There are many times when we try to be as diplomatic as possible. Well, I do. Or at least that has been my longstanding way of being. As a matter of fact, a former colleague a while ago told me that I needed to stop being so diplomatic. I was too nice. But more on that at a later time. But, I must state that I am also a snarky New Yorker and have been known to “tell it like it is.” Usually I do my snarky bit when my first attempt at diplomacy fails or the others are idiots. Working for ten years in New York makes you a little less tolerant of foolery.
Being diplomatic can at times help one feel a little bit good in that one may not need to yell. One may argue that there is never a need to yell at others but trust me there are plenty of reasons historically for doing so. There are also ways that do not entail yelling by which one can be undiplomatic. Have you seen the eye-roll this one female reporter engaged in at a Chinese event? Oh, how I got a great chuckle out of that scene as apparently I sometimes look like that during meetings and get-togethers.
Being diplomatic can also lead one to laugh at some of the misunderstandings that arise from diplomacy. I recently tried to be diplomatic with family members. I tried to hint and do allegories to try to get them to realize that life can look differently. Well, apparently, they completely misunderstood my intended lesson and took it to a whole other level. They went in an opposite direction than I had intended. I stood there listening to them and couldn’t even correct them as I was laughing (internally). I then paused my amusement and asked myself whether I wanted to correct their misunderstanding or whether I should just leave it all as is. They weren’t offended by what they thought I had meant to say. That was a plus. But if I truly wanted growth for them, I should correct them.
At the end of the day, I decided to keep quiet and let my family misunderstanding stand. Look, its not my circus and these are not my monkeys. That is what I keep telling myself these days. And I need to make sure I adhere to that philosophy, or rather old Polish proverb. Things that are for me to control, then I can direct the circus monkeys. Otherwise, I have to let it go. That’s where diplomacy may be an asset and I can just politely extricate myself from things. If I can’t then I can go nuclear. But I will be a happier person to just disentangle myself from it all.