In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the challenge and fear of radical honesty – telling the whole truth.
First a quick update:
“What does it really mean to be feminine?”
Many women today associate femininity with weakness; is being feminine equivalent to being weak? Listen to the answers I gave to questions by Christelyn D. Karazin, Co-Author of “Swirling: How to Date, Mate & Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed” and Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Beyond Black & White I reveal why women have inner conflicts with their femininity; The fear of traditional gender roles; The real reason women should express their femininity (and it’s not to catch a man); The single secret for a woman to be able to express her femininity without giving away her power or being controlled by the man. Click here to find out.
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Now, let’s talk about the challenge and fear of radical honesty – telling the whole truth.
“What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her…There’s no reason or benefit from telling her about it now.”
The above are common phrases used as a means and a justification for withholding the truth, hiding a secret, event or action.
“You must understand that courtship rituals are exercises in fantasy – built on deceit and distraction, smoke and mirrors – while relationships are exercises in honesty, tolerance, and the messiness of reality.” – Dr. Frank Pittman, family therapist.
Have you noticed what a person is asked when he/she is required to give sworn testimony in a court of law?
“Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
There are variations of the above in courts of law around the world, but they all include the key words “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
That simply implies that honesty involves revealing everything without leaving out anything.
Withholding the truth is another form of deception and dishonesty.
Dishonesty destroys intimacy, the feeling of love, and relationships.
Dishonesty destroys intimacy because the other person no longer feels safe to trust and open up.
Dishonesty destroys the feeling of love because the other person experiences cognitive dissonance and confusion about who you really are.
Dishonesty destroys relationships and marriages because once the intimacy, trust and feeling of love are gone, there is nothing else remaining.
In a moment I will also address the concept that some therapists have that people who reveal the truth are doing so only to relieve themselves of guilt.
But first, honesty in a relationship is not limited to simply revealing or exposing the facts, but rather it also includes and incorporates revealing one’s emotions.
Why do people lie, hide or withhold the truth?
Simply put – it is because of the fear of rejection.
In some cases, it can also involve the fear of conflict, but fear of conflict is often directly tied to the fear of love being withheld (i.e. not being loved) and thus also the fear of disapproval and rejection.
Thus, people choose to not fully reveal themselves.
When you decide you want to hide aspects of yourself (weaknesses, failings, past negative events or experiences, emotions and so forth) you are simply saying ‘If he/she finds out whom I really am, he/she will not love me; he/she will reject me.’
But one of the greatest joys in life is expressing your truth and vulnerability – revealing all of yourself, and, being loved for it – for all of whom and what you are!
Remember, if you choose to create a persona or hide behind a mask, you are only being loved for the image you have created – not the real you.
You cannot feel and experience being truly loved and accepted until such time as you drop the walls, let go of the mask, and reveal all of yourself.
Read my article “Vulnerability is not weakness”.
An interesting phenomenon about truth is that somehow the truth is always revealed – even if it takes years or decades. And when the truth is eventually revealed your partner reacts harshly not to the revelation as much as to the fact that he/she was lied to and deceived for so long.
In other words, hiding a secret, withholding the truth or lying is equivalent to holding a dog by the tail – the longer you hold that tail, the angrier the dog gets and when you finally let go of the tail, the dog will bite. But the longer you hold that tail, the angrier the dog will become and the stronger the bite will be.
Let go of that secret now.
Speak your truth now – before you deceive someone.
“We have a dance in the brothels of Buenos Aires. It tells the story of the prostitute and a man who falls in love with her. First, there is desire. Then, passion. Then, suspicion. Jealousy. Anger. Betrayal. When love is for the highest bidder, there can be no trust. Without trust, there can be no love. Jealousy, yes, jealousy will drive you mad.” – From the motion picture “Moulin Rouge”
Honesty involves telling the truth about all of you – your past, present and future.
Past honesty is about sharing aspects of things that have happened and that you have done in the past which expose your weaknesses, emotions, beliefs and even trauma. Yes, the past affects the present unless you have fully resolved it in every way.
Present honesty is about what you do day-to-day, as well as your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and values.
Future honesty is about sharing with your partner your plans and vision for the years to come. For example, if you know that you don’t intend to have a baby or you have planes to move to another country, then it is imperative to share this ‘future honesty’ with your partner.
No area of your life should be kept secret. Face your fear and be authentic – be real.
Remember, you and your partner do affect each other; your behavior and whom you are impact each other. When it comes time to make a powerful revelation, you might need to do so with the help of a professional counselor/therapist to guide you both.
Finally, as noted above, some therapists criticize people who choose to reveal the truth accusing them of only doing so to relieve their own guilt; this is inaccurate. The person exposing the truth is being vulnerable and creates the opportunity to rebuild the relationship based on the whole truth of whom he/she is. No one can control the reaction and response of their partner.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.