The Liberating Truth About Being Honest (and How to Say What You Mean)

There are often times in our lives when we are put in uncomfortable situations that may prevent us from speaking our truth. Maybe you don’t want to have a certain conversation with a friend or significant other out of fear of hurting their feelings, or maybe you don’t want to bring an idea to your employer out fear of rejection. Regardless of the circumstances, being direct and assertive leads to growth and significant outcomes.

I’ve never been an outspoken person. Until recently, I’ve always avoided confrontation and disliked talking about my emotions. When someone asked me “so how do you feel about that?” my instinct reaction was to curl up in a ball and wish for the moment to disappear as quickly as my feelings do…

Truth is, I’m an emotional person– I’ve just been terrible at expressing myself. Don’t get me wrong; in social settings, I’m usually the “little girl with a loud mouth” but that’s typically about topics that don’t pertain to my demonstrative side. Put me in a room and ask me how I FELT about a situation? Forget about it.

As of recently, I’ve learned the value in expressing my true self and articulating my thoughts out loud. You might dismiss this post because you’re thinking “Nah, I’m chillin’. I say what I mean, and mean what I say,” but do you communicate clearly in all aspects of your life?

Are You Honest in Your Social Life?

Being 26, I don’t need or crave friendships that are based on how it looks to the outside world (ahem, social media). Moving  two states away from everyone I know, I understand the importance of  true friendship and can see right through those who are just looking to add to their friend base for a positive social image.

I now seek and hold on to those friendships that are genuine, honest, and loving. I’m not afraid to sacrifice a night surrounded by people who don’t truly care for me, for an isolated night in. Be true to yourself because in the long run, those fabricated friends will make you feel more lonely at the end of the day.

Are You Honest to Your Family?

Family is complicated, am I right? While they are blood, it’s TOTALLY fine to be transparent and express yourself to them just as you would anyone else.

I’m currently helping my mom build her business and I truly want nothing but success for her. This business is something she’s not only passionate about, but she’s legitimately gifted at. That being said, my 9-5 is marketing… I live and breathe it every day so naturally when she presented me with the idea I was supportive and my marketing brain got to work.

The only problem was, we began chatting on the phone more frequently than usual, but instead of our phone calls being an outlet from my job, it extended my work hours because – rightfully so – she was excited about growing her business.

The old me would have dealt with it and probably would have grown resentment as time went on. Instead, I confronted her and admitted that I couldn’t handle talking more work, outside of work. I suggested setting an allotted amount of time each week to talk through the progress that’s been made and anything else business-related. She agreed full-heartedly and thanked me for being honest. BOOM.

Now, unless anything noteworthy comes up, our work communication is completely separate from our daily conversations and it works! We are equally as excited for business gains AND we can talk about life without feeling obligated: WIN-WIN.

Are You Honest to Your Date(s)?

One thing I’m learning while dating, is that honesty saves a LOT of time and meaningless hardship. I used to feel REALLY guilty if a guy liked me and the feelings weren’t reciprocated. But instead of being upfront and telling them I didn’t feel the same, I would try and give it more time.

Time for what? For my feelings to suddenly be like “JK YOU LIKE THEM, OMG!”… I’m not really sure. What I am sure of, is that having a candid conversation claiming that you don’t see a romantic future with them right off the bat is WAY easier than carrying the burden of guilt.

Now, if someone asks me on a second or third date and I don’t see a future with them, I simply tell them. It may be awkward and uncomfortable in the moment, but I feel SO much better after! My conscious is cleared, I’m not wasting anyone’s time, and I’m not putting out a false misrepresentation of myself.

Are You Honest at Work?

Did someone take a joke too far at the office? Pull that coworker aside for a straightforward conversation explaining why your feelings are hurt. They may be little standoffish or defensive, but now they are aware of your boundaries and won’t bring up sensitive subjects again.

Is your role really what you want to be doing? Talk to your boss about the role you’re in and where you’d rather be. Employers typically want you to be happy and strive for employee retention. Having a genuine conversation with them may lead to getting the position you are striving for.

Are you getting paid your worth?  Plan a meeting to talk about finances, or better yet put together a presentation exclaiming why you deserve a raise. Be sure to put in your research beforehand: Look at average salaries for your position and what YOU’VE done to contribute to the company’s growth.

How to Free Yourself By Being Transparent

Being upfront and honest may sound like an easy feat, but for some it can be quite challenging. Try these tips to become more honest to the most important people in your life out of respect for yourself:

Breathe

Keep your emotions in check by trying your best to clear your mind before having a heavy handed conversation. Try meditating before to allow yourself to feel without judging or over-articulating your emotions. This will also help you to see things more clearly and even calm your nerves before speaking your truth.

Check Your Intentions

Take Shirdi Sai Baba’s advice and ask yourself first, “Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?” This will help prevent saying destructive things out of anger or other strong emotions.

Avoid Triangulation

Don’t pull anyone else into the mix. Being honest doesn’t mean playing the “blame game.” In fact, owning up to your own thoughts makes you seem more mature, ultimately making people more receptive to what you have to say.

You owe it to yourself to live an honest life. Without truthfulness and clarity, you run the risk of bigger problems down the road. So speak your truth and never feel guilty for doing YOU!

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