Honesty Is the Best Policy
Here are nine tips for how to start being an honest, warm, loving "front stabber" today.
Be honest with yourself about yourself first
If you want to boldly share a secret about yourself, always be sure to have a gut-honest conversation with yourself first. Ask yourself why you've been hiding what you've been hiding and name the exact emotions you feel about it—angry, resentful, hurt, embarrassed, humiliated, vulnerable, afraid, uptight, depressed. Researcher Matthew Lieberman from UCLA discovered that the simple act of recognizing your negative emotion can calm the emotion by 50 percent, because it halves your "amygdala activation" to consciously observe your emotions. When you are naming your negative emotion, double up the benefits by naming the positive emotion you want to feel—acceptance, forgiveness, surrender, empathy, warmth, love, understanding. Before you begin to reveal your truth, contemplate this positive word, over and over—as if it were a mantra—and then aim your conversation at this goal.
Pick the right time and the right place
Do you have at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time ahead to start up an admittedly difficult "front stabbing" conversation? Are you in a place where you can talk openly and not self-consciously?
Avoid harsh startups
Relationship expert Dr. John Gottman says he can predict 96 percent of the time how a conversation will end based on its first three minutes. Hence you must never start a difficult, honest conversation with a negative attitude or negative words. Instead, you must always state up front that you care about this person—and your relationship with him or her—and that's why you are committed to speaking truthfully. You might even try beginning with a compliment, sharing something you appreciate about them, so they believe in your good intentions.
Let the other person know it is only your truth
It is important to let the other person know your opinion is not necessarily the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Explain how you simply want to share your experience or perception, to bounce it around and hear his or her perspective. Live up to this promise. While sharing your truth, don't focus on trying to win the other person over to agreeing with you. Focus instead on trying to have a winning relationship—or helping him/her become more of a winner in life!
Use "I" instead of "you"
You are more likely to own your point of view as just that—your microdot one person point of view. And, "In my point of view, you are being a jerk!" is not an example of a helpful "I" statement. If you find yourself trying to shove your truth forcefully down the other person's throat, pause and reflect upon your truthful intentions. Are you honestly sharing your "truth" to help or harm the other person? Make sure your goal for open communication is never to open wounds and pour in salt. Make it your goal to always open your heart and pour in love and enlightenment.
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