April 19, 2017
Interview with Dennis D. Adams, author of the book Honest Direct Respectful
Would you consider yourself a passive person or a reactive person?
Dennis D. Adams:
I think that eighty percent of people in any given population are passive and I think that twenty percent are reactive by nature.
Dennis D. Adams, author of the book Honest Direct Respectful, says passive people tend to have a thought process that goes something like this…
“I don’t like conflict, I don’t want to rock the boat, I probably won’t change your mind anyway so I’m not going to tell you what I really feel or think. But I’m going to be very respectful.”
The result of that thinking and the passive behavior that goes with it is that people don’t say what they really think, they get resentful and frustrated. But if you keep those three words in mind – honest, direct, respectful – and try to act more that way, the results will be rewarding.
Just a quick example, my brother is probably reactive by nature and I’m passive by nature. And I remember one night when he called me and went up one side of me and down the other. I asked him if we could meet for lunch and he said, “Sure”. And I said, “You know, John if you call and talk to me that way again it really jeopardizes our relationship and I’ll probably hang up the phone” – which really shocked him.
Since passive people tend to avoid talking directly to people about what they think, they usually end up talking about those people to someone else.
Talking to people about a situation or somebody else typically doesn’t help us to feel better about it. It is just sort of a fertilizer for more self -doubt and anger at the person and puts you more in the victim role.