Tuesday, January 5, 2010

PSA: People Talk

Communicate early. Communicate often. Right?

Well, apparently not... But today's beef is a little different from the sins of omission and lying I've recently touched on. Lately, I've been hearing a lot of people arguing against open communication. People still believe that you can bottle stuff up and make it go away, that you can control the message. The whole thing makes me a little irate.

I'll cede that there's a time and a place for everything. But beyond matters of tact, I've pretty much had it with people arguing to control communication. You don't get to dictate who other people in your life chose to speak to!

It's just not realistic. People talk. It's normal. You should expect people to talk -- about you, your business, your personal matters, everything. If you can't handle this fact, you could try not to do anything worth talking about, or you could move to the woods and stop interacting with people. But even then, people will probably talk about the crazy hermit that lives down that road...

People try to control information for a couple reasons:
  • Embarrassment / humiliation / shame;
  • Pain / punishment;
  • Etiquette / propriety.
But just because you don't want to talk about something, doesn't mean it isn't important to others. Getting angry with people for speaking about something you've done is pretty stupid too. The "I don't understand why he/she had to know" line is outright ridiculous.

This might sound shocking, but why not try actually getting in front of an issue, instead of freaking out when other people talk about it? You can tell your own story when you're the one doing the telling... Just a little food for thought.

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