Day 27: She Said.


I am known for many quotes: some mine, some of others. There is one I strive for every single day.

Specificity is the rule.”

Simple enough, right? Or is it?

For me, it calls into question our ability to actually be honest. We have to say what we mean, as well as mean what we say.

We have covered portions of this quote in some of the posts about questions. Failing to follow the rules leads to bizarre, dangerous and unpredictable results.


I am a stickler for answering the question which is asked. I do not assume to know what is going on in your cranium (if anything). I will not volunteer the information you are likely seeking because you ask me either a tangential or passive-aggressive question.

Red check mark box

To be entirely frank, I often point out passive-aggressive questions as PA and refuse to answer on principle. If you would like for me to endorse your grasp of the concept, ask… I might. If you ask me a yes-or-no question, be prepared for “yes” or “no” with no further explanation. Surveys are easy, and thank you for aggregating my results with those of random others.

Likewise, if you ask me “how”, I will tell you “how” and will keep “why” to myself.

So, what about statements?

Allusions are a literary technique meant to ignite intrigue and suspense or to show connection to other parts of the story or real life. They have no business being the sole method of soliloquy. When they are, the message the listener gets is a short list:

  1. Speaker believes Listener should revere the ability to use indirect speech.
  2. Speaker really has no concept what the subject is.
  3. Speaker is convinced Listener is not as smart.

Is this something you want as a speaker or listener? Then, follow the rule!

Specificity is the rule.”

quotes about half truth lies

In order:

1231. Indirect speech is a characteristic of passive-aggressive behavior. By allowing Listener to draw conclusions, when the wrong one comes out of the hat, Speaker has the knee-jerk,聽I never said that defense. Shameful.

2. Mixing metaphors and alluding to subjects about which Speaker has only nominal knowledge confuses those who understand all of the components of the mishmash being vomited from Speaker’s lips.

3. If Listener really is not as smart, Speaker should be using definitions, slides and show-and-tell to help Listener understand… not insulting Listener.

Is it really all that difficult to say what you mean? Do you know someone who has never made a definitive statement in the longevity of your relationship?

漏 Red Dwyer 2013
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  1. I used to be in the habit of using examples instead of answering the question. I have worked hard to avoid the consequences of this.

    Being direct and honest takes all of the complications out of communication and understanding. If listener doesn’t understand, I try to help. If listener chooses not to understand, I have said my peace and can let it go.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..ForkMy Profile

    • I try brute truth first. I only follow with examples when I have puppets and crayons. *wicked grins*

  2. I’m just glad you didn’t print my picture with the article as and example. 馃檪
    Bo Lumpkin recently posted..Good Help Is Hard to Find 1My Profile

  3. Yes.

    Depending on the listener sometimes it is that difficult to say what we mean. The audience often colors our language and our directness. Add to this, our own history often colors the manner of our communications with different people in our lives.

    This is not always Passive / Aggressive. Sometimes it is simply a survival mechanism. Other times it is how we have learned to operate within our relationships.

    Direct and honest, isn’t always ‘perfect’ communication. Honest is always perfect, direct though can at times be ‘heard’ as cruel so it is sometimes needful understand and adjust for the audience.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..My HouseMy Profile

  4. I don’t know. Maybe sort of kind of. Perhaps.
    Binky recently posted..Thinking Out Of The BoxMy Profile

  5. Hi Red…
    What was the question鈥解解解解解解
    (just kidding)… just a dawn chuckle…

    PS I hope the rain and chill steers clear of your MN destinations!!
    BuddhaKat recently posted..Conspiracy Theory AND True鈥My Profile

  6. Hmmmm…

    I prefer the direct truth – I can do more damage that way!!! 馃檪

    I must admit that there are times when I couldn’t get the message across no matter how I tried… 馃檨

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin recently posted..Monday 鈥 A visit from Andy.My Profile

  7. Part of the problem might also be people do not listen well, either the talker of the person asking the question.

    Everything these days is hurry, hurry, hurry and you rush with an answer but not all of it.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Plan A, B, and CMy Profile

    • And we begin forming our answer after four words. Can you predict what I am going to say in less than four words? If so, I am going to quit writing flash altogether!

  8. Simple rule. It’s a shame that the passive-aggressive people in our lives cannot incorporate this.
    Can keep it in the back of MY head though 馃槈
    Being rigorously honest is the bottom line, and this can be done without being hurtful. The honesty has to be within myself before I speak. Not always easy heh.
    Dig your graphic and the quote.

    Rachael Black recently posted..ACK! Hairballs and Beautiful Big BabesMy Profile

    • Feel free to snitch it. Either from here or from FB. It is on the 5,000 wall. I think you and I should conduct PA recovery classes. Do you have any class B explosives? *wicked grin* Great to see you <3 xxx

  9. benzeknees

     /  May 30, 2013

    I have always told people to be straight with me, ask your question & I’ll be straight back with you. But be prepared for a truthful answer.

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