they genuinely wanted me to play in their game. Nevertheless, I started playing, and I could tell the guys were shocked by my basketball skills (even though I don’t have very many). They were pleasantly surprised that I could keep up with them in the game. The most fascinating aspect of this social experiment was that after a few minutes, other girls began to join in too. Many of them were far better players than I was but were most likely nervous to join in on a game with all boys. Soon, the girl to boy ratio was almost equal, and we were all having a blast playing with each other. This gave me hope that it is possible to transgress gender norms, because it only takes one brave action to start a positive reaction. Of course, there are many other factors that played into this situation such as the maturity levels of the boys and the fact that they may have felt pressure to include me because it would have been seen by others as far worse to exclude me. If a young girl had done a similar social experiment with younger boys and without an audience, so to speak, there may have been different results. However, because this situation occurred, I am confident that if I or another girl were to approach the same group of guys at a later time and ask them to play, there would be far less hesitation coming from their side after having a previous successful experience playing with us.

This social experiment helped me to adopt an optimistic attitude when considering gender norms and stereotypes, but also confirmed some of my suspicions regarding this topic. Unfortunately, even in college age students, gender stereotypes and expectations still exist on the surface. However, though it is an uphill battle, it is possible and more attainable than I initially expected to change these stereotypes. Due to the fact that these stereotypes have almost always existed in society, they will never completely disappear. Some boys will always “be boys” and feel the need to appear strong both physically and emotionally. Similarly, some girls will conform to the stereotype created for them and feel the need to dress or behave a certain way. Nevertheless, for boys and girls who do not wish to conform to the stereotypes that correspond to his or her gender, it takes real bravery for girls to join in on an all-boys sports game or for boys to sit with all girls at a lunch table.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Should People Label Their Sexual Orientations?

Better question: why are you asking?
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Lesbian. Gay. Homosexual. Heterosexual. Asexual. Demisexual. Pansexual. Akoisexual. Graysexual. Bisexual. Androsexual. Gynesexual. Intersex. Queer. Skoliosexual.

And the list goes on.

Nobody can seem to agree on whether or not people in the LGBTQ+ community should put labels such as these on their sexual orientations. Well, I’ve got the answer for you.

Stop trying to answer it.

Whether someone chooses to identify, openly or not, with a certain sexual orientation is none of your business. It’s their choice, not yours. Not mine. Not anyone else’s. There are valid reasons for both holding a nameable identity and avoiding labeling sexuality.

Some advantages of naming a specific identity could potentially include making sense of an identity that is different from the normative one, becoming part of a network of people who understand, and utilizing the term as a tool to explore different identities.

Some advantages of avoiding “labels” for sexuality could potentially include feeling free to explore sexuality in its fluidity, avoid what feels to some like constraints, and allowing for the often unclear nature of sexuality.

But unless you are the one questioning whether or not to use a label for your own sexual identity (or aiding a friend in this pondering), then you don’t need to worry yourself with any of this. It’s a personal choice. You don’t need to present an opinion on this if it does not apply to you.

If you’d like more information on the meaning of different terms related to the LGBTQ+ community and movement, see the following super helpful list: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2013/01/a-comprehensive-list-of-lgbtq-term-definitions/

Cover Image Credit: rihaij

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