The Perils of the Truth (08/22/2022)

Friday, June 14, 2024

Primary Blog/The Perils of the Truth (08/22/2022)

“Do you want to hear about the kid’s personalities?”

Picking up from last week when we were demystifying honesty and realness and just to restate the bullet points:

  • ​To connect, you must be honest and real.
  • Practice until being honest and real becomes second nature and that is how you​ roll in relationships.
  • When you’re conscious and connected, or when you have a relationship with​ yourself, there will be built-in a threshold for safety.
  • Being honest and real with each other is how you get to know each other, bridgeunderstanding and enable you to relate authentically.

But then, to deepen the connection and become more intimately involved, safety to be more open, disclosing, and personal safety becomes more of a factor, you must build trust before that’s going to happen.

However, being honest and real is never going to be a cakewalk, no matter where you’re from or how comfortable you are with being honest and real all the time. It’s always going to be a perilous journey – the stark, naked, matter of fact truth, when most people aren’t prepared to be honest and real or anyone else being honest and real with them, when they’re disconnected from themselves, unconsciously driven and therefore unable to act as a separate, autonomous entity.

Usually, when someone falls into the ‘personalization’ trap, their self-worth is tied up with how whatever anyone else says or responds reflects on them.

This is what happened when my son, niece, and myself when on a walk, making small talk, but wanting to connect as we haven’t been together like this for a long time, my niece happened to ask us in an eager and expectant way, “Do you want to hear about the kid’s personalities?”

At first, there was silence. My son didn’t say anything, and I didn’t respond either. I let the awkward moments pass until we got back to the small talk, and I was afraid that she might somehow take it personally or feel judged as she had before in previous interactions.

But later when we were saying goodbye and were acknowledging each of our respective efforts to connect, she had expressed dismay by my and my son’s seeming disinterest in hearing about my nephews’ personalities and came across as if my disinterest was an affront to her – she interpreted my silence as lack of interest in her personally as well as her son.”

The truth was that I really wasn’t interested in hearing about their personalities, but I decided to refrain from pure bluntness and try to clarify the meaning and intent of my non-verbal response to her. “The truth is that I’m not interested in hearing about them as much as interested in being with them when I’m with them. It’s like hearing about a move I haven’t seen yet. And you telling me about them wouldn’t make me feel any closer or more connected to you.”

I thought that she got where I was coming from, but nevertheless, came away feeling hurt or rejected, anyway. I was a bit frustrated in that my honesty was a show of respect and I didn’t think she’d really want me to lie, or not say the truth, to make her feel better by acting as if I was interested when I wasn’t, or say “yes” when I mean, “no.”

The practice here is to continue being honest and real regardless of how the other person responds to your honesty and realness, whether they personalize, aren’t listening for whatever reasons, misconstrue, misinterpret, or miss the meaning and intent of your communication.

​Yes. Rely on the connections you make and the intimacy you create for sustenance!

Feel free to leave questions and comments below or you may send me an email HERE

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Hi, Daniel

Daniel A. Linder is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Relationship Therapist and Trainer, an Addiction and Intervention specialist, with nearly four decades of experience working with individuals, couples and families.

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