Tact is telling the truth kindly. We think before we speak, aware of how deeply our words affect others. When our words are weighty, we weigh our words, knowing they have the power to cause pain or to uplift. A harsh word to an intimate is like a grain of sand in their eye. An encouraging word can fill them with confidence. Tact is essential when we feel strong emotions like anger. It helps us discern what to say and what is better left unsaid. Tact is good timing. It is the diplomacy of the heart.

In Family Life

The virtue of tact, when applied between parents and children, plays a vital role in nurturing a healthy and loving relationship. Parents practice tact by actively listening to their children’s thoughts and feelings without judgment, creating a safe space for open communication.

They choose their words carefully, ensuring that their guidance and discipline are delivered with compassion and understanding rather than harshness. Tactful parents recognize the importance of balancing authority with empathy, acknowledging their children’s perspectives, and validating their emotions. They also exercise patience, refraining from overreacting to challenging situations and taking the time to address issues calmly and rationally.

Likewise, children practice tact by respecting their parents’ opinions and decisions, even when disagreeing. They learn to express themselves honestly but respectfully, recognizing that open communication strengthens the parent-child bond. Through mutual tact and understanding, parents and children foster a nurturing environment where love, trust, and mutual growth thrive.


Use a sweet tongue, courtesy, and gentleness, and thou mayest manage to guide an elephant by a hair.

— Sa’di

 The Practice of Tact

  • I tell the truth kindly and gently.
  • I reflect on how my words influence others.
  • I think before I speak.
  • I do not allow anger to control me.
  • I discern when to speak and when to be silent.
  • I use courteous language.

Balancing Tact

The absence of tact can create an environment where communication is abrasive and unproductive. Balanced with these virtues, it promotes harmony and meaningful connections.

      • Empathy: Empathy complements tact by helping individuals better understand and connect with the emotions of others. By empathizing with someone’s feelings, we can tailor our tactful communication to provide comfort, support, or encouragement.
      • Honesty: Honesty serves as a crucial counterbalance to overdeveloped tact. It encourages us to speak truthfully and transparently when necessary, even if it involves difficult conversations. Honesty ensures that our tactful communication remains genuine and authentic.
      • Patience: Patience goes hand in hand with tact, particularly when emotions run high. It reminds us to take the time needed to choose our words wisely, especially when we are upset or frustrated, preventing impulsive or hurtful remarks.

Tact, the art of telling the truth kindly, is a virtue that, when cultivated in moderation, allows us to navigate conversations with care and consideration.