Cut-to-the-Chase

Cut to the chase: (slang) come to the point

A sly smile crept across his face, like a caterpillar on a chilly morning.

He was so sure of himself.

Having asked me the question, “What is it you need from me?” I began to explain my goals. I wasn’t even two sentences in when he interrupted curtly and said, “Could you cut to the chase?”

He felt so mature—deeming himself adult and communicating that his time was so valuable that he couldn’t allot any extra moments for me to offer finer details of my dreams.

He waited for me to be offended. I was offended.

But at the same time, I didn’t want to cast my pearls of promise in front of his pig-like certainty.

So rather than cut to the chase—taking something sacred to me and turning it into a Fruit of the Loom’s brief—I bowed my head and quietly walked away without saying a word.

He called after me, trying to apologize, saying that he “didn’t realize I was so sensitive.”

Perhaps a day will come when we no longer believe that acting brutish and uncaring is a sign of maturity.

Can we allow others the opportunity to open their hearts?

Or must we dominate and forbid them the dignity for their vision?

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Constructive

Constructive: (adj) serving a useful purpose; tending to build up

Unfortunately, the word “criticism” seems to have been welded onto “constructive.”

Matter of fact, people frequently talk to me about constructive criticism–how powerful it was for them in honing up their project or beefing up their efforts.

I am not convinced.

So let me be the first one to say that these two words need to be disconnected from each other once and for all.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

There are things that are constructive and there are things that are critical. There is no such thing as constructive criticism.

If you’re trying to be constructive, there is no need to be critical.

And if the intention is to establish your value to another person by criticizing, be prepared: it is unlikely that this will have a constructive result.

You can feel free to have constructive remarks, constructive questions, constructive concerns–but once you enter the cave of criticism, you’ve already darkened yourself as an authority to whom others need to bow.

If you really want to be constructive, here are the three questions you should ask someone if you think what he or she is pursuing needs another point of view:

  1. What is it you are trying to achieve?
  2. This is what I got off of it. Is that all right?
  3. Is this what you were looking for?

You can ask these three questions any time, and unless someone is dealing with severe anger management issues, they will be responsive and listen.

But if you change this to “constructive criticism,” which, by the way, is merely altering the questions into statements–(for instance, “I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve,” “I didn’t get it” and “I don’t think other people will comprehend your message either”)–these statements are bruising.

You do not need to agree with me on this, but I contend that merely switching the statements to questions does not take away your power of input.

It merely removes your position of superiority.

 

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