Think about the last time you confronted someone because they hurt your feelings.
How did that turn out?
Seriously, how did that turn out for you?
We always recommend to others to share their feelings, but most often, when you tell someone that they hurt your feelings, your feelings end up in an even shittier situation than they were in, before the truth was exposed.
Why be honest then?
Is there value in being honest with your feelings and telling others how your emotions were impacted by their actions or words?
I do not think being honest is always smart, and this is based on my own precedent.
Whenever I have sat down and had an honest conversation with someone, about how their actions hurt me, it has rarely gone the way I have wanted or envisioned it going. Usually the person ends up being defensive, argumentative, and turns the situation around on me. In the worst of situations, the individual was willing to throw our relationship away, rather than face the conversation head on.
Is being honest worth losing people? It depends on the relationship and how much you value it, I guess, but you are risking a lot by calling them out.
I have also realized that all the times I pretended not to give a shit, things went my way.
The less I looked like I cared, the more others cared to fit my needs.
When I gave someone a cold shoulder, or a childish form of silent treatment, they knew they had done something wrong, even though it was not voice and worked really hard at getting our relationship back afloat. Though they (or we) did not deal with the underlying issue, I did feel some form of victory in the groveling.
What I have realized is that when I let down my walls, when I allow them to dip low enough for someone to sneak in, I end up hurt. Being honest about what has hurt me has hurt me more than the original pain.
Being honest makes you vulnerable to the world; it allows them the opportunity to cut at your core, which you willingly exposed, making you bleed out.
When I pretend to be a tough guy Tuesday, emotionless being, I am better in the world: It is like wearing a shield of insensitivity, where nothing can penetrate your feelings.
When I quickly bandage up the wound and fight back with childish, immature responses, like snarkiness, the silent treatment or passive aggressive comments, the person laps it up, desperately trying to regain my kindness and affection.
What is this about?
When someone upsets me and if I am rude to them, ignore them or bark back, it works. Rather than being calm and having an open conversation about their actions, I take an eye for an eye approach and it seems the more effective approach. People tend to respect rudeness or aggressiveness from me, versus open honesty.
I believe that feelings are at the root of Pandora’s box:
If you are able to talk about them, you can overcome them, but you are seen as weak by the other. However if you do not talk about them, and learn to live while (seemingly) ignoring them, you are seen as strong and confident, but unhappy on the inside (but only you see that, so who cares right?).
Which version of life is better?
One where your exterior is shiny and pretty, but your insides ache or one where your insides glow through all your actions, but your exterior is riddled with cuts and bruises?
I am not sure which answer is, but what I have realized is that humans do not appreciate honesty. Other people do not like being told when they are wrong and would rather walk away from many relationships entirely, rather than honestly and earnestly apologizing and trying to do better in the future.
We throw away relationships like old receipts in our bag,
as though they they carry no significance and that the journey and experiences you have shared, until now, can be erased from the person’s existence entirely.
I make mistakes all of the time.
I have made some pretty horrendous mistakes in my life. One thing that I try to do is always listen to people I have wronged. I always try to do better and whatever I can to correct my wrong. Sometimes the wrong cannot be corrected, other times it can, but I do try to hear what people tell me.
I also pay extreme attention who stays in my life, even after I have failed them. Those are my people. That is my tribe.
Am I tough person, who does not give a shit what other people think of me? I sure as hell am trying to be because I have realized that road of life is less anxious and stressful than the one I am currently on.