This is a returning topic in my mind, directness and assertiveness.
I see very often on this forum (less so IRL, but whatever) someone often advising another person to be direct or complaining about the lack of directness from others, which often leads to declarations of insecurity and immaturity towards the "indirect" party.
So I've been trying to think of some scenarios that I would like people to categorize as direct or indirect. I'm trying to figure out what exactly are people's ideas of direct. All of these scenarios have happened to me.
When I worked at Starbucks and when it was slow us baristas would sit around talk. If we still had unfinished duties to do the manager would eventually start assigning us tasks around the store (effectively ending our chat sessions) but did not say anything to us about our socializing.
When I worked at Victoria's Secret I so enjoyed one of my coworkers there. Basically we'd come to work just to talk and hang out. We'd typically choose some low customer interaction task and chit chat while we were working. Once our manager came up to us in full conversational thrall and said, "My! Aren't you two chatty Cathys!"
Recently I went to get blood drawn, the lab tech put on gloves and opened every drawer in the area looking for something and even left the room and I heard her rifling through drawers in the other room. She came back to me smiled and said "OK, ready!" I waited to see if she was going to change gloves again but when she picked up my arm I said "Are you going to change your gloves?"
Scenario 4 (stole this one)
Imagine you've just hired a new consultant whose job is to help you improve your communication. The first time you meet with her, she hands you an article and says, "Sit down and read this article I've written. Think about it carefully. Then I want to talk to you about it."
How would people rate the directness of each of these scenes?
I wonder if directness is related to a person's ability to pick up on hints, innuendos, and reading between the lines. Think about alternate versions of each scenario as well, i.e. being perceived as bossy, authoritarian, micromanaging, passive, etc.
Also, this ties into calling people passive-aggressive as well. I sometimes think one person's passive-aggressiveness is another's blunt force trauma. One person will accuse another of being passive-aggressive, while the accusee will assert they were being direct. Once again, I think it depends on how a person defines direct and how much directness is necessary for them to pick up on what others are saying.