When we’re constantly concerned about “preserving” the current level of relationship we have with someone, and live in fear of losing it, we have a really hard time being emotionally honest with them. We gain in the short-term by not bringing up the “difficult” topic, but we rob ourselves of a deeper connection we could possibly experience.
Emotional honesty is a life skill we need to master if we want to navigate our relationships with integrity, confidence, and love. Things must be spoken out loud that are absolutely vital for the “cleansing” of the relationship. And, we must be willing to listen to the truth about where we made a mistake or two, and what we could’ve done differently.
The Importance of Emotional Honesty
- Speaking our truth but “soothing our words with peace” (as Neale Donald Walsch says) is integral to being an authentic human. Being afraid to tell the truth in your relationships creates more harm than harmony in the long-term.
- When we hold back our truth, we do so from a place of fear, not love. However hard we convince ourselves that we just didn’t say it because we care too much about the relationship, we’re actually fearful of the consequences. If we ask the question: “What would love do in this situation?” I’m not so sure the answer would be “Love would prefer to pretend.”
- Sometimes truth-telling could fracture a relationship. But it’s equally true that sometimes things must fall apart before they fall back together. The bonds that survive the fracture are often deeper and stronger.
- If honesty is a value, we must practice it in the Big 4 areas of our lives — work, finances, health, and relationships. Having healthy boundaries in relationships with friends, colleagues, and family members is a sign of emotional maturity.
- It teaches us that we only control our end of the bargain. We can go into the conversation with a sacred intention to infuse peace, but we have no way of predicting or controlling how someone else will react.
How to Practice Emotional Honesty
- Take a moment before you enter the conversation space. Close your eyes and set your intention. It could be “peace”, “blessing”, or “Divine guidance.”
- Call on the power you believe in to help support and guide you through the conversation.
- Consciously let go of the need to control the outcome of the conversation. If you trust that you’re open and are willing to show up for your part, you must equally trust that what happens next is what needs to happen for the greatest good of all.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you work at it, the better you’ll get at it.
A common regret expressed by my clients (especially those in their 70’s and 80’s) is the close relationships they didn’t get to have — because they were afraid to have honest conversations with their loved ones. You don’t have to make that mistake. You can do it differently — starting today.
What one small step are you willing to take to learn how to be emotionally honest? Comment below.