7 signs you have a direct communication style that some people find quite blunt

by Tina Fey | April 6, 2024, 3:04 pm

Ever heard of the phrase “Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes?”

As someone who tends to be quite direct in communication, I’ve found this mantra to be quite fitting. But let’s be real. While some people appreciate this approach, others find it a bit… well, blunt.

Here’s the kicker.

You might not even realize that your communication style can come across as too straightforward to some. And while there’s absolutely no harm in being a straight shooter, it might inadvertently turn away folks who aren’t accustomed to such candor.

So, if you’re scratching your head and wondering, “Do I have a direct communication style?” – stick around. I’m about to share 7 tell-tale signs that your straight-to-the-point demeanor may be seen as blunt by some.

Remember, this isn’t about changing who you are. It’s about understanding yourself better and learning how to adjust your communication style when necessary. After all, every conversation is a two-way street.

Intrigued? Let’s dive right in.

1) You value honesty above all else

Is honesty your policy, no matter how harsh the truth might be?

Bravo! That’s a commendable trait. However, it’s one that might label you as a direct communicator.

Here’s the deal.

While you may believe that “the truth will set you free,” not everyone is comfortable hearing it raw and unfiltered. For them, the reality pill might be a little too bitter to swallow.

It all boils down to this.

If you’re someone who doesn’t sugarcoat words and would rather tell it like it is, irrespective of whether the feedback is positive or negative, then that’s a clear sign of a direct communication style.

2) You have little patience for small talk

Ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve had to engage in small talk, but all you wanted to do was get straight to the point?

I’ve been there.

Once, during a team meeting at work, we were discussing a project that was off track. Everyone was beating around the bush, talking about everything but the real issues. I could feel my patience thinning with every passing minute.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I cut through the fluff and pointed out the elephant in the room – our project was lagging because of poor planning and lack of coordination.

Silence followed. Some looked shocked; others relieved. But in that moment, I realized my approach was quite direct, even blunt to some.

That’s when it hit me.

3) You’re often told you’re too forward

A few years back, during a family gathering, we were discussing vacation plans. Everyone was throwing out ideas, but no one was making any decisions.

As the clock ticked away, I felt the need to take charge. So, I did. I stood up and laid out a solid plan – where we would go, what we would do, and how we could make it happen. It was practical, efficient, and straightforward.

However, my cousin turned to me and said, “You’re really forward, you know that?”

I was taken aback. I hadn’t intended to be forceful; I just wanted to move things along. That’s when it dawned on me – my direct approach could be perceived as being too forward by some.

4) You’re not afraid of confrontation

Does a looming confrontation not make you quake in your boots?

That’s another sign of your direct communication style.

You see, while some folks might avoid confrontations like the plague, people with a direct style of communication don’t shy away from them.

They see it as an opportunity to address an issue head-on rather than letting it fester.

For example, if you’re the type to straightforwardly address a co-worker about their constant tardiness affecting team productivity instead of silently seething or gossiping about it behind their back, then you’re definitely a direct communicator.

5) You’re a decision maker

If you’re the type of person who swiftly analyzes situations, weighs the pros and cons, and then makes a decision without dilly-dallying, you’re likely a direct communicator.

Direct communicators don’t waver once they’ve made up their minds. They state their decision clearly and confidently, without leaving room for ambiguity.

They believe in moving forward rather than getting stuck in indecisiveness.

So, if you find yourself being the one who often takes the lead in decision-making situations, then your communication style is probably as straightforward as they come.

But remember, while decisiveness is a strength, it’s important to ensure your decisions are well-thought-out and considerate of others’ inputs and feelings.

6) You often feel misunderstood

Feeling misunderstood is a sensation I know too well.

There was a time when I was leading a project at work. I was passionate, driven, and committed to delivering the best results. But my direct communication style didn’t resonate well with everyone on the team.

I remember vividly how during one meeting, I shared my thoughts on our progress and the areas we needed to improve. I was straightforward, highlighting the good and the not-so-good.

Later that day, a colleague approached me and said my comments had come off as harsh.

They felt criticized rather than motivated. That stung. I hadn’t meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. All I wanted was for our project to succeed.

7) You keep your emotions in check

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your emotions, and it’s a crucial part of effective communication.

Direct communicators often excel at this. They keep their emotions in check and don’t let them cloud their judgment.

If you can detach your emotions from the message you’re trying to convey, ensuring that it’s clear, concise, and free from emotional bias, then that’s a clear sign of a direct communication style.

However, remember that while it’s beneficial to regulate your emotions, it’s equally important to be aware of and sensitive to the emotions of others.

It’s this balance that makes for truly effective communication.

Wrapping it up

If you’ve found yourself nodding along to these signs, then it’s clear – you’re a direct communicator.

But here’s the crucial point – being direct is not a negative trait. Quite the contrary, it’s a strength that many lack. It demands courage and authenticity.

That said, balance is key. It’s important to match your directness with empathy and consideration, to ensure your words are received as intended.

Start by observing yourself in different conversations. Notice the impact of your words on others. Are they taken aback or appreciative? Does it spark disruption or inspire action? Pay heed to these responses.

This isn’t about changing who you are, but rather refining how you deliver your thoughts. With self-awareness and a bit of practice, you can harness the power of your directness to create more meaningful and effective conversations.

Remember, communication is an art. And like any art form, it takes time and effort to master. Be patient with yourself throughout this journey.

As Carl W. Buehner wisely put it, “They may forget what you said – but they will never forget how you made them feel.” So, strive for a communication style that not only speaks your truth but also respects and values the feelings of others.

In doing so, you’ll discover a more compassionate, balanced version of yourself – one who speaks directly but kindly, assertively but empathetically. And that’s a communication style that everyone can appreciate.

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