Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The truth behind “don’t get me wrong”

In this day and age when people want to be truthful and accurate in their opinions, but too afraid to say what they really think, we’ve come up with a phrase that either makes us innocent of any offence, or protects us from upsetting someone with a truth. It’s the phrase “don’t get me wrong”.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.
1. Why did the Paralympics get so little coverage, well don’t get me wrong I really admire the athletes for what they’ve achieved and how they’ve overcome their disability, but I guess it comes down to the advertising dollar and not enough people wanting to watch live coverage.
2. Why is Winston Peters getting so much grief from the media, well don’t get me wrong, Mr. Peters has done a lot of good over the years, and will probably continue to do so, but maybe this time he has just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

In both these examples, why can’t we just say the truth? The Paralympics doesn’t rate so it’s not live and Winston has blustered himself into trouble, no need to use ‘the phrase’.

Some may call it being to PC.

I have come up with an alternative and a challenge, the challenge is to stop using the phrase “don’t get me wrong” and the alternative is to start choosing appropriate wording with the bravery to be honest.

If we need to use the phrase “don’t get me wrong”, it only means one of two things, we are about to say something completely over the top and incorrect and we want to cover our backside, or, we truly believe a harsh fact but are too afraid to actually say it.

Choose to be accurate, truthful, brave and not purposefully offensive. We have an innate ability to know when something is appropriate or not, use it. If you have a truth, but the time is wrong, don’t hide behind “don’t get me wrong” just like if it is time to say that same truth, then don’t show fear and dumb it down by using “don’t get me wrong”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s just an idea…give it a crack :o)