I’m a nice person, but that doesn’t mean my head is always filled with nice thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts can be quite mean-spirited and unloving. Over the years, as an avid avoider of conflict I’ve had a tendency to keep my feelings inside to the point of being detrimental both to myself and to the person they were directed at.
When we’re in a relationship of any kind, whether it be personal or business after a while we start having the unrealistic expectation that the other person has somehow become a mind-reader. We can’t understand why they don’t see their actions or hear their words as hurtful or upsetting. It’s most likely true that they wonder the same thing about us.
Being honest about our feelings isn’t always easy and we think it comes with risk. The risk of hurting someone’s feelings or opening the “can of worms” that may lead to an outcome we’re not sure we want or are ready for. So instead we often-times keep those feelings inside, waiting for the “right time” to bring the subject up.
Not being honest comes with a higher risk than being honest. Swallowing our feelings of frustration or anger only makes the size of the emotion bigger, hotter, and more volatile. It stays inside of us until it spews out in angry words and accusations or it stays inside and poisons us.
In recent years I’ve learned that there is a “right time” to be honest. It’s when the problem is the size of a pebble in your shoe and you can easily address the issue and toss the pebble to the side of the road, not when it’s become a boulder that’s too heavy to move.
Timing is always important and so are the words we choose, but unless we share our feelings we can’t expect others to know what they are and we certainly can’t expect them to change. Reality is that they may not change even after we’ve shared openly and honestly with them, but at least our feelings are out in the open and not eating away inside of us.
Honesty, sharing our thoughts with love, gives us choices and opens up doors. Not all of the outcomes are pleasant, but certainly better than the alternative, which going through life carrying the burden of buried feelings.