How many times have we become witnesses to relationships that have gone haywire because of lies and deception? We’ve heard stories of people who suffered from their partner’s dishonesty, and more often than not, they develop a sense of distrust for anyone because of the ordeal that they went through. Somehow, even if it was not us who were lied to, we understand the pain that this can bring, especially when we imagine that it’s somebody we genuinely love who will do it. We know that when honesty is not valued, trust can never be built.
If you have not realized yet, our expectation of honesty is tantamount to how much trust we have for the other person. It is hard to trust someone who you know is lying, and it is even harder to rebuild it when it is betrayed. This is why it should be at the center of your relationships, whether it is shared with your family, friends, or lovers. As much as we expect this from others, it is also only right that we exercise it in our words and actions. To sum this up briefly, honesty is the value in which we express our commitments. Without it, the foundation of your relationships will crumble.
We might think that it is easy, what with all the adages we grew up hearing, like “Honesty is the best policy,” or the equal cliche “Truth shall set us free.” While these are great advice to heed, they are ironically hard to follow. While I said that it should be at the core of any relationship, it also turns out that we are not very good at it. Researchers have found out that people who are dating lie to each other about one-third of the time. Married people apparently do the same, with one deception in every ten interactions. Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist, has also found out in her research that 64% of the “deep betrayals of trust” we commit are done to those who are genuinely close to us.
Surprised? Whether you are or not, it would not hurt to have a careful assessment of how honest you have really been in your relationships. What truths have you hidden, and which ones have you tweaked? If you feel like your practice of truth-telling still has ways to go, here are some simple ways to be honest in a relationship:
1. Be patient.
Before you dive deep into blurting out all honesty, you first have to build some patience– for yourself and your partner. Honesty may seem like a very good thing to practice, but it can also be very difficult. If you have issues with communicating how you feel, it will be very easy to be frustrated. Just finding the right words to say can be a challenge.
Your patience will push you through the hard days. Remember that honesty is not just a value. It is also a practice. You are basically building a new habit, so do not be too tough on yourself.
2. Be truthful in your reactions.
Most of the time, we downplay how we feel just because of our fears of hurting or losing the other person. You might think that you are saving the other person from your feelings, but you are actually not doing any favors to your relationship when you do so. Regardless of how much you think the other person will be sad or angry, we can guarantee that they will be even more upset when they learn that they have been lied to.
It is hard to be in a relationship with someone that you cannot be honest with. If the person offends you, say it. If you loved what they said, express your appreciation. Opening yourself up will also encourage the other person to become more expressive of how they truly feel. Just remember that there is a fine line between being honest and cruel. Choose your words right, and you will be okay. There is nothing more beautiful than a couple who can freely say what they feel without the fear of fighting.
3. Be sincere in your actions.
Similar to how we should only speak the words we mean, we should also only act according to what we truly feel inside. Sincerity is not only practiced in speech, but also in actions. If you ever find yourself doing things that do not mirror how you truly feel, pause for a while, and ask yourself why. Only do things that excite you. Doing things that you are not sincere about is just as good as pretending– that is not honesty.
ALSO READ: 10 Ways to be Sincere in a Relationship
4. Be gentle.
As previously mentioned, there exists a thin line between honesty and being cruel. Remember that we are building it to have better interactions with our partners. Of course, it is only right that we do it with love, empathy, and clarity. Telling the truth should always be your priority, despite your fears of how it will be welcomed. Just remember to communicate it from a place of love. Over time, you will observe how much stronger your connection has become, thanks to the better dynamics that you have reinforced through honest communication.
People who are happy in their relationships will tell you that they are happy because of the openness that they have established. They trust their partners enough to know that they will only hear truths and see sincere acts from them. Always keep in mind that the truth has funny ways of finding its way to anyone’s attention, so just be honest. Own up to your mistakes, your emotions, and your actions. Love may be what begins a relationship, but honesty is what will sustain it. It is essential to keep your relationships healthy, free from the toxicity of deceptions, and lies. At the end of the day, there really is no such thing as a little lie or a white lie. Always choose to be honest.
ALSO READ: 5 Ways to Practice Honesty in Life
Online courses recommended for you:
- Relationship Coaching: Transform Problems into Growth & Love:
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- Love & Connection: The Science of Successful Relationships:
This course will show you how to examine the unknown path that you’ll travel with your spouse, and carefully evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship.