Candidly means to speak truthfully and openly, without hiding anything. Frankly means to speak directly and honestly, without sugarcoating anything. Both words imply honesty, but candidly is more about speaking the truth regardless of the consequences, while frankly is about being honest in a way that is blunt and to the point.

What does “candidly” mean?

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“Candidly” is an adverb that means to speak or express oneself honestly, openly, and without reservation. When someone communicates candidly, they are being straightforward, sincere, and genuine in their thoughts, opinions, or feelings. It implies a willingness to be honest and transparent, even if the truth might be uncomfortable or unpopular.

Using “candidly” in a sentence:

  • “Let me speak candidly about my experiences and share my honest perspective.”
  • “Candidly, I must admit that I made a mistake.”
  • “She answered the question candidly, without hesitation or sugarcoating.”
  • “I appreciate your candid feedback; it helps me understand how to improve.”

In essence, speaking candidly involves expressing oneself with authenticity and integrity, without holding back or concealing one’s thoughts or emotions. It is an important aspect of effective communication and building trust in relationships.

What does “Frankly” mean?

“Frankly” is an adverb that means to speak or express oneself honestly, openly, and without hesitation. When someone uses the term “frankly,” they are indicating that they will be straightforward and direct in their communication, often sharing their thoughts or opinions in a plain and unreserved manner. It implies a willingness to be candid and truthful, even if the information or viewpoint expressed may be blunt or unpopular.

Using “frankly” in a sentence:

  • “Frankly, I think the project needs a complete overhaul.”
  • “I’ll be frank with you; I don’t believe it’s a good idea.”
  • “Frankly speaking, I wasn’t impressed with the performance.”
  • “Let me put it frankly: we need to address this issue immediately.”

“Frankly” suggests a level of honesty and openness that may not involve sugarcoating or diplomatic language. It conveys a desire to be transparent and clear in communication, even if the truth may be uncomfortable or difficult to hear. It can be a way of expressing sincerity and avoiding ambiguity in conversation.

The different types of communication

You could communicate with someone candidly or frankly.

Candid communication is defined as communication that is honest and open. It is often used in situations where people want to build trust or establish rapport.

Frank communication, on the other hand, is defined as communication that is direct and to the point. It is often used in situations where people want to get a message across quickly or where there is a lot of ground to cover.

When to use candidly or frankly

Candidly is often used when the speaker wants to emphasize that they are being truthful. For example, “I candidly told her that I didn’t want to go to the party.” In this sentence, the speaker is telling the truth that he doesn’t want to go to the party, so they use candidly to let the listener know that they just don’t want to go.

Frankly can be used similarly, but it is often used when the speaker is being critical or honest in a way that might not make the listener happy. For example, “Frankly, I don’t think you’re doing enough to help with the project.” In this sentence, the speaker is telling the truth but knows that it might not be what the listener wants to hear.

Both candidly and frankly can be used in positive or negative situations. It just depends on whether or not the speaker wants to emphasize their honesty.

The benefits of being candid or frank

Being candid or frank in communication can have several benefits:

  1. Honest and Open Relationships: Candid communication fosters trust and authenticity in relationships. When individuals are open and honest with each other, it creates a foundation of trust and strengthens the connection. It allows for genuine and meaningful interactions.
  2. Clear and Direct Communication: Being candid or frank helps to eliminate ambiguity and misinterpretation. By expressing thoughts, opinions, and feelings openly, there is less room for misunderstandings. It promotes clarity and ensures that messages are conveyed accurately.
  3. Efficient Problem-Solving: Candid communication is crucial in problem-solving situations. By openly addressing concerns, challenges, or conflicts, it becomes easier to identify and understand the root causes. This allows for more effective collaboration and finding appropriate solutions.
  4. Growth and Personal Development: Candid feedback or constructive criticism is essential for personal growth and development. When others provide honest assessments and point out areas for improvement, individuals can learn and make necessary adjustments. Candid feedback can lead to self-reflection and personal advancement.
  5. Enhanced Decision-Making: Candid discussions allow for diverse perspectives and viewpoints to be shared. By openly expressing different opinions and engaging in honest dialogue, decision-making processes can be more thorough and well-informed. It helps to consider various options and make sound judgments.
  6. Increased Innovation and Creativity: Candid communication encourages the free flow of ideas. By creating an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their thoughts openly, it stimulates innovation and creativity. Different perspectives and insights can lead to breakthrough ideas and solutions.
  7. Strengthened Authenticity: Being candid or frank enables individuals to be true to themselves and their values. It promotes authenticity in communication, allowing individuals to express their genuine thoughts and emotions. This can lead to more fulfilling and meaningful connections with others.
  8. Conflict Resolution: Candid communication is essential in resolving conflicts. By openly addressing issues, concerns, or misunderstandings, it creates an opportunity for honest discussions and finding resolutions. It helps to prevent conflicts from escalating and promotes healthier relationships.
  9. Building Professional Reputation: Being candid and frank in a professional setting can contribute to a positive reputation. It shows that an individual is trustworthy, reliable, and capable of providing honest and valuable input. This can lead to increased respect and credibility among peers and superiors.

While being candid or frank has numerous benefits, it is important to consider the context, tone, and sensitivity when communicating. Balancing honesty with empathy and respect for others’ feelings is crucial to maintain positive and constructive relationships.

The downside of being candid or frank

While being candid or frank in communication has several benefits, it is important to acknowledge that there can also be potential downsides:

  1. Offending or Hurting Others: When expressing opinions or feedback candidly, there is a risk of unintentionally causing offense or hurt feelings. Some individuals may be more sensitive to direct or blunt communication styles, and the straightforwardness of being candid can be perceived as harsh or insensitive.
  2. Damaging Relationships: If candor is not balanced with empathy and tact, it can strain relationships. People may become defensive or resentful if they feel attacked or criticized. Constantly being frank without considering the impact on others can lead to a breakdown in trust and strained interactions.
  3. Negative Reactions and Backlash: Candid communication can elicit negative reactions, particularly if the message challenges the beliefs or opinions of others. It may provoke defensiveness, arguments, or conflicts, which can hinder productive dialogue and collaboration.
  4. Impact on Self-Esteem: Receiving candid feedback or criticism can affect individuals’ self-esteem and confidence, especially if it is delivered without consideration for their feelings. It is important to strike a balance between being honest and providing feedback in a constructive and supportive manner.
  5. Alienating Others: Constantly expressing opinions or thoughts candidly without considering the perspectives or feelings of others can lead to isolation. People may perceive an individual as confrontational, dominating, or unwilling to listen, which can hinder effective communication and collaboration.
  6. Professional Consequences: In certain professional settings, being overly candid without tact or diplomacy can have negative consequences. It may impact working relationships, promotion opportunities, or professional reputation if others perceive the communication style as abrasive or disruptive.
  7. Legal and Ethical Concerns: In some situations, being excessively candid or frank can lead to legal or ethical issues. Sharing confidential information, making defamatory statements, or violating privacy can have serious consequences and damage both personal and professional relationships.

To mitigate these potential downsides, it is important to balance candor with empathy, respect, and emotional intelligence. Considering the impact of our words, actively listening to others, and adapting our communication style to different contexts and individuals can help minimize the negative consequences while still promoting open and honest dialogue.


Featured Image By – Warren Wong on Unsplash

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