The act of “looking good”?

Purnima Varadrajan-ln

Was reading a post on Linkedin  “Stop Being So Nice & Start Being More Real” , loved the sentence: Fake Niceness is Harmful

” In order to avoid unpleasant issues and perpetuate their happy state, millions of people engage in fake niceness (candy coating, artificial happiness, political correctness, etc.). How can one be nice all the time to everyone, no matter the situation? There is only one way one can do that…by being fake. Since when is being fake nice? Being fake is a lie, so it’s negative.”

The thought is so close to one of the most powerful lessons i have learnt in my life.  You cant please all..and looking good takes you nowhere. More so for entrepreneurs.   Now what’s “looking good”.  In order to avoid confrontations, avoid debates, to avoid accepting there is an issue, we tend to ignore. Reasons for ignoring may be many, at first may be we are not sure if we are right, or it may be that we know it will hurt someone, or it may be because we know “its ok” to be in the same situation.  what ever be the reason, we prefer to be “silent”.  We tend to “act good” with the situation or person.  We tend to put up artificial “everything is ok” “i am fine with you”  face.  This is looking good.

By saying faking is not good or looking good is not nice, I am not claiming that we have to jump and bounce on people and bark at every possible thing you disagree with.  What I am saying is dont push situations under the carpet assuming it is unpleasant.  Get into a conversation.. it helps.

1. lay the ground before conversation:

It is very critical that you prepare yourself and the other person for the conversation.  Convey that you want to talk.  Ask them when they are willing to.  Convey the subject, do not add any significance to the topic.  Dont initiate a blame game.

How not to say:

“look you have been behaving in a very irresponsible way and that is affecting me.  i want to talk about it so that you take up responsibility”

Instead say:

“i feel that there is something missing around us and i feel if we can sit down and talk about it we will be able to sort it for us”

Or a simple:

“I feels things around here is not what is should be, or things are not going in a direction which it should, can we sit down to talk?”

Dont start a conversation without getting them prepared.  Then it is not a conversation, it is a fight.

2. Keep rules during the conversation:

Dont begin by making them wrong.  Talk about the event or the circumstances without using “you” & “me”.  Again don’t add significance to the event or circumstances. Converse as if the reason is for the conversation is to see if there can be a possibility to improving the same.  Keep all cards on the table for discussion.  Be straight forward but don’t blame.

3. Give options to move on:

don’t hold on to the event or circumstances give yourself and  the other person a opportunity to move on.  discuss on how to better it, how to ensure it does not happen etc. discuss future and not the past.

4. Know when to stop:

Irrespective of the direction of the conversation, know when to stop.  If it is not heading the right way, we need to create another opportunity to start the conversation.  So STOP. If it is heading the right way, again instead of lingering in the same conversation, STOP.  Change topic. Remember it was your idea to start a conversation and it meets your expectation, invariably your tone will slowly turn into “look i was right” kinds and we tend to get into a advising mode.  So learn to stop

5. Leave it behind:  

Once the conversation is done, really be done with it.  If it didn’t go right you can always start another one later.  Dont linger on what was said and how it was said.   I read somewhere conversations should be like dancing.  It should be for the moment.  Imagine doing the dance step in your regular walk 🙂

Sounds simple?  All it takes is a lot of practice and self discipline.  Actually, the beauty is to see how you are leaving the other person at the end of the conversion.  Next time you are putting up an fake act in front of a person, just stop to see if you can actually start a authentic conversion.



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