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Honesty In Relationships

honesty in relationships

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Honesty In Relationships

Honesty in relationships can be damaging

Whether you’re getting it off your chest, venting, expressing yourself, airing your feelings or  “just being honest,” the truth about honesty is that honesty in relationships is not always the best policy.

What’s more, continuing on the path of full disclosure can actually put a permanent closure on your relationships!

The reality is we don’t need knives or guns to mortally wound those closest to us. Words cut like knives and it’s easy to bury your relationship with the verbal cuts of a “truthful” tongue.

The truth is honesty in realtionships is often a veiled form of self-indulgence.

What do I mean by self-indulgence?

In a nutshell, when feelings build up, it’s frustrating to “sit” on them. And, of course, it feels damn good to release them. That feel good sensation is a form of gratification. It’s like taking an emotional poop, which provides an instant release of pressure. But when we dump emotional turds on others, we are flushing our relationships down the toilet.

It’s a sad fact that our education at home and in school doesn’t include teaching us how to manage our angry feelings. Since intimate relationships trigger negative feelings, this means most of us are mistreating the people we love most by lashing out and even verbally killing those we supposedly love in various overt and symbolic ways.

In my book Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First), soon to be republished by Hay House under the title Kiss Your Fights Goodbye: Dr. Love’s 10 Simple Steps to Cooling Conflict and Rekindling Your Connection, I talk about what I call Fight Traps, which are the dysfunctional ways that humans act out anger. These Traps consist of Open Warfare, such as Name Calling, Character Assassination, Put Downs and Sarcasm, to name but a few, and Secret Warfare, such as Silent Treatment, I Forgot, Recruiting Allies, and so on.

The point here is there’s a continuum of dumping that ranges from outright physical violence on the one end of the spectrum to far subtler forms of aggression—honesty being the subtlest of all forms of assault.

While we may feel temporarily relieved when we shoot off rounds of honesty, we pay a terrible price for this temporary satisfaction, as we harm our relationships and our own self-esteem (you can’t feel proud of yourself when you misbehave).

The good news is you can make the decision to change the way you handle your angry feelings; to consider what you say before you speak, to ask yourself how the other person will feel before you say or do x, y or z. To consider whether what you intend to say or do will be helpful and constructive to the other person and your relationship or not.

It’s also important to remember that anger is never the primary emotion. When we become angry, it’s because we feel other more basic and vulnerable feelings such as hurt, sadness and fear.

Making the decision to get beneath the veneer of anger and speak from the most vulnerable part of your emotional core is the ticket. When you honestly speak from this place, you arouse a feeling of empathy rather than antipathy. This one simple shift is your secret to turning conflict into connection by fostering a truly intimate and loving relationship that is based on the right kind of honesty.

Author’s Books

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Known to millions as "Dr. Love" through her website AskDrLove.com, Dr. Turndorf founded the web's first and immensely popular relationship advice column in 1995. She consistently attracts new fans and keeps her existing audience engaged through her compassionate understanding as well as her frank delivery and earthy sense of humor. At the same time, she puts her listeners at ease while digging deeply in their psyches and prescribing her signature cure. Dr. Turndorf's multimedia platform allows her to share relevant and timely advice via radio, online, in print and on television. Her radio show, "Ask Dr. Love," can be heard in Seattle on KKNW and on WebTalkRadio, which broadcasts in 80 countries worldwide. Her column entitled "We Can Work it Out," is published monthly online in Psychology Today. Her critically acclaimed books have been teaching readers the hard and fast facts to healing relationships for years. Dr. Turndorf's methods have been featured on national television networks, including CNN, NBC, CBS, VH1 and Fox, and on websites such as WebMD, iVillage, Discovery.com, MSNBC.com. She has also been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, Glamour, American Woman, Modern Bride, and Marie Claire. Dr. Turndorf’s latest Hay House book, Kiss Your Fights Good-bye: Dr. Love's 10 Simple Steps to Cooling Conflict and Rekindling Your Relationship, has been endorsed by New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield, Dr. John Gray and John Bradshaw. Since the recent death of Emile Jean Pin, her beloved husband of 27 years, Dr. Turndorf has discovered that relationships do not end in death. His miraculous manifestations, often in front of witnesses, have proven to her that there is life after life and love never dies. As a result of her experiences, Dr. Turndorf has developed a groundbreaking form of grief therapy that diverges from the traditional Western approach (grieve, let go and move on). By contrast, her method guides people to reconnect and, if needed, make peace with their departed loved ones. Her latest Hay House book on this topic is entitled Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased. To understand fully what Old Scars are, how they are formed, how they affect your relationships, and how to heal them, read my book Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased. For Free Gift details or to receive a sneak peek of Love Never DIes, visit the book page: http://askdrlove.com/page/love-never-dies-how-reconnect-and-make-peace-deceased.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Derek Collinson

    May 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Has it ever struck you that honesty in relationships can be used to hurt. It never struck me until I read this article.

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