I have a nasty habit of saying yes when I mean no. Another bad habit I have is that say I am fine when I am not. I want to be more honest and I had no idea how to go about it. So, this is how my experience gave birth to a plan. This is how I am working on being more open and honest.
We say things that undermine our integrity. We say we do not mind to keep the peace, we say that we things are fine, we hide our disappointment, we try to protect others from being hurt. This can leave us feeling angry and frustrated.
I am not talking about being nasty, many people hold back because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. If you’re having that conversation with yourself in the first place my guess is that you aren’t mean.
There is a clear difference between being honest and being nasty. Telling someone what you need, telling them what you want isn’t mean. Telling them what they should do and make judgments is very different to talking about what you need and how you feel.
For example, we all have a friend who is continually late. Telling that friend they are a rude and terrible person who needs to get a watch is mean however saying I need to you to be on time because it feels disrespectful when you are late is honest. Talk about what you want and need rather than your opinion of what the what the other person is or should or should not be doing.
When you are too busy say so. If you haven't got time say no to extra tasks. It has taken a lot of practice to me to get the hang of this one but on most days, I am glad to say have the hang of it.
Saying yes to stuff that we don’t really have the time, energy or inclination for leaves us feeling frustrated and taken advantage of. Ultimately we have to take charge of looking after ourselves. Save your energy for the things you really want and need to do. I bet that the person you say no to won't even give it a second thought.
Thinking about how others are going to react to you can be misleading. Ultimately, we cannot see inside an another person's head or predict their reaction. Don’t preconceive how others will react to what you say or do. What people think is their business what you think is yours. Do you want people around you to sugar coat stuff and tell you what you want to hear or do you want the truth? Don’t treat others any differently. You might be surprised that people want to hear your opinions and know how you feel.
It is possible that people will love the thought you are so afraid to share. Even if they do not like what you say at least you are putting your real thoughts out there to be heard. Their reaction whether positive or negative is to your honest thought not to some lie you used to protect yourself. People are going to get mad either way whether you pick the lie or honesty. Wouldn’t you rather you were arguing about something real?
Don’t beat around the bush. If you would rather not eat Italian food on your next night out, say so. Don’t make an excuse. Be honest. I often say I don’t mind or it doesn’t matter when in fact the opposite it true. Those around you are taking you on your word. They are not double checking to see if you actually mean it. I am not talking about the times when you truly don’t mind. Think about how many times you actually do have an opinion but don’t want to express it.
If you ever find yourself saying “I’m fine” through gritted teeth, you’re not fooling anyone! My husband is well acquainted with this one (sorry, darling!). It occurred to me recently that I am not doing anyone any favours by holding my tongue. If I could tell the truth and say what is really bothering me I am guessing that is going to allow me to move on from the issue quicker. Letting things simmer away and pretending they are fine just means you are stuffing down what you are feeling.
You are a good and worthy person who deserves, to be honest, and open with yourself and those around you. What has liking yourself got to do with honesty? Liking who you are makes you less likely to want to hide your thoughts and ideas away. You have just as much to offer as anyone else. Loving yourself means not hide yourself or what you want from yourself of the world around you.
Own your voice, be who you are. Don’t hide what you want or wait for others to guess. You are in charge of you. Making your needs heard is important it’s also respectful to yourself and others. Don’t end up frustrated and unheard because you never really expressed yourself because you thought of everyone else all the time
What are you afraid to be honest, what do you fear? Is it worth dulling your shine, it is worth not letting yourself be seen over? You are worthy of the honesty and so are those around you.