It’s all very well saying that you want someone to be honest with you in a relationship. But in order to get that only you can make it truly happen. Which I admit is counterintuitive.
What I mean is you have to make your self a safe receptacle for the honesty shared. And that is not easy.
As you react and wobble and fuck up, what you do is close down the other persons ability to be honest. Assuming they have well flexed honesty muscles.
It’s fixable so long as you can both see it and … have an honest chat about it. And keep giving it a go.
Here are some obstacles I have faced:
This happens if you have shared something that has then been used against you.
For example, you may have shared the details of a tryst which has then been used as an example of your unreliability or potential for disloyalty.
You reaction to shared information that’s hurtful or contentious is likely to have an impact on “you”. Whilst it’s good to look outside yourself, it’s also important to look after yourself which means sometimes talking about how something affects you.
A barrier to honesty might be a fear of being accused of being self-centrered when you give your feedback.
3. Avoiding a negative reaction
When the person you share information with wigs out or does something unexpected it can cause you to second guess whether to share information again in the future.
The negative reaction could be more subtle and simply involve a telling off. Or a lecture on shoulds and shouldn’ts.
This was were my marriage went wrong to be honest. I grew tired of the lectures and stopped sharing or edited information in anticipation of it. I don’t mind another opinion so long as it’s open minded. Jeez it’s hard isn’t it?
4. Fear of causing pain
This could come under item 3 above but there isn’t necessary an obvious reaction.
It could also be as simple as hurt feelings or sadness mildly expressed or repressed upon the receipt of information. Even if you think the other person doesn’t notice – they do. People will go to lengths to avoid sulking because it’s so passive and destructive.
5. Fear of being “too much”
This has the wrong title and probably also falls as a subset of one of the others, but sometimes, I don’t share my honesty when I feel that I am too much for another person. Maybe they have enough to deal with and I think they just don’t need my shit on top.
This is a hard one because who makes he call.
My guess is honesty begets honesty. What I mean is that issues under item 5 are likely to evaporate if someone is bombarding you with their truths. It’s hard to feel you are too much when someone else is going at full throttle.
So the only thing you can do really is soldier on.
6. Fear of rejection
This ones tough.
You know I actually don’t feel like typing about this any more. Hmm.