I don’t mean to be rude …

Let’s face it, if someone says that to you, they fully intend to be rude. Same goes with “I don’t mean to overstep,” or “but in” or … fill in the blank. They preface their comment to avoid responsibility. I should know because I am guilty of it.

Looking back, it is entirely my ego at play and it is unfair to the recipient. 

Little did I know at the time that I was doing them a favor by identifying it. 

Today, if I am approached in a similar fashion, I respond, “Then don’t.”

I may also ask them if it is something I need to hear and why. 

By not reacting, I take the wind out of their sails. 

It might not solve the problem today, but maybe, just maybe, they will think twice about their approach in the future.

As for me, when I feel the need “not to be rude,” I think about what the conversation looks like. Most often, it doesn’t need to be said. 

And if it does, I preface the conversation by asking for their permission. “I have something I want to bring up that is sensitive. Do you want to hear it or shall I table it?” Chances are if it is something that needs to be said, the person on the other hand already knows what it is.