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