Authenticity and Intimacy

I am struck by how often women silence their voices under the guise of not wanting to “make waves,” “cause conflict” or be a “bitch.” So instead, they often tell people what they think the listeners want to hear to their face, and then either speak their true thoughts behind the person’s back or say nothing in an attempt to let it go.

I say “attempt” because thousands of unspoken words don’t simply go away — they fester. In time they build into resentment, health problems, depression and the like. Rather than saving relationships, these unspoken words are the key parasites that destroy them.

Whether we are talking about partners, friends or co-workers, the idea that lying, sugar- coating or telling others what we think they want to hear is the best way to build relationships is a crazy idea. Although many people may disagree, I believe that being authentic not only doesn’t destroy intimacy — it actually builds intimacy.

Challenge:
Pay attention to all the things you don’t say over the next couple weeks. Note what happened, what you thought, how you felt, what you did in response to your silencing yourself and why you chose to not speak. Finally, take a moment to think of how you could have spoken what you were thinking (…in a respectful and direct way of course).

Comments

  1. Mindy says

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I could relate to this! Communicating more directly and authentically became a priority for me in my late 20’s (I am now 34) as I realized the toxic effect “holding things in” was having on my emotional and physical health. You’re so right on about those “unspoken” words not going away.
    I have come a LONG way in terms of improving my communication and honoring what I have to say. I’m much happier as a result of speaking my truth and being more authentic in my personal relationships.
    Thanks for such an articulate post on this topic!

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