Thursday, April 17, 2014

4/18/14—Speaking the Truth

I recently found myself speaking my truth about speaking my truth and someone reminded me of a post I made about that very topic way back. So today's post is partly that post and partly another on the same topic. 

When it comes to being honest, there have been times in the past where I would hold my tongue in certain cases to keep from being mean to others. Then over a while, I'd build up so much frustration over holding my tongue that some random person bears the wrath of my tongue, usually unfairly in relation to the situation. 

Over time I came to realize that holding your tongue to protect someone else's feelings is abusive to yourself. We need to enforce our boundaries in order for others to respect them. And we need to be true to ourselves in order to respect ourselves. 

In the past, I've not only held my tongue to save the feelings of others, but I also haven't made my own needs known. I've also put up with a lot of BS, overlooked a lot of lies, maintained a lot of soul crushing friendships and allowed myself to compromise my own comfort for the comfort of others. And you know what? I'm finally done. 

But it's important to note that we're also not respecting ourselves or others if we use our truth as a way of hurting others. Sometimes, though, a person is going to get hurt. Who wouldn't get hurt about "I no longer want to be your friend" or "I don't feel I can trust you"? If that's your truth there's no kinder way of saying it unless you blow all sorts of crap up their butt that you don't really feel. What's not kind is "I never really liked you anyway, bitch" or "you are a pathological liar."

I also believe there are times for honesty. I didn't used to. But I do now. You can call it "times for" honesty...or you can think of it as "degrees of" honesty. Over the years, I've learned that some people that ask for the truth don't really want to hear it and will argue and excuse anything you say. And then there are drama queens who ask for the truth, then when you give it to them, end up in a puddle of tears and resent you forever after. Finally, I've also learned that volunteering the truth when not asked isn't a wise move. 

So now my policy is this—eradicate those who can't handle an honest conversation from my life. Second, I try to be mindful of volunteering the truth to people who aren't asking for it. That's just a mistake. And, finally when people DO ask for honesty, I deliver it as kindly as possible. And if they don't like it, I don't allow myself to be manipulated to feel bad about it. Most people who know me know better than to ask for the truth if they don't want to hear it. But moreover, most people who know me are people who want to hear the truth, because that's the kind of person I like to be around. 

All that said, I think the truth is subjective. My truth about something may not be your truth. Even something as simple as "the sky is blue" can be argued by a colorblind person or a scientist who wants to discuss wavelengths and other things that affect the way we perceive the color of the sky. So I do think we need to consider the subjective nature of truth when it comes to assessing the honesty of others.

All told, I feel like I'm a pretty honest person. But I believe honesty is a vehicle you need to learn to drive. You shouldn't drive it uncontrollably. You shouldn't use it as a weapon. Nor should you drive it into the ground. You have to treat it with the respect it deserves.

1 comment:

  1. I like that conclusion: honesty is a vehicle you need to drive carefully :)