When a person reaches a certain age or hits a new milestone, we expect them to have grown and emotionally matured. Naturally, this is not always the case. People ‘mature’ in different senses of the word across varying timelines.
My concern is the discouragement of people to be honest in their personal relationships and close friendships. This is almost a natural behaviour for me now. I sometimes hold back, but as of late, my track record is brutally honest with a strong bond to my feelings. It doesn’t mull over well with everyone.
Why are people so inclined to bite their tongues?
Well, feelings are fleeting. They can change in an instant. Why run the risk of turning someone off of your personality or losing a friendship? All for a possible changing feeling…
North America puts a demand on people to keep up the appearance of cool, calm and collected. It’s no wonder we see a rise in mental illness. I say this with complete understanding that some people’s genetics and immanent qualities can lead to mental illness, but I personally believe the added societal pressure of keeping things to yourself can trigger these inherent traits. Quietly refraining from you feelings and not telling a soul.
Think about this: You go on social media and the most annoying people are the honest ones.
“Facebook isn’t a place to vent your true feelings. Talk to a therapist instead. Go cry into your journal.” – Generic Quote everyone has probably heard at least once.
I’m guilty of this, too. But like all feelings, right now in this moment I am vouching for that raw – slightly contrived, well-thought out – honesty. Truly, I wish for more openness in my strong friendships and relationships. If we can casually extend this to our acquaintances and peers and encourage a more open, honest playing field, people will likely translate this behaviour into their personal lives, too.
The trouble with societal pressure is it links back to each and every one of us. If you crave honesty, you have to accept it from all angles. It isn’t always going to be pleasant and certainly won’t be easy. It will be worth it.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t wish for the world to start screaming. Sit back with your feelings and see what they truly mean to you. If you have a strong thought, write it down or say it out loud to yourself. And then bring it back to a person who may or may not want to hear it.
How’s it working for me?
Ever since I started being completely honest with others, I have felt better. I’ve been pretty honest with a few different people, sharing deep-rooted feelings. I’ve also dropped a few honest comments to new friends or dates and found that it helps weed out the incompatibles, too. I am staying away from social media because it is not a venue where I’d like to share my feelings. (However, if you feel comfortable in that environment and you aren’t talking about breaking the law, please go ahead.)
My close relationships are mostly unchanged, save one person who I certainly scared off. But that’s okay. I now know who is worth my time versus who didn’t care enough to reciprocate my need for honesty.
That’s usually a good indicator for who you should keep around.