I Believe In Being Honest…As Long as It’s What I Want to Hear: Can you handle the truth?
Posted Mar 23 2011 1:00pm
Reading through comments and emails and observing relationships and people, I am struck by the overuse of the words ‘truth’ and ‘honesty’ and how people mix them up or are selective in how much truth and honesty that they want. To have a positive relationship with yourself and healthy interpersonal relationships, as part of being emotionally available and being authentic , being honest is paramount.
When something is ‘true’ it’s an indisputable fact with evidence to substantiate it.
When you are being ‘honest’ it means you are speaking/acting without deceit and are sincere.
In relationships, we often say and promise things that we believe to be ‘true’ at the time ( Future Faking and Fast Forwarding are extreme examples).
Unfortunately feelings and intentions change and you can only ever know the truth in something attached to someone else’s feelings and promises as a result of the actions that materialise.
They really could have meant it at the time…however if they are not emotionally available and honest with themselves, it means they can only mean it as far as the city limits of their honesty…which may not be very far.
If you make room for denial in your life, it leads to dishonest thinking, speech, actions, and relationships/interactions.
As a result, if you’re bandying around the words ‘true’ and ‘honest’ while at the same time engaging in some level of denial, needless to say that you are lacking authenticity.
Sometimes hearing the truth hurts because it’s the truth, and sometimes the person who is delivering the truth is ‘mean’ and cloaking it with the word ‘honesty’. They deny stuff about themselves or their part in something so as a result, they have to be mean to keep their version of the truth.
Some people say they believe in being ‘honest’ but when they experience honesty that doesn’t fit around what they want to hear or see, they deny it or get angry with the other party.
These are examples of selective honesty. It’s not that you can never have a harsh word to say or that you can’t be upset when you do get honesty, but if the only type of honesty you can cope with is your version of it, you’ve got problems.
Honesty involves being prepared to hear and say things that make you uncomfortable with respect.
You have to process ‘feedback’ so that you take action and/or adjust any assumptions and expectations that you have prior to the ‘feedback’.
If you don’t recognise the importance of having good self-esteem, healthy boundaries, and the link with your values, you will discover that there is a disconnect between what you say, think, and the actions that result, and their impact on others. You wont understand why you’re experiencing negative situations.
Having good self-esteem requires you to be honest with yourself which ensures that you feel all of your feelings, good, bad, or indifferent and that you are emotionally available. As a result, you will give and receive feedback.
If you don’t have boundaries or recognise code amber and code red behaviour it means that you miss out on the primary opportunity for feedback in your life.
People who have low self-esteem don’t give feedback via their boundaries.
Take dating which I believe is a discovery phase for each of you to discover the facts about one another. If you’re not honest and you have little or no boundaries, don’t register and act on code amber and red behaviour, you are not receiving, processing or reacting to feedback – instead you are loving and trusting blindly.
You need to be honest and use feedback to love healthily.
Ever kept chasing and loving someone that wasn’t interested, repeatedly rejected you, or treated you badly? You’re not receiving, processing, and reacting to feedback, which is dishonest and will at best have you taken advantage of, and at worst, abused.
If you’re the type of person whose imagination runs wild or has a tendency to create big dramatisations out of other people’s shady behaviour, you’re not being honest with yourself either. If you were, not only would you be too busy living in reality, but instead of overthinking someone else’s shady behaviour, which ends up weaving in some denial, you’d say ‘Hey they did X,Y, Z and I know that’s completely inappropriate and that it reflects their poor character. FLUSH!’
You wouldn’t be saying ‘OMG! They did X,Y,Z! Why did they do that? What is it about me? What could I have done differently?’ When you do this you are being dishonest about what they have done and not using the feedback that you got along with your knowledge of boundaries, code red and amber behaviour etc to guide you.
If you listen to lies, make excuses, see meaning where there is no meaning, or you minimise inappropriate stuff, you are lying to yourself. Actively.
When you’re authentic and honest, you can smell bullshit from a mile off plus you look for actions to back up words.
Don’t take the attitude of ‘Well I do this’ and ‘I believe that’ and assume everyone is the same as you – that’s like believing that everyone thinks, acts, and feels the same; the world isn’t clones of you.
Have an honest conversation with yourself and evaluate the reality of you and your life , not the story you tell yourself. Until the summer of 2005, I told myself that I was having an extended run of bad luck, that ‘they’ had issues, that I worked very hard at relationships, and that someone would be attracted because I was attractive, smart, outgoing and then discover that ‘flaw’ that made me difficult to love. If I kept up that line of honesty, I’d still be a Fallback Girl telling myself whatever let me stay in my comfort zone.
Get on a Bullshit Diet , and ensure that you are being authentic and emotionally available. Honesty isn’t always easy but it’s necessary.