Have you been guilty of holding back the truth from someone you care about?
I can relate that it can feel impossible to be vulnerable when sharing the truth means you will hurt someone important to you. Maybe you need to end your romantic relationship or maybe you are the first to say 'I love you.' Sometimes nothing is more frightening than being vulnerable and opening yourself up to hurting another and/or feeling rejected.
I am here to help you move forward. Responsible communication involves directly saying what you need to say AND then listening to what is said in response. Before sharing something vulnerable, ask yourself "Am I ready to handle the reaction to what I am sharing?" If you aren't ready to hear what is said in return, get clear on what you are really most afraid of.
It's so terrifying to be the first to say, ‘I love you’ or to say, ‘I am not in love with you.’ But speaking the truth grounds us in reality and gives us freedom to move forward. And I believe that talking about the things that scare us will allow us to experience greater intimacy and transform our lives for the better.
Today I want to acknowledge those who are courageous, vulnerable and willing to take the first step in speaking their truth. This takes guts. And remember, effective communication has two parts speaking and listening. As Alfred Brendel said, ‘It isn't a coincidence that listen and silent have the same letters.’
Are you getting ready to speak your truth? Here are a few tips to help you get ready:
1. Plan time to speak with someone in person (no long emails or texts) to discuss what you need to say. Set aside enough time to not feel rushed and pick a place with minimal distractions.
2. Practice in advance being compassionate but also direct and clear in saying what you need to say.
3. Listen (without interrupting) to the response you get. Remember that communication is a dialogue not a monologue.
4. Plan a time to follow-up. We all need time to process new information. Planning a time to follow-up shows that you care and allows the other person a chance to process and voice their thoughts when their emotions aren't as raw.
Please let me know in the comments below how it went for you!