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Stress and Being Radically Honest

Posted Oct 23 2007 10:56am

A lot of the times I struggle with stress, I realize that the root cause is a lack of honesty--i.e., I'm lying to myself or someone else to spare their feelings, or I'm just not facing up to something that I should. For instance, something that a friend recently did has been upsetting me for over a month, but I kept telling myself it was trivial and that it was no big deal, so I didn't say anything about it.

So now I'm experimenting with radical honesty--accepting feelings of anger, guilt, or disappointment. And when they are associated with something I feel someone else has done, I try to lay that on the line (of course, in as diplomatic a way as possible) and open a dialogue around it. It's really hard to do this with people I truly care about, however, perhaps because expressing feelings of malcontent is uncomfortable and I was raised to be a "nice" girl and take other people's crap without wincing.

How do other people feel? Does being radically honest with others really free you from stress or guilt, or can it open up its own can of worms? Is there a fine line between being authentic and being hurtful?

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