Being direct is beneficial to relationships

Anders Corey discusses the importance of being forward in a gracious manner.


Anders Corey | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Anders Corey, Writer

When asked by coworkers mock questions for a fictional advice column, I found myself answering every question that was pertinent to the life of the common Biola student with the statement: “Just be blunt.” These three words are more than necessary on this campus where the common feeling is: “If I want something to happen, then it is going to work out eventually.” This is where we have gone very far off the trail. If we as individuals want something done, or want to get our opinions across on an issue or in a relationship, the other party is not going to magically know how we feel or just go along with how the scenario plays out in our heads.

Guys and girls alike are guilty of this. I’m guilty of this. We all have encountered situations where we wished with everything we had that the other party would just accept our side without us saying or doing anything to make them feel that way. But the truth is, that’s not how it works. We have all been in situations where we find something out and wish it would just go away, but it’s not going to go away just like that. This idea is pertinent to every relationship we will encounter. These scenarios can be as simple as our roommate turning the light on in the morning waking us up from our peaceful slumber to difficult interactions with people of the opposite sex that have crossed lines we do not want crossed. In both of these situations, being blunt with the opposite party is our best bet.

We all know the scenario when we have a nice cross-sex friendship with someone then find out that they want it to be more than a friendship. No matter how much we ignore and pretend they aren’t there, those feelings from the other person are not going to change. You need to take the pressure off yourself and tell them straight that you do not feel the same way. Now you have given your point and they know where you stand. If you wait then you drag them along, and it does not get easier.

This is to gentlemen directly: You are not going to get into a relationship through beating around the bush and throwing little smiley faces at the end of your texts. Do not wait for the girl to pick up on your little movements, but be forward and take initiative. It’s your job as gentlemen to initiate the relationship. Just grab the bull by the horns and go for it!

Along with this, on the other side of the situation people need to know when to say no to the invites from people because they’re a “really nice guy.” There is often a big problem of people being in denial of the fact that the someone is making advances on them and they want to ignore it.

The most important part of being forward with someone is knowing how to do it graciously. The only thing worse than not having the hard discussion with someone is doing it in a mean-spirited way. “Blunt” in this sense does not mean blurting out how you feel and hoping they take it the right way. You need to make the tough discussion palatable without burying the message. You are having these tough discussions because you value the relationship and want it to go back to how it was before. You are not going to accomplish this by being mean to the other person.

This goes beyond our selfish desires to protect these friendships, for it is our call as Christians to be merciful with those around us. God could just as easily have said to us, “You’re a sinner and you’re going to rot in hell if you don’t follow me!” But that is not how he went about it because he knew it would not be the most effective way to bring people into the kingdom.

In the end, Biola, we must accept that our relationships will be deepened not only by the fun, joking conversations we have, but by the difficult ones as well. These difficult conversations must be had to avoid a lingering conflict. Although hard at first, these conversations are key to thriving friendships.

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