“Don’t take this the wrong way, but….”
“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but….”
“I hope this doesn’t sound rude, but….”
You know, the moment those words come out of someone’s mouth, that your defenses are going to go up; because you’re just not sure what’s coming next. Usually, we DO take it the wrong way and we DO find it rude.
It can be hard to politely respond when we are put on the spot in these moments. I think, personally, that the person knows what they have to say maybe should be better kept to themselves….but they just can’t help themselves. They HAVE to say something.
The problem with this is that the question or comment hangs out there long after it’s said. And what was intended to squelch someone’s curiosity, or need to give advice – ends up landing on our shoulders and sticking there – unwelcome. We end up taking on a burden that should have probably stayed with the other party.
There are times in life where we are hurting. Maybe we don’t welcome a change made by someone we deeply love and care about. Maybe we really want to know something that is really none of our business. Whatever it is, the fact remains that if we need to preface a statement with something to clarify that we mean no harm – then maybe we need to rethink bringing it up in the first place!
There are just some things in life that we need to keep to ourselves. Some words, some thoughts, some hurts. And we can lay them before the Lord and let HIM deal with them and with us on whatever is weighing on our hearts, whether it’s idle curiosity, pride, malice, or selfishness.
Some people are very private. They DO mind your asking. Some people are very sensitive. They DO take your words the wrong way. It’s good to think about that before we broach a question that we know might be misconstrued or is too nosy.
Relationships that have a good vibe to them don’t need tentative comments made. Each party knows the other one’s heart and can feel free to ask questions or make comments – because everyone knows they are done in love. There is a difference in the closeness and the authenticity of the friendship or relationship that gives people the freedom to inquire and advise….never having to step on eggshells knowing they don’t have the ground to walk where they intend on stepping.
We need to think twice before we say, “Please don’t take this the wrong way…BUT….” For that “But,” could lead us down a slippery slope and a wedge that will forever sit between us, and someone we love.