Can you remember a time when you were out shopping and suddenly you hear a couple screaming at each other right out there in the middle of the store? They are in such a state there is no realization they’re airing their “dirty laundry” in public. Anger has removed all the filters that may have stopped them from losing control of their communication in relationships.
Perhaps you’ve been divorced and your ex-wife/husband would like to get back together yet they have not changed what caused the break-up in the first place. What should you do? You may work with someone who gets on your last nerve but nothing you do seems to stop their irritating behavior. How in the world can you do something to change what is causing you frustration and stress?
How about starting with honesty? There’s an old expression that says, “The truth hurts.” It can if presented in a way that is hurtful and confrontational yet done in a kind and thoughtful way can help you and also raise the consciousness of the person you are hoping will listen to you and do what they can to change how they behave.
Honesty is good. Lying is bad. Don’t you teach your children not to lie? Most people lie because they are afraid of the consequences and would rather tell a lie than make someone angry or even hurt someone else’s feelings.
Different Levels of Truth
You can spin your truth in many directions yet honest and heart-felt truth is always the best. A realtor may put an ad in a paper describing a house as “cozy” but that usually means the house is tiny. A man placing an ad in a dating magazine may describe himself as built like a bear, when he’s actually quite overweight.
People may tell you about a party they attended and say, “Wow, that was some kind of party,” and in reality it was a real snore. What they’re doing is saying it was a good party just so they don’t hurt the host/hostess’ feelings if it gets back to them that you said “he said” the party was boring. There’s nothing wrong with being kind but overstating something just to be nice makes you feel deep inside that you are not being truthful and you may even feel a slight twinge of guilt.
State your own truth because it’s yours and no one else’s.
Your ‘truth’ is merely your opinion. It could be that you feel something is right or wrong and someone else may look at the same thing from a totally opposite angle. Neither is right or wrong, it only has to do with what you or that other person feels about the same situation.
Let’s say you have a dear friend who is now treating you disrespectfully or being downright mean. You have no idea why and when you ask them why they say, “Never mind, it doesn’t matter.” Yes, it DOES matter and many people use their bad behavior to manipulate others to get what they want or they won’t be pleased. You have no idea how to get at the truth because they are not ready to tell you what it is you may or may not have done to make them angry.
In reality, you probably didn’t do anything but they are using you to deflect their anger and place the blame for their own unhappiness on someone else. If your friendship is still of value to you then it’s worth the effort to get them to sit down and discuss the situation.
Should they say they aren’t willing to talk to you and get things back on track, let it go and move on. Give them some space until they wake up or in some cases you may have to release the relationship and move on.
Approaching Truth From The Heart
There can be times when you want to tell someone something that may cause them to feel uncomfortable so you choose to start with a small element of the truth. You may decide to take part of the challenge or issue you have with them in increments instead of laying it all on them at once. You also may choose to say nothing but that could raise your stress level if they have done something that really bothers you.
A good idea would be to look inside and decide what your ‘heart’ may be telling you to do or say. Considering the other person’s heart is also important. If in voicing your opinion or confronting them with something has no value to either one of you or may hurt them you may take more time to consider how to frame what you would like to say to them. If your heart isn’t in it then perhaps your inner voice is telling you it’s not the whole truth and you may decide to let it go or keep it to yourself.
If your heart is not in something to do with your relationship with someone else then back off and allow the urge to pass instead of jumping into a situation you can’t get out of. Words can never be taken back. People remember things people told them for decades and can’t release the hurt they felt by hearing those words from someone they loved or respected. Words can injure someone at a soul-level and should be thought out before spoken.
So How Can You Speak Your Truth?
What is it you want and what is bothering you? It may be something so small you should just allow it to blow away in the wind. If it’s something very hurtful or important you have a right as a human being to speak what has hurt you and why. Keeping unspoken hurts to yourself for many years can harm you emotionally and physically.
Some people are so self-absorbed they are shocked when you bring it up and tell them how you feel. Their truth may be very shallow and “all about them.” Or they may have simply been having a bad day and you were close by and a convenient way for them to vent.
Either way if you value the relationship, especially if it’s a family member just lay your emotional cards on the table and ask them to sit down in a setting that is comfortable to both of you and gently begin your discussion with them. You may have to be the one who takes the high road and also assumes the role of the adult in the equation but sometimes we just have to do what we have to do to make peace.
Besides, once they are aware of how you feel they may (hopefully) realize what they did or said that hurt you and apologize. Then again, they may not but you’ll feel much better because you finally got it off your chest. You will also know that you came from the heart, did nothing to injure or shame the other person and plain and simple, you did the best you could. You were straight-forward, honest and should not feel ashamed.
You may even gain more respect from them because they now understand what they did and admire you for being kind enough to speak to them from a heart-centered place instead of yelling at them or confronting them in anger.
Communication in relationships can be trying, yet being “in your truth” at all times can make them a lot more pleasant and joyous.