Honesty, open communication and clarity. These three concepts interweave easily. And necessarily. Personal and professional relationships can be a struggle, but by staying on the same page, it can be easier.
HSP, low self-confidence and a turbulent childhood led me to have a heightened perception of threat. I questioned the sincerity of everything, I absorbed the behavioural patterns of those around me and notice the slightest change, and I can literally feel when I am being lied to. I am often unsure of other peoples intentions.
I'm sure I am not the only one.
When we put ourselves out there, and do our best to be clear and honest with those around us, in return we hope, and maybe even expect, the same. When we don't receive the same level of communication in return, it's disappointing. Not knowing where we stand, even after we’ve asked, is unacceptable.
So, what exactly do honesty and clarity mean?
Honesty: fairness and straightforwardness of conduct; adherence to the facts. Clarity: clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity. The state or quality of being clear or transparent to the eye (or mind).
Clarity relies on effective communication. And not just in a courtroom.
Honest and open communication is not only about respecting others, but it will also earn you respect in return. As a person or even as a corporation.
“The key is learning to balance kindness and courteousness without sacrificing our own sense of self-worth.” (therapychanges.com)
As a marketing professional, I’ve played my part in building brands from the bottom up. When a brand lies, or is unclear, about its promise, all hell breaks loose. Inbound customer service goes crazy and let's not forget what happens on social media ... As a customer we appreciate a little transparency and an honest reply. Don’t you think it should be the same, person to person?
If you have a doubt, then don’t, right?
On the flip side, being the person that needs to say no, or stop, or leave me alone, can be difficult. Who wants to be the bearer of, what is essentially, bad news? Not me! And not you.
However, by being clear and honest you are empowering the person or people opposite you. You let them decide their own fate, and to take back a little control.
You also empower yourself. You are being the best (or a better) version of yourself. You are doing the right thing, and most importantly, the unselfish thing.
A modern day issue, between social media, WhatsApp, FaceTime.. we are constantly connected to the slightest person that walks into our life. It can be overwhelming to say the least. To me, actions such as ghosting, or phasing people out slowly is just another way to avoid our responsibilities as a human being.
The opposite if ghosting is also heartless. Ç’est a dire, replying when you don’t really care or want to. You might be doing your best to avoid ghosting, or not to hurt the person opposite you., or to avoid saying no. Replying to someone just because they’ve contacted you is not kind either. Telling them you are just when you have no intention to see them again, but then still talking to them. You may think you are not leading them on. Or that you didn’t make a promise so it shouldn’t matter that you reply.
It’s OK to say no
We can also fall into the trap of continuing to reply to someone just to avoid ghosting them. It is completely OK to let someone know that you don’t wish to continue a talking with them, or that you don’t intend to see them again. It’s the human thing to do even. The longer you let them think they are building a rapport with you, the longer you are being dishonest. What’s more, saying no will set you free.
Being cruel to be kind
It's up to you decide if you want continue talking to someone or if she doesn’t deserve your time. It’s a shame for things to get this far, right?
Sometimes being kind is telling someone what you think. In a diplomatic manner, of course.
Knowing where you are, and what people think about you helps us evolve, helps us move on, helps us understand, process. Even if it’s not what we really want to hear, sugar coating or avoiding really answering a direct question with words or emojis that mean nothing. Well it’s not helping anyone, and it’s not kind.
However, there is a right and wrong timing. Telling someone that you no longer plan on seeing them at the end of an evening together when you are drunk and curled up on the sofa, may not be the right moment. It was probably better to tell them at the start of the evening, or just cancel altogether!
You were born to be real, not perfect.
We are (mostly!) wired to avoid conflict and try not to cause negative feeling. We avoid saying no so as not to disappoint.
Maya Angelou said “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” And whilst I totally agree with her, I also believe that we are capable of enabling this situation, by letting others be more for us than we wish to be for them. And if we let them do it, perhaps we weren’t so clear about our intentions from the get go.
#personalnote and maybe, a takeaway
I have met a lot of new people in the last year. A serious over-consumption of people, both virtually and IRL. Unfortunately, most of them haven’t interested me in the slightest. You can’t force a relationship to progress, whether it be friendship, love or professional. Sometimes communication just naturally stops. #winwin But sometimes it’s a little more complex.
By being clear early on, or later on, we can save a lot of our own energy and their’s. And maybe even receive gratitude in return.
✨ Alone we can make a difference, together we can rock the world. ✨
Life is a story. What does yours say?
Share your journey, you might just help someone find their way.