What someone says versus how they say it

​Use your imagination for a second. Imagine you don’t know what two plus two equals. Now, imagine you’ve asked me to tell you what the answer is.

I could be straightforward: “Two plus two equals four.”

I could be insulting: “Ha, you idiot! You don’t know what the answer is?! Jesus. A seven year old knows that the answer is four. Now, don’t talk to me anymore.”

I could kindly tell you that two plus two is four, and use the question as a chance to teach you a fundamental mathematical concept.

Ultimately, the manner in which I tell you the answer doesn’t matter as long as the answer is correct. Which is obvious, but often overlooked.

See, we’re not very good at separating how something is said and what is said. The two are very distinct things.

It would be nice if everything we needed to know, if every answer we sought and found was wrapped in a bow and bestowed upon us with patience and kindness. But it’s not. People are busy, impatient, and often have little time to explain the reasoning behind their answer. And when someone takes so little care telling us something, we tend to return the favour by disregarding what they’ve said because we don’t like the way they said it.

That’s no way to learn and improve and get better.

You can unlock access to many more answers in this world if you focus on what is being said to you, rather than how it is being said to you.

A truth is a truth, no matter how it is presented to you.