Recently, a close friend said to me that instead of cancelling our Friday night dinner by saying she was crook, she sent a text saying her day had been packed and she wanted to reschedule. She was trying out honesty and I told her it was working. When we met up again, I could honestly ask her how her work load was rather than waving away some vague speech about a headache. Shit had the chance to get real and she felt the comfort she was longing for and I felt like I could help.
Here’s 5 ways to get honest in a real way
1. Middle ground
I open my mouth and the words won’t come out. I will them to speak because I know the truth will stop any further hurt. Nothing comes out except a choked up cough. So I try again, promising myself I won’t freeze. This time I start and I just can’t stop babbling. The words tumble over each other, I whisper, I yell, I excuse myself, apologise and then start again as the indecipherable babble drowns us all. How do I get to the middle ground? I practice. I practice with the small stuff. I need to build the muscle – so when someone at work says, ‘come for lunch!’, I say ‘actually, I’d rather spend time on my own,’ rather than faking a doctor’s appointment. It’s much easier to move on the important stuff once you’ve mastered a daily honest approach.
2. Connect for your life
Keeping it real keeps it safe. Safety is needed for a real connection. The relationship has a context so everyone feels secure to engage in genuine interaction. The joy of authenticity is the invitation to empowerment and a limitless relationship. Highly personal issues can be worked through and a sense of belonging exists in a community that cares about each other.
3. Stay out of trouble
Is your behaviour consistent with your stated values, even when no one is watching? Do you take responsibility for your mistakes, omissions, and shortcomings? Do you make others’ best interests equally important to your own? We lie because we anticipate the negative consequences but what happens when we have a clean slate to work from? What trouble can brew when you can stand with integrity and back every action and word you give?
4. Courage and Care
What did you do that was brave today? The payoffs are enormous if you take the time to practice staying in the moment to do what you need to do despite being fearful – that’s courage. Honesty is self-care. A mature approach to honesty is not about being blunt, it’s about being gentle so your message remains attractive and appealing. You’re thinking about what you say so you can get your needs met in an authentic way because you care for and respect yourself and others.
5. Authentic – there you are.
You may be thinking do people really want to see the real me? The answer is yes. Our connection, our reality, our experiences make up the pattern of the world. Your thread is your self-expression. Honesty reduces drama, increases authenticity and allows you to finally be honest and get what you most desire. Your sincerity and openness creates room for purpose and connection. Practice today. Feel love every day.