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Understanding Emotional (Dis)Honesty In Relationships


 “Most of us feel that others will not tolerate emotional honesty. We would rather defend our dishonesty because it might hurt others; and having rationalized our phoniness into nobility, we settle for superficial relationships. From ” Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? by John Powell.

Yes, you can be an absolutely honest person... Have you ever thought about being an emotionally honest or dishonest person?

 means being honest about your feelings. Even as simple as it sounds, emotional honesty in relationships can be very rare as the most honest person becomes emotionally dishonest to a loved one.

Emotional honesty is the glue that holds the four pillars of trust, honesty, respect, and mutual benefit and we all know how extremely important these ingredients are in a relationship. As much as we conduct ourselves intending, to be honest, let's have it at the back of our mind that we can be emotionally dishonest without realising it and most times unintentionally.

Let's take a look at some factors that could lead to emotional dishonesty behaviour:
a. Protecting a loved one attitude by ignoring ours
b. Averting disagreement or crisis 
c. A desire to remain detached and not too deprived
d. Concerns about being vulnerable when being too honest about our intentions.

As much as many honest people end up being emotionally dishonest to avoid a conflict or keep their relationship, however,  prolonged emotional dishonesty will only hurt and not help in the long run.

Does Emotional honesty affect a relationship?
Emotional honesty is opening up to those we love so that each party can understand the feeling of the other and do away with unrealistic expectations and the feeling of continuously being attacked and disrespected.

Many aren't mind readers,  we all have our differences, and what matters to A might not trouble B. Lack of clear communication leads to misunderstandings and conflicts between two lovers.

Can we learn to be emotionally honest?

Yes, we can all learn to be more emotionally honest. 
We must recognise our true feelings and learn to express them more politely and to be emotionally honest with others, we need to be emotionally honest with ourselves by recognizing and accepting when we are being defensive. So it starts with being emotionally intelligent and aware.

Again, understanding the way our loved one feel is also very important, we must understand that nobody is perfect and if we are in a relationship with someone who handles this well, then in no time, it will become easier. If not or if that person is encouraging emotional dishonesty, then you have to reassess the relationship.

This might seem quite easy, but can be an uncomfortable experience for so many because it involves being vulnerable, however, it is important to know that vulnerability comes with strength.

Meanwhile, Emotional intelligence gives us the ability to decide when it is in our best interest to be emotionally honest by sharing our real feelings. There are times when it is not healthy or safe for us to be emotionally honest.

In general, though, I believe we would be better off individually and as a society if we would be more emotionally honest. Only then will you be able to set healthy boundaries for yourself and others.

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