Tuesday, January 12, 2010

honesty is overrated




If honesty is the best policy, why is it that most people really don't want to hear the truth?  Deviate from the comfort of a well worn script, from an anticipated "feel good" response in order to voice honest thoughts and feelings, you risk rejection.  That's how I see it. That's how I've experienced it. The more honest I am with how I'm feeling or what I may be struggling with, the bigger the risk I take in turning someone away.  It has happened time and time again.  Why is it that I strike a nerve in someone else, so much so that they can't handle listening to my interpretation of where I am at...........of who I am?

I keep trying.  It's not working.  Honesty is not a commodity that is marketable.  I've learned that much.  I'm also an expert on how rejection feels.  How about you?  Do you know how rejection feels?  YOU DO? Than, we have something in common.

Oh yeah, I see the absurdity in this.  I am a counsellor for goodness sakes.  I hear the pit of someone's honest voice daily.  My job, one that I thoroughly embrace, is to receive it and to help them ply away all of the hurtful feeling skins that coat until the honesty is located.  There is nothing more I can do but to offer my presence.  Sure it hurts to feel someone else's hurt, but it doesn't kill me. I don't absorb it into my own.  My job is to reflect, to ask questions...........to help the other person think it through and find the words to describe the honest ripe feelings.  I try not to judge.  I try to affirm.  However, when I put myself in the "other chair" in order to tell the truth about where I am with respect to my thoughts and feelings............to voice my honesty, most people run for the hills!

So, it must be me.  It must be how I approach being honest. Somehow my honesty touches a chord in the other person?  Maybe I'm too heavy handed or that my needs seem too monumental to help me with?  Maybe I surprise them with my response to their "how are you" question. Perhaps my feelings are too dramatically expressed, so much so that I frighten people with my tone?  I come on too strong? Am I too needy?  My honesty smothers? I really don't know why I seem to have this effect on people. But it is a consistent response, so I best look into it because let me tell you...... it hurts.

While I am sorting this honesty dilemma............can you help me out a bit?  Please don't ask me how I am if you can't handle my honesty.  Be aware that how YOU interpret how I am feeling is through your own lens.... check your interpretations of what you think i need or what you assume my agenda may be. I really don't need to feel guilty anymore for "making" you "feel" uncomfortable.  If you feel smothered, its your choice.  Not mine. 

6 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm adopted. I think that's the ultimate form of rejection really. Yes I know how it feels.

When people ask me how I am I know they don't really want the answer.

awareness said...

Joey, I had never thought about that before, adoption being the ultimate rejection. I wonder if most people who are given up for adoption feel the intensity of rejection? How have you coped with those feelings?

I usually know that a person doesn't really want to know how I'm feeling but I keep screwing up sharing when I think it's safe and end up frightening the daylights out of someone with my big feelings. I guess because it is something I'm comfortable with, I expect others to be.... but its not the case.

kenju said...

I know exactly how Joey feels, as I am adopted too. I have felt rejection from that all my life (and from a few other experiences as well.)

Watching American Idol tonight - I saw a few people who didn't want honesty from the judges - who were totally clueless as to how bad they were.

LL Cool Joe said...

It's amazing what human beings learn to cope with really isn't it? I always felt loved by my adoptive parents but I don't think that love could ever quite make up for that feeling that you get that the person who should love you more than anyone else in the world, gives you away away.

I have 2 adopted girls, and it will be interesting to discover how they feel about rejection as they grow older.

Kenju, I didn't know. :)

LL Cool Joe said...

Oops sorry for the typos, my keyboard is sticking!

Gypsy said...

I wouldn't analyse your character too much Dana. I think it's refreshing when someone can be totally honest with others and to be brave enough to be who they really are.

If other people can't handle it then maybe it is them who need to look inside themselves and figure out why.

BTW...I LOVE your new avatar.

Do I know about rejection? I think we have all been rejected in one way or another, perhaps many times. All we can do is learn how to deal with it when it happens because it WILL happen again.