(Insensitive Radical Honesty)
Since posting my Radical Honesty blog and stating that I was going to try to tell the truth when I think it might be difficult for the other person to hear, more often, I have. There have been multiple times when I’ve taken a conscious decision to be radically honest. It’s felt like a risk, it’s felt scary but it’s worked out well every single time. To give you a flavour of what I’ve been up to:
- Having been previously afraid to say what I really wanted, I gave my housemates a series of requests for my birthday meal (including making it vegan and sugar free and doing two minutes of mindful eating at the start of each course.) They thought it was demanding, but we had an open conversation about that, and it felt really liberating.
- I told a friend that when she hugs me make me it feels that she’s holding back. We then had a conversation about her fear of intimacy which she subsequently thanked me for, and afterwards I felt a much stronger connection with her.
- I told another friend it saddened me to see his lack of self-care, particularly with regard to his smoking and drinking. It felt good to express that and he resolved to quit smoking and start meditating every day. We also told each other how much we appreciate each other.
- I told the girl I’m seeing that I felt tense and disconnected from her. She told me some things I’d done that had annoyed her. The honesty about how we were both feeling made me feel relaxed and affectionate towards her. The whole dynamic changed and we were much more flirty, light-hearted and playful.
- I told my housemate that our debates sometimes made me feel tense. As soon as I did I felt more relaxed.
- I told a friend that there was a period of time that I often felt tense around her because I thought she wanted to be more than just friends and I didn’t. She admitted she had felt that might be what she wanted, but she didn’t feel like that anymore. It resulted in us expressing how much we value each other as friends and I felt closer to her than ever.
I’ve been really noticing that when I withhold my truth, I ruminate over it, thinking about what I could say and and whether or not to say it. I feel tension in my throat and sometimes my chest as well. I feel there is a tension between me and the other person due the fact that things are being left unsaid. Our communication feels clumsy and disjointed.
In contrast, I’ve noticed everytime I’ve been honest, a sense of liberation, a weight off my shoulders, relief and a realisation that I didn’t really have anything to fear in their reaction. It’s also made people more open with me. A couple of times I have upset or annoyed someone, but then they’ve felt able to be honest with me about that, and we’ve resolved the situation.
I said at the end of my last blog that I thought Radical Honesty might take me on a bit of an adventure, and it kind of has. An adventure in the sense of facing my fears and plunging into the unknown. I feel like so much has happened in two weeks, and several of my relationships are now much deeper as a result of one or two honest conversations. I’m excited about where it will lead me….
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