More and more as I observe relationships, whether they be friendships, family relationships, business dealings or romantic partnerships, I notice just how few people have the courage to be truly honest with each other.
More often than not, those who are silencing their honesty seem to do so to keep the peace. But how is peace truly kept if one person is not able to express their feelings honestly, without risking a dose of the other person’s wrath? That relationship therefore, is not on equal, mature footing, but rather under the control of one person.
Such relationships may still bring joy in other ways, tending to hide much of the discontent. That is, until it festers to a point of needing expression. At this time, things often come to a head and what could have been expressed honestly, in a peaceful manner at an earlier time, are now expressed in anger, and as a result, any opportunity for understanding or being heard properly is lost immediately.
Is it not better to express ourselves honestly as the feelings arise, rather than avoid them to the point when they can no longer be expressed clearly, due to the accumulation of residual feelings that now accompany them?
Of course, there is no guarantee that you will get the reaction you hope for either way. We cannot control another’s reaction. But at least we will have our own respect by communicating honestly.
People come and go in life. We share the learning we are meant to and then move on, sometimes naturally and smoothly, sometimes in a blaze of glory. The same goes for romantic partnerships, business associations and family relationships, as well as friendships. Many family relationships are some of the worst I have seen, for sweeping things under the carpet to keep the peace.
Honesty is not always an easy thing to share, nor is it an easy thing to hear. We don’t have to agree with what the other person is saying though, just as they don’t have to agree with us. But to be respectful of the other person’s feelings and to honour the relationship enough to be willing to hear the person out, allows for healthy, mature growth in any type of relationship.
If after that honesty has been heard and no reconciliation can be found then it is time to move on. Bless the other person on their journey, whether they know it or not, let go and move forward. Space will be created in your life for more like-minded people to now enter. And most of all, you will know that you have honoured your own heart by being honest. Just because the other person does not like what you have said, does not mean you should not have said it, and vice versa. Either way, everyone has a right to be heard.
It is not always without effort to be honest, especially when most of the people in power are not. How can we expect politicians to be honest if we are not so ourselves? I am certainly not excusing politicians, of course, but the more honest everyone becomes on a personal level, the more we see through dishonesty on any level. As a result, those who are not honest with their people will lose power sooner.
It takes courage to be honest in any kind of relationship and sometimes choosing the right timing helps. But what sort of quality is it, if one person carries so much power and anger that the other person cannot be themselves? Is that sort of relationship worth holding onto anyway? No way.
I have found honesty to be one of the most liberating elements of my life. It lets go of unhealthy situations, associations that are no longer healthy for my wellbeing, and allows those other beautiful, mature relationships to grow to new levels and to bloom.
None of us are perfect and we may not always like what others have said, or even what we have said! But at least we earn our own respect by having the courage to express our feelings.
Honesty can be delivered with compassion and empathy, but those acts of kindness also belong to ourselves. By being honest, you are being compassionate and kind to yourself and that, above all else, is the most important thing of all.