A functional relationship must have intimacy, love, respect trust and truth. When I talk of relationships I mean all relationships and intimacy being of the physical or emotional kind.
I’ve had a lot of experience of broken relationships and friendships – lost because of a lack of honesty – on one or the other side and sometimes both. It’s hard for me to say what motivated other people to be dishonest, but I can certainly speak about my own dishonesty.
Looking back, I know that my dishonesty is a refusal to share my true feelings with the other. Love, according to me back then, was putting up with all manner of bad behaviour from the other and not sharing my feelings of disappointment or anger. In doing so, I never allowed myself to be ‘real‘ in these relationships. I never consciously allowed myself to be real in a negative way around anyone. And the few times, I was unable to control an outburst, I’d be consumed with guilt and most apologetic.
What I didn’t realize is that the very act of trying so hard to be ‘nice‘ and ‘good’ all the times is what killed the relationships.
I think that my fear of rejection kept me from being ‘me’ in these relationships.
Love Enough To Be Honest
I’m glad to report I’ve changed. I speak my mind in most of my relationships – at least the ones I value.
It’s a constant process of learning to be real, but I’m glad to have started.
If I’m in a bad mood I try to let the other person know that they must back off. If I don’t like the way I’ve been spoken to or treated, I let the other know. If I find that the other person has made some wrong choices, I share my feelings about this. There have been times, that I’ve also dared to be myself and found that it put people off, but now that too is okay for me.
I’ve found that there can be no love, respect or trust without truth. Truth is the first thing necessary to create trust in our relationships. Respect is earned from trust, and love follows from respect. Intimacy is the reward we get when we dare to be honest.
Do you feel the same?
“ Love people enough to tell them the truth and respect them enough to trust that they can handle it.”
– Iyanla Vanzant
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