apparently… i have a tendency to use harsh tones at inopportune times.
additionally… as a writer i have a unique command of language and words, sometimes to my advantage, and other times… not so much. when you are able to communicate clearly (which is my job, communicating clearly) that also means your meaning is rarely unclear. the caveat is the tone…
if i say something in a sharp tone it comes out differently. i am aware of this, conscious of minding this all the time. you know how tone works… an email that says something sounds different depending on how the person reading it hears it in their head. it just is what it is. you have to hope that you are loving people well enough that they know your heart and know that you are coming from a place of love. (i’ve mentioned the love filter before). if you have invested enough time, then even when you use a certain tone, the person receiving the information is conditioned to hear you with love. but when you are dealing with people that dont know you as well… they might not be prepared to listen with love, expecting love. they may not already know that the motive and heart behind the words is without malice.
i was discussing this with some friends today. it happened this week. someone interpreted my tone differently than i intended… (we have since cleared this up) but it was an unnecessary issue. then another friend Anne posted a facebook status about how texans communicate differently than everyone else… very directly. so if you take my south florida childhood and then 10 years in texas background into consideration and i was primed to struggle with this issue of tone and kindness… in our meeting, my friend, DON DARTT said… “maybe you just need a little more sweet tea in your voice” DING DING DING… alarms sounded in my mind… i thought “highly tweetable” (which i proceeded to do promptly) and i thought, yes. that makes sense. i dont need to change what i say, because for the most part, i just say what i really mean to say, and usually dont try to create or get into conflict, unkindness, etc… i just need to make sure i say whatever it is after dipping it in a nice tall glass of sweet tea. (aka southern genteel-ness).
this is biblical by the way… prov. 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
as an artist, sometimes you have to really monitor the way you use your ability to communicate. you have to consider your audience and the situation you are in… and err on the side of gentleness.