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Why It’s Amazing To Have A Friend Who Constantly Says The Wrong Things

Why It’s Amazing To Have A Friend Who Constantly Says The Wrong Things

How many times have you been sitting in a quiet room when all of a sudden you hear the most awkward, out-of-place comment? How many times have you felt just a little embarrassed to realize that it came from your friend?

At some point or another, everyone stumbles into an awkward situation or makes a verbal misstep. But some people just seem to be born to put their foot in their mouths. Although many people may think that only a rude, socially inept, or downright unintelligent person would constantly say the wrong thing at the wrong time, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

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In reality, people who can’t seem to stop themselves from saying what’s on their mind are actually awesome to be around. Not only are they funny, but they are also open, honest, and full of joy in themselves and the people around them. By now, you definitely know which one of your friends we’re talking about. (And if you can’t think of at least one of your friends who fits this description, maybe it’s you.)

Here’s why your friend who constantly blurts out the wrong thing might just be your best friend, the one who enriches your life in amazing ways that no “normal” friend can.

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That friend will always make you laugh.

Ever since you’ve had the joy of meeting that friend who never says the right thing, you know that nothing breaks the ice like a perfectly timed awkward comment. Whether you’re nervous about a new, important job or you’re just out having brunch with your friend group, you can count on your awkward friend to lighten any mood and make even the most boring small talk interesting. Their ridiculous comments make you laugh like no other friend.

That friend will make the best memories with you.

If you have to attend an acquaintance’s birthday party that you aren’t too excited about or you have to stand in line for hours at the DMV, your awkward friend is always there to bring humor and fun. That friend turns otherwise lifeless events into lifelong memories, even if the awkwardness feels just a little embarrassing at the time.

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That friend will understand you even if no one else does.

When you inevitably say the wrong thing at the wrong time, like we all do from time to time, there’s no one better to talk to than your friend who has said and done it all. That friend will be there because they understand exactly what it’s like. They may not always say the right thing to make you feel better (since hey, they don’t usually say the right thing anyway), but their humor, kindness, and relatability are irreplaceable.

That friend will teach you how to shake it off.

Not just for T-Swift, shaking it off is an important lesson we all need to learn. Not only will your awkward friend understand you when things go a little awry, but they’ll help you figure out how to move forward. Whether you fumbled your words a little on a first date or totally bombed a major presentation, your awkward friend shows you how to shake it off and not take life too seriously. When their words unintentionally offend or hurt anyone, they also knows how to say “sorry” and mean it.

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That friend will show you how to approach life differently.

Sometimes saying the “wrong” thing, or the thing that you are not expected or supposed to say, is exactly what needs to be said. Your friend who can’t stop saying the wrong thing isn’t afraid to be different, and they are there to teach you to stop worrying about what should or shouldn’t be done. Of course, their way may not always be perfect, but they can help you look at situations and problems with a fresh perspective.

That friend will help you grow.

Through all of these funny memories, your awkward friend is there, making you laugh endlessly and showing you how to take life in stride, make mistakes, and move on, living each day with a sense of joy and adventure. Above all, you are a better person for knowing them, even if they can’t help saying the wrong thing.

If you’re lucky enough to have one of these friends, stick with them. You’ll not only enjoy the crazy, ridiculous, and ridiculously awkward adventures that come, but you’ll learn a little something too.

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

The Art of Humble Confidence

The Art of Humble Confidence

To be confident or not to be confident, that is the question. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve been a bit confused about all this discussion about the subject of confidence. Do you really need to be more confident or should you try to be more humble? I think the answer is both – you just have to know where to use it.

East VS West – Confidence, It’s a Cultural Thing

In typical Western countries, the answer to the confidence debate is obvious – more is better. Our heros are rebellious, independent and shoot first, ask questions later. I think this snippet of dialog from The Matrix sums it up best:

Agent Smith – “We’re willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we’re asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice.”
Neo – “Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger”
[He does]
Neo -“ …and you give me my phone call.”

In Eastern countries, the tone is often considerably different. Elders are supposed to be revered not dismissed. The words ‘guru,’ meaning a teacher, and the philosophy of dharma, loosely translated to mean ‘duty,’ come from here. In Eastern cultures humility and respect are more important than confidence.

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These perspectives are generalizations, but it shows how the confidence debate goes back deep into our culture. I think that both extremes of pure confidence or pure humility are misguided. Instead of rectifying this situation by simply blending the two: becoming somewhat humble, somewhat confident all the time, I believe the answer is to know when to be confident and when to be humble.

Humble Confidence – Know When to Use It

I’m going to make another broad generalization. I believe that virtually every relationship you are going to have is going to fit into one of two major archetypes, either master or student. In peer relationships this master/student role may switch frequently, but it is extremely rare that the relationship never leans to one side.

In the master role, you are displaying confidence to get what you want. This is public speaker, leader or seducer. Being the master has advantages. You have more control and ability to influence from this role.

The student role is the opposite. You are intentionally displaying humility. This is the student, disciple or follower. Being the student has advantages too. You can learn a lot more in this role and are more likely to win the trust of the other person.

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Know When to Shut Up and Learn

If you are a typical Westerner, you are probably already thinking about which role you prefer. Being the leader is great. You get respect and a higher status. Most of all you get a greater degree of control.

But the problem is that you can’t and shouldn’t always try to be the leader. Trying to assume that role without the skills, resources or status to back it up will lead to conflict. More importantly, there are many times when you purposely want to display humility. Some of the benefits to the student role include:

  • You learn more.
  • Smooths relationships.
  • Makes others more willing to lend a helping hand.

Knowing when taking the humble route is to your advantage. It is far easier to get mentors and advisors if you use humility rather than arrogance. A small sacrifice to your ego can open up the potential to learn a lot.

Confidence to Persuade, Humility to Learn

In reality almost no relationship is as clearly defined as master/student. Within our connections, people have overlapping areas of expertise. I might be an expert in blogging to a non-blogger, but they might be an expert in finance. In each area there are different roles to take.

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Before any interaction ask yourself what the purpose is. Are you trying to learn or persuade?

Persuasion requires confidence. If you are trying to sell, instruct or lead you need to display the confidence to match your message. But learning requires humility. You won’t learn anything if you are constantly arguing with your professors, mentors or employers. Taking a dose of humility and temporarily making yourself a student gives you the opportunity to absorb.

Persuade Less, Learn More

Persuasion is great for immediate effect, but learning matters over the long-haul. Instead of washing over all your communication with pure confidence, look for opportunities to learn. Persuading someone to follow you may give you an immediate boost of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last. Learning, however, is an investment for the future.

Whenever I make a connection with someone and realize they have a skill or understanding I want, I am careful to express humility in that area. That means listening with what they say even if I don’t immediately agree and being patient with their response. This method often drastically cuts down the time I need to spend on trial and error to learn by myself.

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Confidence/Humility Doesn’t Replace Communication Skills

This approach of selectively using confidence and humility for different purposes doesn’t replace communication skills. Humility isn’t going to work if the other person thinks you’re an irritating whiner. Confidence won’t work if the entire room thinks you are an arrogant jerk. Knowing how to display these two qualities takes practice.

The next time you are about to enter into an interaction ask yourself why you are doing it. Are you trying to persuade or learn? Depending on which you can take a completely different tact for far better results.

Featured photo credit: BBH Singapore via unsplash.com

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