Honesty is a b*tch and I am being honest about that.
If we tell someone how we feel and they reject us, we wish we didn’t say anything at all. Every time we stand up for ourselves and then have to defend our words, we start to back up and hide.
Living our truth is the hardest adventure we will ever experience.
It can be full of rejection and pain, but it can also be one of the most rewarding decisions we will ever make. It takes emotional awareness, self-confidence, and even courage.
Society teaches us to ignore, repress, deny, and lie about our feelings. We can see this on a daily basis. When we are asked how we feel, most of us have the same reply, “I’m fine” or “I’m good,” even if that really isn’t how we feel. Often, we find that it’s an easier alternative than voicing our true emotions.
This is especially true in relationships. If you are the type of person who doesn’t tell others how you really feel, then this article is for you.
It has always been a struggle for me to be emotionally honest. It is difficult to tell someone you love him or her if your family didn’t share those sentiments with you as a child. Sharing my honest emotions and opinions with people, whether I loved them or not, left me feeling like someone had just ripped a Band-Aid off a fresh wound.
Now that I am semi-grown up and work for a nonprofit organization that serves the disability community, I have to possess an “own it” attitude when I conduct a class or speak at an event. To accomplish this means I also have to own who I am—which on the outside is big hair, big boobs, and big heels. The physicality that I put forth says a lot about me, and it is an integral part of my honest and authentic self. It is not for everyone, but that is who I am. I have learned to love those attributes because they are pieces of my unique puzzle.
Once I started practicing how to own my truth, everything in my life started arranging itself. When I became comfortable with who I was, also the fear disappeared.
I felt a huge amount of stress being lifted from my heart because I didn’t have to pretend anymore. I didn’t have to hide parts of me. And there is power in that thinking. When the shields we use to protect ourselves are gone, being present, being open, and being emotionally pure and raw start to come to the surface.
You have probably heard the quote by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Rockstar advice, right? But the complication with this statement is that a lot of us are still concerned about what other people think.
The thought of “being yourself” can be a risky business. If someone criticizes us when we have exposed our real self rather than a guarded façade, it can hurt even more.
How do we get comfortable being ourselves? How do we start taking the risk of saying what we really think and feel?
First, consider this.
Just like your fingerprint, you are unique and you are irreplaceable. No matter what our current advances in medical technology, there is only one you.
If you look at yourself through that lens, doesn’t it make sense that being you is the only way to go through life? It is ultimately your choice. You are the writer of your life’s script.
Being you means speaking your truth. That does not equate to speaking the cruel truth or tell people to f*ck off in the most graceful way. Use thoughtful, measured words, backed by the intention that we should be kind. I have found that being honest is a learned art and usually requires practice.
Here are some benefits of speaking your truth:
1. Being honest brings relief and requires less energy.
2. You will get authentic relationships with honesty. Nobody wants to be friends with the person who tells us what we want to hear. We need to be friends with people who tell us what we need to hear. We need our friends to be completely and utterly honest—and that requires being able to give the same in return.
3. You will never regret speaking from your heart, but you will always regret saying “yes” just to please someone.
4. Being emotionally honest establishes trust. You will establish yourself as someone who says what they mean and means what they say. In other words, people trust that you’re not BS-ing them. Always a good idea.
5. Being honest demands respect. When you value and respect your own thoughts and feelings, others will too. Those who don’t respect your thoughts and feelings probably shouldn’t be in your life in the first place.
6. You will become stronger. There is strength in being honest with yourself. It is letting those icky feelings that you pretend do not exist out into the light. It requires strength to admit who you are and who you want to be with. It sounds easy but it isn’t. That kind of honesty can be brutal and harsh when you have to look at pieces that are not polished.
7. Being you means that you believe that your needs and wants are important, which means you know how to ask for what you need. Manipulation cannot survive in the wake of honesty.
8. Emotional honesty is a gift to others. When you tell your truth, you take the guesswork out of your words. Meaning, I am not walking away from our conversation thinking, “Did he really mean that, or was he just saying what he thinks I want to hear?” People do not want to jump through hoops to figure out what you really mean, so give everyone the gift of clarity and don’t spark up their BS-barometer.
Added bonus: honesty adds substance to conversations, encourages healthier connections, and if we can really listen to each other, a better understanding of where the other’s coming from. Honesty is a gateway to improvement in every relationship.
9. Being honest will make you stop wasting time on the wrong people. You will no longer live in the world of “what ifs.” When it comes to love there isn’t anything certain, but if you’re honest, you will be closer to finding your special someone.
The last part of my secret sauce is this:
10. Not only will being emotionally honest become addictive, it will also help inspire the people in your life to do the same. When you are in the presence of someone who is good with just being himself or herself, how does it make you feel? Your answer can reveal a lot about how comfortable you are in your own skin.
Love the skin you’re in, it’s one of a kind! Do yourself a favor and start getting emotionally honest. Always live your truth. You’ll be a better person for it.
”Live authentically. Live your truth. And if you love me for anything, love me because I live mine.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch