I used to think it’s good to impress people, including bragging. After all, my mother bragged about me to her friends. And I assumed it was kind to give advice, even if unasked for.
No surprise, many people disliked me and I thought it was their fault. Now it’s finally entering my thick skull that I’m dealing with people, not computers. While a computer reading my resume would be impressed if I bragged and would welcome an unwanted fix, that’s not true of most people.
So these are my still occasionally unfollowed rules of behavior. If you already have good emotional intelligence, they may all seem obvious but maybe they’ll be of some help to my emotionally tone-deaf brethren.
I worry that America is too addicted to tact, too resistant to criticism. Growth is abetted by benevolently derived criticism. But that’s unlikely to change, so it is, alas, usually wise to err on the side of tact than of unbridled candor.
Marty Nemko was named “The Bay Area’s Best Career Coach” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and he enjoys a 96 percent client-satisfaction rate. In addition to the articles here on PsychologyToday.com, many more of Marty Nemko's writings are archived on www.martynemko.com. Of his seven books, the most relevant to readers of this blog is How to Do Life: What They Didn’t Teach You in School. Marty Nemko's bio is on Wikipedia.