The topic of relationships came up in a group last week, and it became obvious very quickly that this topic is very complex. After thinking about it in relation to planning my topics for the support group, I came to a conclusion.
Emotional Honesty is the key to any healthy relationship.
It is also the key to feeling peace and less fear in your daily life. This, at least, has been my experience.
What is emotional honesty? The meaning is pretty easy; carrying it out is the difficult task.
For myself, learning to be emotionally honest was an involved process. I had to challenge many fears, including the fear of being rejected, unloved, criticized, or WRONG.
But first I had to gain an awareness of my emotions, because I had hidden them and denied them for most of my life.
Ultimately, this goes back to changing the way you cope with life, emotional distress and challenges. Or rather, deciding to face these things instead of running away [in many ways].
Uncovering those deep emotions inside, along with the values that coincide with the thought processes, is probably the most complex, but also the most rewarding aspect of this.
The 'how' of this is unique to every person, but my professional advice is that no one does this without the guidance of a therapist.
Being able to be emotionally honest means that you don't have to tailor your comments or actions to the specific person you are with, or the situation you are in. YOU are YOU, and that never needs to change. It's about trusting the core of who you are, and not shrinking back from what you believe in; regardless of whether others agree.
Emotional honestly pertains to your relationship to yourself as well. Can you accept your imperfections and keep moving forward?
This is not about vanity or over-confidence. There is humility in being emotionally honest as well. Can you admit your mistakes and apologize without beating yourself up?
The opposite of emotional honesty is isolation, paranoia, manipulation and secrets that hold a great deal of pain.
Approaching relationships with an open mind, an open heart, and confidence that you can be YOU without compromising yourself will reap you many rewards.
Without the component of emotional honesty, no one benefits. I learned the hard way.