I’m feeling good. I’ve got a great idea, shared my thoughts when another asks: “May I be brutally honest?” The natural reaction is “Sure.” I’m feeling on top the world, being open, receptive and vulnerable. Mistake. Big mistake!
The other person now feels authorized and compelled to blast away. Almost without fail, the blasting was already there. A chip on the shoulder, waiting for a target, and now it has one – me.
A better response is: “No, but you can be compassionately frank.” If the other person’s intent is to share their honest thoughts about whatever it is you’re excited about, what reason would they have to not go with your request and be compassionate in their response.
However, if their intent is to let fly with their barrage of anger, self-disappointment etc., they’ll find no outlet or pleasure in being compassionate, thus likely disregard my response and open fire.
But, at least I didn’t authorize them; and since I didn’t authorize the hit, I’m better prepared to deflect it.