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The Importance of Honesty in a Relationship
Why is it so hard to be honest nowadays? Is it because we are afraid of what others will think? Is it because we are scared of what would happen if the truth came out? There are a variety of reasons people are afraid to be honest, but telling lies or avoiding the truth can take a toll on friendships and relationships that could have easily be saved.
Even though we may be scared to hurt someone's feelings, letting people know our opinion about a subject is the only way to get across to them what we are concerned about.
Addressing the Problem
Is there something in your relationship that bothers you? Does your significant other have an unattractive flaw that's making it hard to move further? Even if it's something small, if he or she doesn't know about it, nothing is going to chance.
The first thing to do when you are faced with this situation is to tell them. Be nice about it, but let them know what bothers you. Open communication in a relationship is beneficial because it gives both parties to talk about their problems and their worries without being scared of the result. This is good to know when starting a new relationship because it can help you avoid many conflicts that arise from unaddressed problems in the future.
If you've been in a relationship for a while and still need to address the problem, understand how your SO acts when faced with something they may not want to hear. Some people are more sensitive to others, so bringing up personal flaws all the time could really affect their self esteem. Don't sound condescending when you talk about it with them, but make suggestions that you really think could help them.
You should say: "Honey, maybe you should try to see things from their point of view. I'm sure they didn't mean to be rude to you."
You should NOT say: "Honey, stop being so easily offended all the time. You're being just as bad as they are."
Now, there are two flaws in the "You should NOT say" category. One, you pointed out a flaw of his/hers, which was being easily offended. Someone who is easily offended wouldn't react well to being called easily offended. They may in fact be... offended, which wouldn't work out well on your part. Talk to them about how not to let things bother him or her or do something sweet for them to make them forget about it and not dwell on it so much. The second mistake in that category is comparing them to someone they don't like. While this approach could work if both of you are calm and mature, if this person is already riled up from a bad situation, the last thing they want to hear is how they are just like someone they don't like.
Talking About the Problem
Some problems are best fixed when they are talked through. Be honest in what you say and it is likely that your SO or friend will do the same. Make sure that you both are in a location where you both feel safe. This should be a private place, not in public or somewhere where others can hear. People are less likely to be honest if there are others around because they are worried about what others will think and/or if they would be offended by their opinion.
Once both of you are ready to talk about the problem, be sure to hear the other person out. Listen to their feelings and what they have to say and take that to heart when you are making your responses. Be open minded and understanding - This will make your significant other or friend feel more open to confide in you.
Talking about a touchy subject is not always the easiest thing to do, but in most cases it needs to be done. Don't push off the talk for too long and definitely DON'T ignore it. If the problem is ignored, it is guaranteed to come up later on.
Resolving the Issue
After the issue has been discussed, the problem should not come up again. If it does, you should try to talk through it once again because your partner or friend may not have been listening the first time around. If absolutely nothing gets better, maybe a therapist or a third party would be able to help them.
Not having a good relationship with a friend is a difficult thing to go through. Building trust is not an instant process and it can take weeks, months, or even years to develop. Once you have that trust, make sure you keep it strong so you and your SO can continue to grow together in your relationship.