Individuals can sometimes make statements about someone that emerge from lapses in good judgment. Before you make statements about someone, be sure you have all of the facts about what you intend to say so that you don’t look like a fool in the end. Many people who are so quick to make comments about someone don’t have the emotional strength to handle the backlash their words can engender. When you’re not having the best day and/or have an attitude, err on the side of caution with what you say.
The things you say have power—whether those things you say bring you positive or negative returns.
When you directly or indirectly make bold statements about someone, the person who often really has the problem is you. Many people rather deflect their problems by attempting to attack others. After you finish attempting to attack others, your problems will still be there. What are you going to do about your own problems? Why waste time trying to draw attention to other people’s problems when your life is a mess? Clean up the mess in your own house before you focus on the challenges other people face in their houses.
It can be amazing how people think they know so much about someone when they don’t really know anything about him or her. Don’t be foolish enough to say things to others and in public that you’re basing off an inkling. You damage any credibility you have left when you do things like this. If you feel confident enough to make bold statements about someone, why not ask him or her to confirm your statements? Why not confront the person first about what you have to say before you express it to others? Are you really as real as you’re claiming or pretending to be?
Your words can do damage to relationships and that damage may not be able to be repaired. This may not matter for some or many of your relationships. There will be, however, some relationships that you have damaged that you will regret. Without question, there’s nothing wrong with being bold. We certainly need more truly bold people in America. Let good judgment guide your efforts at being bold and “keeping it a hundred.” A person may never let you know you damaged your relationship with him or her. He or she may seem to act different and you will not really understand why, especially if you thought something you said didn’t get to him or her or went over his or her head.
You will always end up having to pay for your reckless choice of words.
When you call people out about the bold statements they made about you, they begin to become defensive about what they said, as if they’re the victim. Really? You’re the victim? The moment you made the bold statements about someone while you were “keeping it a hundred,” “being real,” and demonstrating how bold you are you should have thought about being the victim then. You should, therefore, own what you’ve said and not try to present yourself as a victim when you are the victimizer.
Yes, there’s nothing wrong with being yourself—just make sure you’re committed to owning up to all you do and say. When you say things about people, they’re going to retaliate—be ready! It’s only fair for those who you attempted to shame to give you a little of your own medicine. Fair is fair, right?
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison