I’ll Be Honest with You
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they say, “I’ll be honest with you”? Or have you said it yourself? What does that really mean? Does that mean that everything else that you or they said before or say after that statement, isn’t true? If we are people of our word, why would that phrase even be in our vocabulary? If it is a phrase we feel necessary because we have been “sugarcoating” what we are saying, then maybe we need to “be honest” and say what needs to be said.
One of my daily affirmations is that I tell people what they need to know, not what they want to hear. Am I right all the time? Is my opinion or perspective the only one? Of course not. But, if you are a Southerner like I have become, we tend to shy away from the tough discussions. We want everyone to be happy to our face and then “bless their heart” once they’re out of earshot. I’m not suggesting we be rude or mean. I’m just suggesting we not be so scared, disinterested, lazy, or un-involved NOT to tell someone something they need to know.
I moved to Nashville over 20 years ago with very little fashion sensibility whatsoever. I worked with a girl who was older than me and was much more learned in such matters. In a very kind way, she told me that I had a bit fuller eyebrow than was necessary and that I would be much happier with less. You know what happened? I made an appointment with someone she knew and I looked a lot better! Now I look back at those pictures (and many others) and I laugh at those brows!
I have had more than one person give me constructive criticism about my business and social media. I know some people don’t want to say anything constructive or “honest” because they aren’t sure of the way the other person may take it. So what? That is not your problem. Your job is to be honest. If someone asks your opinion or more importantly, if someone hires you, you must tell them the truth.
It isn’t always fun telling someone that they need to neutralize wall color, put Grandma’s teapot collection away, or move out old, dated furniture, but I am hired to tell people the truth about what is going to help their house sell the fastest for the most money. It isn’t always easy to tell the hopeful home buyer that they are not going to get what they want, where they want, at the price they can afford but it is my job not to get their hopes up and to help them be realistic. Sometimes it backfires and you may lose that business. In the end, you will be glad you were honest. If someone doesn’t appreciate honesty, they probably wouldn’t appreciate a lot of other things in the relationship either so you are better off moving on.
So, if you see my out at lunch and I have broccoli in my teeth, please tell me! I’ll be honest with you!
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.