Tag Archives: the truth about tact



Tact: n. using good social etiquette when interacting with others and avoiding offensiveness during samer interaction


A tactful human does not use harsh criticism, ridicule, put downs, name calling, and insults when someone does something wrong or bad. Instead a tactful human asks questions to determine what the reason for the wrong or bad behavior may have been and then proceeds with an appropriate response which isn’t mean or offending. “I know that you can do better next time” or “I am confident that it won’t happen again” is all that may be needed after a calm discussion of the wrong or bad incident.


A promise never to do something wrong or bad again is a possibility. An offer of help of some kind so that the wrong or bad thing doesn’t happen again is a possibility. An apology may be demanded from the offender as a possibility.  An adjustment in work habits may be demanded by an employer.  Restitution of some kind may be demanded if the wrong or bad behavior is very bad or very wrong and an apology is not enough of a payback.


Yes, there are also instances when saying nothing or remaining silent may be the best response, especially in the cases of rude behavior or a non winnable argument over something which isn’t that important in the first place.


I was very disappointed, hurt, or inconvenienced by what you did and hope that you will not do it again is one possible response. Another approach is to ask the offending human to do something to make up for the wrong or bad behavior.


For young offspring or offspring in general a threat of privilege removal or grounding may be a better response than an angry assault on the offspring for doing something wrong or bad.


Whatever the situation, try not to start an angry out of control argument about the wrong or bad behavior and try discussing it in a cool and controlled manner to see if you can’t get assurances that it won’t happen again.


No one is perfect and as long as it is not something very immoral such as lying or stealing there is usually a tactful way out of the bad circumstance. For employers firing or a threat of firing someone may not always be the best option to go with if immorality was not committed.

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