Tips For Curbing Your Bristly Bluntness While Still Being Upfront & Honest

While it may come naturally for others, being blunt can sometimes be a downright struggle. More often than not, striking the correct balance between being too appeasing and honest can be a challenge, no matter the setting. This sentiment may ring especially true if people often perceive you as a "strong" person, as the term implies any emotion in your feedback may be lacking. Of course, this may make it even more difficult to avoid being too blunt when making your point as internal pressure mounts. But it doesn't have to be so difficult.


There are plenty of techniques that you can use to handle being upfront and honest without coming across too blunt. By shifting the focus of the conversation and adding a dash of positivity into the mix, you should be able to transform the way you communicate. It's really that simple. Below, we'll take a closer look at how you can harness these techniques to better both yourself and anyone you communicate with.

Start your point on a positive note

Finding the middle ground between being too honest and too appeasing is tricky. However, one trick that could help to soften the blow of any perceived abruptness is to start your point on a positive note. While it can be easy to forget, it can make all the difference when it comes to curbing bluntness. Speaking to Communication Intelligence Magazine, customer service and presentation skills expert Laurie Brown explained, "If we make a conscious effort to use positive language, people-focused language, it will be less likely to be misinterpreted." However, she also adds that you need to consider "how [is the other person] likely to receive your message?" This will help the receiver of your feedback to feel good and acknowledged for anything they did right in the given situation.


Adding a dash of positivity to your feedback will also help to soften any negative commentary you have. While pointing out what they have done correctly, you are still giving them areas where the receiver can improve in a personable manner. Of course, this technique can work in both a social and work environment. However, if you're in a position of authority in your workplace, then this tip may be incredibly useful to utilize in your day-to-day life to help you be upfront and honest. Of course, you can also look for signs someone is emotionally unavailable, which may impact your overall approach.

Change the focus of your point

Being positive isn't the only tool that you have in your arsenal. Another great tactic you can deploy is changing the focus of your point. However, this may seem a tad intimidating if you're not great with words. Thankfully, licensed marriage and family therapist Bina Bird told The Cut exactly how to utilize the technique: "Start your statements with 'I' and focus on your own thoughts and feelings about the situation. This way, you are not coming across as accusatory but are simply focusing on your own experience." As a result, this may help the other person to feel at ease and help to curb any seemingly-abrupt bluntness that you may feel self-conscious of so you can find some middle ground. When it comes to relationships, there are some great ways to navigate your partner's problematic behavior too.


Much like the previous technique, you can use this approach in both work and social environments to help perfect your delivery. Of course, if you know that your friends appreciate direct feedback, then you can always just stick to being direct. However, these tactics are perfect options for when you want to change your tone or work with someone you're not as close with. Again, you should be able to use your best judgment here.