Most of us will have heard the phrase, to “say what one means, and mean what one says.” Although when many of us still fear rejection (possibly now, more than ever), or saying the wrong thing, or potentially losing someone, all while being too polite to upset other people’s feelings… How often are we actually doing that?
Let’s say Dan cooked you a meal; steak. You’re actually, like, so not about that red meat life, but agreed because he showed initiative and effort. Between the grizzle and blood, you didn’t really enjoy the food, but assured him you did (because you didn’t want to bruise his ego, or knock someone down that put effort in). Chances are, when you told Dan that you had “the best meal ever” – instead of saying that it tasted like a sweaty ballsack – he picked up on the fact that you weren’t being totally honest.
When we sense someone is being dishonest, it creates an air of distrust and paranoia, because dishonesty – by association – isn’t a positive attribute. So even when people are telling the truth, or say, telling a lie to protect our feelings, we automatically fear the worst.
So because Dan isn’t sure who’s being entirely honest, and who isn’t, when you or someone else don’t reply to his texts, chances are he’ll automatically think you’re being rude or going off him, when the logical reality could be that you were just driving, or having sex with someone else, at the time.
Add to that the ‘treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen’ mentality of so many men, and the sheer gravitas of singletons playing the game in our Tinder culture, and it’s no wonder that when someone doesn’t communicate directly how they feel, our minds jump straight to the first negative outcome.
We should also bare in mind that we interpret things through a prism of our own pain and past experiences; so the conclusions we jump to are rarely good ones.
And so because we can’t know for sure, (if someone is being dishonest, and why they’re being dishonest) we spend our entire lives overthinking and over-analysing every little detail in a bid to try and decipher what the other wants. Because God knows we cannot just open our mouths and tell them.
Enter a sea of mixed messages, misinterpretations, ignored texts, fractured trust and emotionally damaged parties. Perhaps, if everybody actually voiced how they really felt, we’d stop fucking ourselves up.
That’s not to say we should be brutally crushing everyone’s feelings, because honesty always wins. But if we can expel our fear – of rejection, being hurt, and coming across a certain way – perhaps we can eliminate the invisible boundary between us and a successful relationship.
I believe the key to honesty and lucid communication is tact. We can be more honest in our day-to-day lives, without upsetting the balance.
And most importantly, when it comes to relationships, if we can be open to a point where we don’t give our partners a reason to be paranoid, or distrust us (because we’re always being honest), we should be able to break into a communication that opens the door to genuine love.