Hey G@G, guess what? I’m actually keeping a promise I made in regards to a mytake for once. If any of you remember (or care), I wrote two mytakes a few weeks ago talking about white lies in relationships and the reality that they are common and challenged the idea that they are all inherently wrong by nature. Of course, I personally believe that your primary goal in any relationship is to be as honest as possible – while be it not hurtfully so, if it can be helped. So at the conclusion of those mytakes, I promised to write another in regards to my thoughts, feelings and suggestions on honesty in relationships and how to exercise it.
Plain and simply: you can only bullshit your way through life so much before it bites you in the ass. Yes, I think the occasional fib or feeling-sparing white lie can be justified, but you have to understand that lying overall is not going to fix any real problem – rather they just postpone the inevitable explosion of bullshittery that’ll be no less than a direct result of you not dealing with your issues.
Of course, we all indulge in a little “avoidance therapy” once in a while, all but bypassing potential fights by not bringing up certain truths or by tossing a passive response in place to our true opinions. But this only gets you so far. In actuality, you should be aiming to be as honest as humanly possible, because honesty is what is going to either make or break your relationships.
The biggest issue people tend to have with being honest is the imminent fear of coming across as an asshole – to put it in laymen’s terms. Of course, that comes with a very common trade off: either be honest and risk having your SO get pissed off at you, or say nothing and the problem stews beneath the surface without resolve. Let me tell you that it’s often better to go with the former.
I think it's important to understand why it’s ultimately in the best interest of your relationship to be honest. It should be obvious enough: you don’t want your relationship to be … well, fake. If you constantly have to lie about what you did, what you think, or even who you are, you’re going to eventually get tired of living a façade as resentment starts to boil over your nerves and become evident. Not to mention you could eventually find yourself caught in lies, which is way worse than having someone’s jimmies rustled because you told them the truth.
No less important than the former, being honest is the key to fixing about 99.99% of all relationship problems. Whether we’re lying or just plain not communicating what we feel, the truth can very literally set us free. As someone in a relationship herself, I will admit I kept a lot of issues to myself in the beginning, and even lied about how I felt when my boyfriend got suspicious. It wasn’t until I took the time to really break it down and tell him how I felt that we finally came to a resolution. Had I continued to be dishonest in how I felt, hiding it beneath the surface, we could have had some serious issues down the road. But instead, I chose to approach the situation like an adult – while leaving my self-made resentment out of it. Luckily, I have a great boyfriend who reminds me that it's okay for me to have moments where I feel unhappy, or dissatisfied, depressed or even angry. It's all a part of being human.
The real “key” in being “successfully” honest in relationships boils down to one of my favourite concepts: balance. I preach finding balance in all things, because being level headed and evenly keeled has always proven to provide the best possible results in life - at least for me. It forces you to work on each end of the hypothetical life scale and find that "just right" way of tackling the trials that the world throws at you. That’s where the tips come in.
First and Foremost…
Ask yourself what you want the outcome to be. Do you want to end a fight? Admit that it was you that broke his PS4 while cleaning? Address your partner’s rapid weight gain? Okay, that’s great but what do you want to come out of this ideally? The easy answer is resolution, of course, but obtaining that with a human being that has feelings might be hard if the truth is hard to hear, so the next step should come without a thought.
Like I said, be honest, not an asshole. Tough love and a reality driven slap to the face can be necessary sometimes, but the use of harsh put downs and anger can make your partner feel more like you’re attacking them for something, rather than trying to come to the best resolution. If you care about someone, that is the last thing you want them to feel. You can still be firm and upfront, but try to leave out unnecessarily harsh words or blatant insults. Think about how you’d feel in their place before you start mouthing off, or better yet: remember that this is someone who matters to you, a lot, and making them feel like liquid ass is likely not going to motivate them any more than getting sprayed with actual liquid ass would motivate you to breathe deeply.
Thirdly, Even Having Said That…
Don’t belittle your own personal thoughts or feelings solely for the sake of sparing your partner’s feelings. Yes, your partner may be a little more on the sensitive side of things or they may be quick to anger, but you can’t let that stop you from being honest. While you shouldn't resort to name calling or put downs, you can't sugar coat the truth to the point where it's basically a truth, within a lie. If this person loves you then they’ll learn to love the fact that you’re upfront and you don’t hide your feelings, and if they don't learn to love it, they'll at least learn to accept it. If not, then they’re really just not meant for you, or you need to sit them down and explain that you’re only trying to benefit the relationship with your honesty, not the other way around. If that still fails, then this person isn't for you; some people would rather be lied to for the sake of feeling better about themselves, and that just isn't real. Authentic love and relationships are supposed to be hard, and they include things that are hard to hear, but you can learn as you go along together.
Fourth of all…
If your truth is the direct result of a fuckup, admit it. Don’t make excuses or dress it up in frills, just come out and say you fucked up and apologize. Don't give anybody a big story that essentially justifies your fuck up. Yes, maybe you acted like a shithead because you had a bad day, you can totally say: "I acted that way because I had a bad day but it wasn't justified", but the second your list of excuses into the play-time of a Star Wars Trilogy, EVERY TIME you make a simple mistake, or even worse, you have to follow it up with: "I know I fucked up but you did it too that one time!", you're just pandering to someone's empathy and diverging the conversation to avoid direct blame. That solves nothing and essentially defeats the purpose of you being honest, because you're truthfully just trying to victimize yourself to avoid guilt. If you fuck up, gut up and admit to it.
Fifthly, but NOT Lastly…
Be willing to accept the truth yourself. Don’t be so ready to dish out that blunt honesty if you’re not willing to hear any about yourself. You’ll not only look hypocritical (and stupid) but you’ll end up creating a bad dynamic in your relationship. You'll end up being seen as the critic who is "above" criticism – which is annoying and difficult to take seriously. You’ll both benefit from mutual honesty and respect, so be willing to take what you give, and don’t complain about it.
All in all, put the heat of the moment aside, think about what's best for the both of you, and work together, not against each other. The only way to really have the best possible relationship - in my opinion - is to be honest enough with yourself and each other, so that way you will never have to guess why things are suddenly falling apart beneath your feet. Chances are, if you're honest, they won't, but if they do, at least you'll know it wasn't because you were dishonest and things just weren't meant to be.
That's all I have to say for this one guys, I hope everyone had a happy hump day and you enjoyed reading this. I look forward as always to see what you guys have to say in the comments below. If you think I missed any key/good points please feel free to fill me in and enlighten me.
Have a good one guys.