Is Diplomacy in Relationships Good?

Diplomacy in relationships

Relationships thrive on sensitivity, trust and honesty. They have to be nurtured and understood. Diplomacy rests on the plank of ‘think, evaluate and speak.’ It encourages you to hold your true opinion, which could be helpful at work places, not within the families.

If you have to choose your words before communicating, if you can’t speak out your mind clearly, if you think your words may hurt, if you have to pretend that you agree with the other person, such a relationship can never develop beyond the surface. It can never become endearing. It may establish some business links and even facilitate an agreement between co-workers but it doesn’t build a rapport with friends, siblings or cousins.

A true friend can look in your eyes and read your thoughts. A sibling would be able to cross the bridge of camouflage that you may have learnt to erect with time and age. Your spouse too would get the whiff of walled emotions.

Sooner or later, your diplomatic answers start showing and give a mute message, which can be decoded by your spouse or an intuitive friend. They would either confront you or would start withholding their view and that is how unknown wedges are created in relationships.

There is a very thin line between diplomacy and hypocrisy.

If you want your relationships to be warm and reliable in this world, which is drifting away despite instant connections, you must keep diplomacy out of your homes.

Are you a diplomat? A checklist:

  • You don’t comment on sensitive topics
  • You avoid confrontationfantasy-3364026_960_720
  • You lie to defuse conflict
  • You just nod even when you want to disagree
  • You agree to follow up but never do
  • You promise just to please others
  • You never show your true self

There is no doubt that diplomacy within extended families promotes healthy relationships and a channel of reverence flows, comforting each one with the thought that they are loved. This delusion falls apart in the face of crisis. A teenager who rebels, a parent who refuses to accept change and an elderly member who stands in judgment are some of the situations that could push diplomatic behavior to its extreme ends. The façade could stand exposed!

Happy families are candid. They don’t wear masks and don’t detest unsavory remarks of each other. They learn to accept their imperfections and welcome criticism. They are eager to learn from their errors. They discuss all kinds of topics with an open mind. They give space to each member and respect freedom of thought and expression.

If you are outspoken and impulsive, you could land yourself in difficult situations but that is what we call a learning curve. Only an open family environment could prepare you for the challenges of life. Diplomacy has no place in nuclear families.

Tact and truth can blend well if we learn to handle sensitive situations with patience.

What is essential is:Reaching out

  • Time for each other
  • Undivided attention
  • Freedom of expression
  • Constructive criticism
  • Patience and perseverance

Do you like diplomacy? How did you learn it?

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

© Balroop Singh.

34 thoughts on “Is Diplomacy in Relationships Good?

  1. Great post.
    I don’t like diplomacy but sometimes it is important but not in a relationship or in the family.
    Thank you very much for sharing.
    You can write your blog with.
    Thank you

  2. Good list for ‘diplomacy’. I am most of those, often because I’m on the opposite side of an issue than those around me and I see no purpose in derailing an otherwise good relationship. With my husband, though, we agree on most stuff so there isn’t the need for diplomacy. I think that’s an important piece to why we get along.

  3. I feel honesty is important in close relationships and diplomacy in the matters of social dealings. Faith is built on trust and honesty.

  4. I consider myself a peacemaker–so diplomacy generally rules the day… However, I’m ready to take a stand and speak my mind when I disagree; but willing to listen to the other side of any issue. Lots of food for thoughts and and excellent point to ponder in your post, Balroop! ❤ Blessings and love, my friend…

    1. I can understand the safe midway you mention here Bette, I know a few peace makers! 🙂 It requires a lot of courage to disagree in certain situations. I am glad you possess that! Thanks for sharing your view. Love and hugs dear friend.

  5. Well thought out piece on diplomacy. It should, as you put it, ideally have no place in close relationships characterised by direct and open interactions. But wider social intercourse between people and the still larger relationships between countries require tactful diplomacy to take things forward in a transactional process where the rough, greased by diplomacy, coexists with the smooth.

    1. Direct and open conversations are becoming lesser and fake smiles dominate social communication these days. Man seems to be proud of his new-fangled skills! Nice to see you Raj. Thanks for standing by to share your insights.

  6. The older I get the more honest I am especially with family and loved ones. There are situations when honesty isn’t welcomed and I’ve learned to be ok with it. Great post. You give a lot to think about.

    1. Yes Denise, it is just the fear of dislike that keeps us away from sharing honest opinion but age emboldens us! 🙂 Thank you for coming over dear friend, much appreciated.

  7. This was a very thought provoking post, Balroop. Because my wife and I are both survivors of divorce, diplomacy has often been used as a way to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, it has also made it quite difficult to deal with family issues where candor might have been more useful than diplomacy. I am nearly always candid with my stepchildren, but less so with my own offspring. This had led to much confusion and discomfort in our relationships. I wish I’d read this post about 35 years ago . . . lol. However, we can always learn, and your post will serve as a springboard in that direction. Many thanks for a great post! 🙂

    1. I have landed in many hot soups for my candour but never cared to learn diplomacy! 🙂 I believe it is better to speak the truth than pretend, as honest communication within families may be disliked but shows your true colors and helps us avoid the confusion of misunderstandings.
      Thank you for sharing your personal story Joe, every moment is a learning experience.

  8. This is so intuitive, Balroop. I couldn’t agree more. I think there’s no better relationship than one where you can be completely honest, even if it will upset the person. And then getting over the truth and resuming a strong bond is possible. There can be unhealthy honesty though, where family can be judgmental. I guess we have to find balance with our honesty and advice and ask ourselves before we state our honest opinion, will my words help this person in any way?
    Great post, as usual, Balroop. Thank you!

    1. I like your analysis and then arriving at a sane conclusion Lisa…yes! striking a healthy balance is definitely the right way. Thank you for sharing it dear friend. Stay blessed.

  9. Very interesting and to the point you are. Excellently so. I would say I can be a diplomat
    or peacemaker when needed. No need to inflame a group of friends or a bigger family gathering.
    However, I totally agree that a close relationship need to be based on truth and understanding
    to grow and fill both parties with joy.
    However, my friends know me well and that feels good.


  10. I’m pretty sure I’m a diplomat Balroop EXCEPT when it comes to my immediate family LOL

    With family, I need more tact, more patience, more kindness, more sanity 🙂

    1. Nice to hear your honest view Vishnu. Diplomacy seems to have become a way of life and most people learn it from their environment. 🙂

  11. I guess diplomacy is my way of being most of the time. Speaking the truth has always been source of conflict in my family and around. But I am the first one to get out of this place to defend my ideas. Even when (and if) others do attack me.
    Very interesting views on the subject. I like the way you deal with these questions Balroop.

    1. Truth evokes conflict…I am familiar with such situations! Yet we teach our children: Never lie! How paradoxical are people! How to handle truth is an art these days. Thank you for sharing your personal experience Marie. Stay blessed.

  12. Great post! I think balance is needed. King Solomon said, there is a “time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). I think diplomacy has its place. Sometimes open and honest communication at all times can be offensive, so we all have to be mindful of others feelings when trying to communicate our feelings. Our words need to be gracious and “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).

  13. An interesting reflection, Balroop. I’ve wondered what diplomacy is when it comes to relationships, and you’ve clarified that very well. Not sure if I am a fan of diplomacy but I do agree there is a time and place for it. For instance, when I disagree with a friend, I might not necessarily tell that person right away especially if they not in a good mood or they have a few things going on in their lives – don’t want to upset them even further. This is also why I also don’t show my true self a times.

    However some things do need to be addressed as there is no running away from them, and confrontation is a must. For instance, I’ve spoken my mind and offered solutions when my friends and I can’t decide on what to do on an afternoon we’ve got together. I’ve told others to listen when they are going on on an angry rant and they aren’t listening to others around them. This can be easier said than done because your opinion might get shut down and no one likes to be ignored. I think what makes both personal and professional relationships work is, as you mentioned, having time for each other, listening to each other and being there when the other person needs it.

    A great reflection 🙂

  14. Thank you Mabel for elucidating your points so well with examples. There are some formal relationships that have to be dealt with diplomacy and I agree with you to wait for the right time to speak out clearly. Some relationships are brittle and therefore sensitivity needs to be respected. People pleasing, which rules the world these days is also a form of diplomacy!
    Your insights have a much food for thought. Many thanks for sharing.

  15. This is a really interesting topic! I never thought about the part diplomacy plays in my relationships with some family members and how it can even sneak into my marriage (agreeing or nodding along to simply keep the peace). It’s something that’s worth looking further into and maybe even being more conscious of it (like, why am I choosing diplomacy rather than bluntness? Is it for my sake or theirs?) Thanks for this post!

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