The people I value the most in my life are the ones who tell me the truth. These are the ones who have the courage to communicate honestly about how they feel, where they’re at in life, and if I’m doing anything to upset them. They also feel comfortable telling me how much they care about me.
Sometimes we’re afraid to tell our friends or even our family how much they mean to us. Maybe we’re afraid we’ll feel foolish doing it, or they’ll take it the wrong way. But what if something happens, to either of you, and you never took that chance? Would that be ok with you, if this were the case?When we’re able to be honest with another person, in essence, you’re saying, “I trust you and care enough about you, to be willing to express who I am and how I feel.” It takes courage to do.
I try my best to live courageously – as do my closest friends. We have an unspoken, and sometimes spoken agreement, to be completely honest in how we feel. It takes a lot of pressure off the relationship. Neither of us has to worry about whether or not we’ve done something upsetting that the other person hasn’t told us about. We don’t worry that unspoken words will lead to resentments. There’s a wonderful feeling of freedom between us because we operate this way. We trust the other person to hear what we have to say without feeling as if they’re being attacked or criticized. There’s an understanding we have that says, “I know you’re a fantastic person who always tries to do the best they can.” So if we have to tell them there’s something they’ve done which felt hurtful to us, or any other uncomfortable emotion, they know we aren’t doubting their integrity as a person. We also aren’t saying we don’t care about them or find them flawed as a person. We’re merely giving them a chance to talk about our interaction. We care enough about the person and the relationship we have with them, to work out any misunderstandings. We care enough to put aside our fears and have the courage to speak up.
We also know the other person wants to hear what we have to say. That we value their opinion and we’re willing to hear if there’s anything we’ve done to create the misunderstanding.
When you communicate honestly, you build trust within your relationships
When there’s this much trust within a relationship, there’s the ability to care deeply for another person. When I have this level of communicating, I’m able to open my heart and take the chance of loving deeply and freely. I don’t worry that my feelings will get hurt. Yes, people make mistakes and say or do things that can come across as hurtful. But when the people in your life care about you and your heart, they take responsibility for their actions and their words. If someone says something that hurts your feelings, be willing to talk about it. Ask them if it’s what they meant and let them know how it felt to you. If you don’t do this, you allow resentments to build. It could’ve just been a miscommunication. Or there might be something you did to upset them, and it was the only way they could express it at the time. It’s about caring enough about a relationship to talk to the other person.
When I speak to someone about a situation that upset me, I give them the opportunity to express how they felt, and what they meant. I’m also giving them the chance to see how it came across. They might choose to change how they interact – or not. It’s up to them, but at least I’ve cared enough about them, and about me, to let them know. It really comes down to how much are you able to care about yourself and care about another person. Can you express yourself without resorting to anger? Can you let them know something was upsetting, while at the same time, being respectful towards their feelings? I’m willing to be wrong about a situation, but if I never talk about it, then I’ll never know if I perceived something incorrectly. If something isn’t discussed, resentments build and relationships fall apart.
How much are you able to put yourself out there – with honesty?
My feeling is. if I care enough about someone to have them in my life, then I owe them the best I can give. Which means being honest with them – when they do something I like, as well as when they do something that I don’t like.
If you respect and care enough about a person, then learn to build a relationship where you trust them enough to show who you really are. When there’s honesty in a relationship, whether a friendship, a family member, or your romantic partner, the ability to be yourself grows. When you feel this way, you’re able to fully trust them with your heart. You’re comfortable showing them who you are. They’re worthy of your trust. If we can create more relationships in our lives like this, we support other people in having the confidence to be themselves and to show the world who they are.