Iyanla Vanzant discusses her ability to hear beneath the words as a way to dissect what people say to more clearly understand their true desires and needs. I understood Vanzant’s point as neither amateurishly psychoanalyzing your spouse, colleagues or anyone within earshot nor exposing verbose shysters attempting to swindle you out of money or your good ideas.

I grew-up appreciating telling it like it is as a phrase describing one who does not equivocate or wastes time using pretty language and/or outright lies in making a point or seeking a specific need. As an adult, I realized telling it like it is had begun to take on different meanings. In all fairness, the phrase may have always had multiple meanings. My revelation was not the bearer of entirely bad news — I simply became more open to the notion that the maxim I learned in my childhood should no longer be seen as so cut and dry.