Committing to honest communication

Seth Godin:

If you're unable to have substantial conversations with your boss and co-workers, go get some professional help. It's not personal, it's business. 

Inspired by Gay and Katy Hendricks, my wife Phoebe and I recently made a commitment to each other to always speak the truth the moment we become aware of it, and to always be willing to hear the unvarnished truth from each other.

It's not an easy commitment to make, and it's even less easy to make, but it's very much worth it.

Sometimes we fail to live up to the commitment. That happens. We're human. When it happens, it just means it's time to recommit.

But having the commitment between us has made a huge difference. The first thing that happened was that we were thrown into a big crisis of uncertainty over whether we should stay together or not. It was a natural consequence of the lies that had been between us suddenly being popped. With the commitment in place, it was no longer possible for us to lie to ourselves.

You don't think that you're living on a lie, but once you make the commitment, it becomes clear that, in many circumstances, you are. It's part of the normal fabric of social life that we lie to each other. Little things that we don't say because we know it'll hurt someone's feelings. Because we think it's better left unsaid. But in an intimate relationship, it's not. All of those little lies that we don't think of as lies add up to create distance in the relationship. With the lies gone, the life force moves much more forcefully and freely, and love and passion and intimacy follows naturally.

Human interaction thrives on honesty and dies from dishonesty. It's as simple as that. And it works in both business relationships and personal relationships. Relationships are relationships.

Being honest is an incredible way to stand out, because so few are. In the words of Billy Joel:

If you search for tenderness
it isn't hard to find.
You can have the love you need to live.
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind.
It always seems to be so hard to give.

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Zofiia Maluna Haaning

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