How To Be Direct Without Being Rude? – 5 Things That Matter

Being direct without being rude is pretty difficult, especially in today’s world, where most people tend to be overly polite rather than direct.

There are certain things you can do to minimize the chances of being seen as rude when you say what you think directly, however there is no guarantee that everybody will understand this.

I wrote an article about being too direct since, in my opinion, there is such a thing, so you should make sure that you aren’t too direct and aggressive.

In this article, I want to talk about why people can consider you rude when you just want to say what is on your mind, and also I will give you a few tips to avoid this situation as much as possible.


Why can being direct be seen as rude?

Being direct can be rude, especially if you don’t watch your tone and words or you talk about someone and their personality, even if what you say is the truth. For example, if you tell someone that you consider them naive or indecisive, there are big chances that they will consider you rude even if what you say makes sense for you and you want their best.

If we talk about obviously bad traits is much worst, there is no way to call someone stupid and not be seen as rude.

However, the idea is that being direct about someone’s personality and traits is much worst than being direct about a situation or anything like that.

And the second reason why a direct person is considered rude more often is because most people, especially when we are adults, are used to more polite or overly polite people.

As adults, we are not encouraged to be direct and say what we think because we might bother people around us, and this makes most of us more polite and often avoid saying what we actually want to say.

But that being said, there are a lot of people that think they are direct when in reality, they are just rude, so let’s talk about how to avoid being one of them.

Read Also: Is Being Assertive Attractive? 

How to be direct without being rude?

Here are five things you should pay attention to when you are direct to make sure you minimize your chances of being rude:

1. Voice tone and body language

We know that communication is not about words; in fact, non-verbal communication is a bigger part of the communication process than verbal(words). 

So if you scream at someone and you have an angry face while telling them what you think, there will be a low chance of them responding as you expect and not seeing you as a rude person.

Being calm and having normal conversation body language will help a lot to send the message you want to send and make the other person understand that you don’t hate or want to bully them or anything like that.

2. Words matter

Choosing the right words still matters. Yes, the right words with bad body language might not help, but if you have done the first step and you are calm and have adequate body language, the words will be the next in line when it comes to proper communication.

So, depending on the circumstances, the words you choose might vary. For example, when you talk to your best friends, you might be ok using more spicy words because they know you and they can feel your intention, but when you talk with a coworker or someone that you don’t know as well, you should choose your words more carefully.

Read Also: Is Being Diplomatic Good Or Bad?

3. Intention

Many times the intention behind your words matter more than the words themselves.

If you are direct with a person because you want to show them who you are and you want to make a reputation of being direct, they will most likely see you as being rude.

If you are direct with people around you because you know that this behavior leads to a better relationship with them and you really care about that, then they will most likely feel your intention, and you will not be seen as rude.

You will act differently when the intention behind it is good compared to when it is selfish.

4. Do not generalize

If you want to tell someone what you think and be direct about it, the worst thing you can do is to generalize. Saying to someone that they “always” do something or they are “always” like this, is a free ticket to being rude.

Even if a thing happens many times, saying “you always do this” is much worse than saying “you have done this many times”.

5. Do not talk about the person

If you want to be direct without being rude, do not talk about the person but rather focus on the subject that is discussed or about a certain situation.

As I said above, criticizing someone or their personality is most of the time seen as being rude. No one likes their person to be criticized. You can let them know that you don’t agree with them in certain situations, and you can let them know that you think they are wrong from time to time, but you can’t tell them that you think they are a bad person or other things like that.

Anyway, having this habit of talking about someone’s person and not about the situation in case, it’s pretty bad since you will end up generalizing more often than necessary, and you will be seen as rude, and the worst part is that most of the time you will be just partially right. While if you talk about the situation and address the exact moment or decision someone’s made, you can be 100% right more often and don’t bother people around you as much because you don’t make them feel like they are always wrong.

Read Also: Venting Vs. Gossiping 


Being direct is important for having real and honest relationships with people around us.

However, you should be careful with how you act and what you say when you are being direct because there is a fine line between being direct and being rude, and it’s easy to step over it.

Also, one thing I noticed that is quite of a trend is to say how direct you are and how honest you are because it sounds cool, and you might get some popularity points, which is a pretty bad reason to be direct, and you have high chances of ending up as a rude person.