Beating around the bush is something that comes naturally to me. I am not a blunt person. On the internet, I tend to be more open and honest than in person, but that’s the same with almost everybody. (It’s usually the case for texting and writing letters too… sometimes even talking on the phone. It’s easier to be rude when you’re not looking at the person you’re communicating with.)
At a Sunday School meeting a few months ago, a woman from my church was proposing that we re-do the Mother’s Room (aka the nursery). She brought some fabric samples for the couch and some paint color options. I thought the fabric was a bad choice and whispered my stance to my dad, who was sitting next to me. He held up his finger and said, “Say it out loud.” I was MORTIFIED. I didn’t want to say it. I feel safer when I don’t say things to people directly (maybe that’s why I like writing so much), but my dad let everyone know that I “had something to say”. So everyone looked at me… 9 pairs of eyes begged me to bare my soul. Curious about what quiet little ole’ Cassie had to say, they were silent.
My face was burning.
My heart was beating.
My hands were shaking.
Nevertheless, I said, “Mrs. *Jenkins, I don’t think that particular the fabric you’re leaning toward would be the best decision. Maybe something a little less busy would better fit the decor.”
Okay, maybe a little less eloquent, but that’s close enough.
What happened next was something I wasn’t expecting: “Oh, I see,” Mrs. Jenkins said with a smile, looking at the plaid fabric swatch in her hands, “I suppose you’re right. Thanks for saying something!”
I was expecting something a little more like, “CASSIDY MARIE RIZZO! HOW DARE YOU SAY ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS FABRIC! YOU ARE DESTINED TO BE A FAILURE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AND I AM SO VERY ASHAMED TO EVEN AS MUCH AS ACKNOWLEDGE OUR ACQUAINTANCESHIP!”
She was very pleasant about it. She’s usually a very nice lady, so I don’t know why I was expecting such a horrible response from her, but I did. I felt so stupid when I realized how insane I was being.
Anyway, she asked me to choose a fabric swatch that I thought would be better. I saw one that was prettier and told her about it. We ended up going with the one I chose.
Now, 8 months later, the finished product is beautiful. Mrs. Jenkins ended up asking me about which carpet color I liked, and which paint colors looked the best. Not saying that it’s my fault that the nursery is as gorgeous as it is, but… yeah. Anyway, it turned out better than it would’ve with an ugly plaid couch.
So don’t be afraid to speak up. If it’s something stupid, then obviously you should hold your tongue. But if it’s something that could be beneficial… say it.
*not her real name