Posted by Haris Gulzar on December 25, 2009
I have always believed that there are a few relationships that need to maintain a level of formality, for example, the relationship of teacher and a student. Whatever the level of closeness there may be between a teacher and a student, the teacher should be saluted/talked to with respect. The choice of words used should portray the respect, and the attitude and behavior with which the two talk should depict that they are in a student teacher relationship. Similarly, I have believed that there are some relationships where there should be no formality whatsoever. For example, the relationship between friends. And by friends I mean people who are really close to you. You can be frank with them, you can say whatever you want to, knowing that the other person understands you. You can use words with your friends that you might not want to use in front of other people and so on.
I recently had a discussion with one of my friends on this topic. We both agreed that a few relations require some formality, but what we disagreed on was that a few relations can survive with complete informality as well. His point of view was that there needs to be a certain level of formality in every relationship, may that relationship be friendship. You can be frank, you can be straight forward, you can talk in languages that only you understand, but the choice of words is what needs to have some formality, was what his point of view was.
I hate you. A simple sentence. Just three words. Something very straight forward, something very frank, but what these three words mean is not as frank as one would have liked. The receiver of this sentence would definitely want the use of some lighter words. Although I believe that in relationships where you can be frank and straightforward, you won’t face a situation where you need to use words like those used above. And if you really think these words are required, they must be said. That’s what the beauty of frankness is. But this example really made me think again if there needs to be a certain level of formality in each and every relationship or not.
The sorrys and thank yous, I totally agree, make your relationship stronger, but I say they only make weaker relationships stronger. There are a few relationships that cannot be made any stronger, and those relationships do not require the usage of these words. But does not using these words mean we’re weakening a stronger relationship? Saying sorry and thank you is not the point, its the intention with which you say it that matters. If you feel someone really did something for you for which he had to go out of his way, you can thank him, but if the relationship you’re in with that person calls for going out of the way if required, there doesn’t need to be any formality of using words that are only temporary. But again, does the choice of words matter in all relationships? Does being frank and straightforward also require choosing the use of words? What’s your say on this?