Growing up relationships requires an honest spirit and an honest focus – with others and with self. If you want to build relationships for your journey then you have to be invested in honesty.
Writing one of my novels, I had the main character interacting with another character. Throughout the conversation she mentally evaluated the comments she offered. True. Almost true. Not quite true. Flat out lie.
When it comes to being honest, either you are or you ain’t – there is no “almost true”or “not quite true,” despite how my character chose to portray her words.
Building up relationships means you are willing to be honest. You have to be honest with others and you have to be honest with yourself – and sometimes it’s easier to be honest with others than self.
How to be Honest
- Tell the truth. It starts with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Even if they don’t catch you in the untruth at the time, they will catch you in the long run. Either the untruth will reveal itself or the people you fed them to will find you out. Neither makes for strong relationships.
- Stand for something. If you don’t stand for something then you will fall for anything (and sometimes everything). The only way you can firmly stand for something is to take the time to understand and know it for yourself. Don’t let others tell you what is or what should be. Invest in knowing so you can stand.
Treat others equally. When you judge a book by its cover (or a person by his position) then others will notice. When you treat all with respect and interest then others will take notice.
Be fair. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Honor your word. Follow through on your commitments. Never try to cheat – even a little bit.
Lay it on the line. Reveal your expectations. Share your wants. Show your concerns. The more you are willing to let others see about you and about your thoughts on the situation the more you will be in a position to grow trust (and trust is essential for strong relationships).
You may not be able to make others be honest, but you can make the choice to be honest with the people you encounter. You can also choose to be honest with yourself (because you already know, so why pretend).
The more you practice an investment in being honest the more people will know what to expect from you and for you. Grow up the foundational relationships that will create a path to your possibilities by learning how to be honest.
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