Speaking the Truth
Is there someone you need to be truthful with?
What is it you need to say?
Why aren’t you speaking the truth?
I think one of the greatest gifts we give to someone is the truth.
How we deliver it often helps to guarantee its effectiveness.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
It’s what you see and know to be true that if the other person had and used the information their lives would be happier, richer, more fulfilled and less troubled. Dr. Phil is making a fortune telling people the truth. And helping a lot of people.
Speaking the truth allows you to be true to yourself.
Let me give you an example of a truth, that needed to be communicated and why it was important. In this case, it could result in a more successful career.
I had a networking meeting set up with a financial planner. I was on time and let the person know I was there. He asked me to wait while he finished his current meeting. I figured 5 minutes max.
After 15 minutes I politely told him I had to leave, that it didn’t work for me to wait that long. With compassion, I said I couldn’t refer business to him because anyone I knew that had money wouldn’t wait that long either.
Now this person has a choice. He can take my truth and learn from it. Or be mad at me. It’s his choice. I told the truth. I sincerely hope he benefits.
SITUATIONS THAT CALL FOR THE TRUTH
We need to know what we are doing that works and what doesn’t work. And if no one tells us the truth we might not know.
Maybe you have a friend who is on one of the internet dating sites and the picture they chose isn’t flattering. Should you tell them the truth?
Or perhaps someone is doing something that is bothering you and others. For example – a friend who thinks it’s okay to be critical of people. Or they talk too loudly and it’s embarrassing to be with them.
There are times when it is crucial to speak the truth. Like seeing a friend doing something that is harming their child or wife, or a woman getting beaten, or an animal being mistreated.
Let’s look at the example of a woman critical of her girlfriends. You notice she doesn’t keep friends or seem to date a man for very long. No one wants to be with a critical person.
Are you doing her a favor by not telling her what you observe and feel? No!
If she has a lousy picture on her dating site, will that work for her? No!
If someone you know is in an abusive situation or is harming a child or animal, do you have a responsibility to speak up? I think so. You might succeed in stopping harm. I know you will be honoring the value of integrity.
I realize the other person in those situations might turn against you. Often we don’t speak up because we don’t want to lose a friend, lover, or spouse.
You can’t live a healthy life by suppressing your truth because of fear.
Don’t stop loving the person because they choose not to hear the truth and change. You don’t have to spend time with them, but don’t stop loving them. Love isn’t conditional on behavior.
True friends need to be able to tell each other the truth.
MAKE AN AGREEMENT
Make an agreement with the people in your life to be honest with each other. Find out how each of you needs to hear sensitive information and then stick to that style.
If you blow it – apologize, clean it up, adjust your style and move on. And keep loving each other.
WHY THE TRUTH WORKS?
Aren’t we all begging for the truth – just not spoken critically or judgmentally?
Your life will work better when you know what works and what doesn’t.
You have the option of making a choice to honor your values and the truth.
If you are out of integrity – not speaking your truth – I know you will ultimately suffer the consequences.
Nothing is more costly than being out of integrity. It hurts us physically, emotionally and spiritually. That price is too high just to avoid a defensive response or a loss.
Sometimes we just need a little encouragement from a friend, a little guidance from a coach, to speak our truth and trust we will survive the consequences.
And when you tell someone else the truth, they have the choice of doing things differently or not. Now or later.
So with COMPASSION and COURAGE tell the truth, listen to the truth and choose to accept what works for you and change what you can.
imagine the possibilities…..
© Carol Chanel
Q & A
From Isabelle a photographer in Santa Fe:
Q: “My boyfriend insists on lying to my friends about the fact that he was married before and has young children.
Every other weekend he leaves town and my friends don’t understand why I never travel with him. I want to respect his privacy and yet my friends think something is wrong with our relationship.
What can I do? How can I convince him it’s okay to tell them the truth?”
A: Isabelle, this is a tricky situation. You need to honor his request and yet you are being asked to violate your value of honesty.
From reading your letter it seems that your boyfriend is conflicted about his divorce due to his religion. Yet lying is violating his and your honesty value.
Are you telling him the whole truth about how you feel about his lying? Or are you afraid that he will be upset or leave you if you tell him the truth?
I believe that you need to tell him how much this is bothering you. Lying to your friends isn’t something that you do. It creates distrust. And it leaves you without support and love.
You need to tell him – compassionately yet strongly – that lying to your friends isn’t an option. He needs to resolve his issues and not subject you to them.
If he isn’t willing to trust you and your choice of friends, then he isn’t a good fit. He doesn’t need to go into a lot of detail, just state the facts and let it go.
What can you do to make sure that he gets support and not criticism from them?
In the meantime, what is it costing you to not tell him the truth? What are you really gaining by going along with his deceit?
From what you told me, it’s not okay any longer. He needs to know the truth from you; that you choose not to live like this any longer. Speak your truth!
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I teach people to overcome the obstacles that keep them stuck yet longing for romantic relationships, more self-confidence and inspiration to accomplish their dreams.
We sometimes forget what it feels like to live from our hearts and souls. We forget the thrill of taking the brakes off and flying. Life is dull if we just live from our minds.
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