Intimacy begins with the word true. To build a fulfilling relationship, Karen Salmansohn says, you must genuinely share from your heart. Here are her nine tips for how to get honest in your next conversation.
You know what's funny? People can easily see all the stupid things other people do—but you have trouble seeing your own stupid errors. Despite the fact that your error is right smack in front of your nose—or even smack on your cheek. For example: If you have a smear of ink on your cheek, you won't be able to see it yourself. You will know only when an honest friend tells you. The same thing goes if you have a problem with being too cheeky.
Personally, I want to be alerted if I'm walking around too inky or cheeky. For this reason, one of my favorite quotes is, "A friend is someone who stabs you in the front!" Some of my best friends and my current beau are what I call "front stabbers"—loved ones who are truly, lovingly looking out for me.
If honesty really is the best policy for a happy, intimacy-filled life, then why do you sometimes find yourself avoiding telling the truth to someone or even yourself? By not sharing what's going on deep down, you build surface-level relationships that can be lonely and unsatisfying. Yet staying mum may offer you the following perks:
You feel keeping quiet is the best path to be liked
Yep, you foolishly feel that by keeping a big, high wall between the other person and the truth, you will then stay closer to him or her. The irony is obvious: Without honesty and its incumbent vulnerability, you will never create true closeness and warmth.
You feel superior by keeping people in the dark
In other words, on some level you know that by not giving the other person the opportunity to know and correct his or her misbehavior, you get to maintain your lesser view of that person. And you'd rather be right than make the relationship be right. And/or you'd rather keep that person in the dark, so you can shine brighter.
You don't like change
You prefer to cling to the status quo and your learned comfort zone. Enough said.
You dislike vulnerability
Being vulnerable or seeing someone else be vulnerable isn't easy for you. Meaning? You derive some emotional safety benefits from remaining separate and lonely.
You have low self-esteem
Basically, you worry people will look down on what you have to say, so you don't speak up.
You are keeping secrets
You recognize that by not sharing, you don't have to change. Woo hoo! Plus, you get to keep on secretly beating yourself up about how bad a person you are for having this misbehavior—bringing you to a woo hoo number two!
What's the best way to share your honest feelings?