Growing up I noticed that my aunt was very secretive. I think it was her way of protecting herself. Witnessing this as a child, I thought this was the way to be, so I followed suit.
My aunt would not share a lot with others. In fact she would lie in an attempt to hide the information from them. I listened as she told others inconsistent stories and embellished about actual events.
Sometimes even to the point where the events weren't really actual anymore. She probably could've won an Academy Award for some of her performances.
Now as an adult, looking back at some of it I can see the lies. Prior, I simply thought that she just exaggerated. But each time she retold the story, whether it be to another person or repeating it to the same person, the exaggerations got bigger and bigger. And at some point it just becomes a blatant lie.
While as a youth I did pick up the trait of not being open and honest, I left the role of deceit up to her. The only reason I even went on with the secrecy is because I thought it was better for me. I thought I was shielding myself from something hurtful. But really I think I just hurt myself more.
I later realized that being honest with others benefited me. When I was truthful about troubles I was having I received compassion and support. Some friends were even able to connect me with solutions. This is something that couldn’t have happened if I wasn’t open.
Now I'm not saying you should hang your dirty laundry for everyone to see. But how will others get to know the real you if you're not honest with them? You may not realize it but people can't help you if they don't know what's really going on.
Your closest friends and even family should know the real you. They should have a deep insight to the type of person you are and your feelings.
However, in this day and age when people but on fronts for Facebook and filter their pictures for Instagram to make it seem like their life is so grand, you could be losing your sense of self.
Being real about your life and situation gives you the opportunity to connect with special people, develop deep relationships and move towards your ideal life.
If you're spending your time trying to convince others, and yourself, that your life is already wonderful then you're not working on living that wonderful life. You’re not building up your dream, you’re creating a façade.
Not to mention, if you’re not being honest about yourself others will have a reason to question your integrity on everything. You could even wonder about yourself.
How to be open and honest
Remove the mask
Stop trying to keep everything under wraps. When the real you is constantly hidden your attempts to be clear with others and even yourself becomes obscure. While trying to throw others off you include yourself in the mix, things can get hazy and you lose focus.
Be straightforward, politely
If someone wants to discuss something that makes you feel comfortable or is just none of their business it's ok to tell them so. There are polite ways to tell people to back off.
I remember when I purchased my first car an old acquaintance tried to get me to confirm the price I paid by throwing out a number.
I'm old fashion in the sense that I don't share things like that. I don't think it's anyone's business how another spends their earnings. If I feel it may be helpful to you, like if you’re shopping, then I may tell you but that’s about it.
In this situation I simply replied that I got a good price. But you don't even have to give them that much. You can say something like you don't feel comfortable sharing, that is appropriate to discuss that or segway into another topic. Whatever works for you.
Describe your feelings
It's ok to tell others how you really feel. Be descriptive so they know what’s going on with you. Be sure to include details on what has caused this so they can learn more about you on a deeper level.
Stop putting a Band-Aid on it
In order to resolve issues you have to address them. A lot of the time it seems easier to cover it up or ignore it. You might keep things in to hide the pain. But that’s draining and it doesn't help you heal any better.
It takes more from you to maintain a lie then it does to just be honest. The stress from trying to keep everything straight and all the energy wasted on performing, all that effort could be used for something better like… your goals!
Some people think that by lying to others, making them believe something else, gives them some kind of advantage. There is no power to be had from lying, especially about yourself and your life.
You may think that you have one-upped someone, but who will really have the power when the truth comes to light?
When you're open and honest there is nothing out there that someone can use against you. You don't have to live in fear of being caught. You're open about it, you're okay with it, therefore it can't be used against you.
Think about all the stress you can relieve by allowing yourself to be free to be you! You'll have deep, meaningful relationships with the right people. There will be a clear perception of who you are to others and yourself, no more blurred lines.
When you accept what's going on and can be honest about it, which means you can grow from it. Your confidence will increase and experience things you never could being whomever you were before.
Get rid of the fake and the fronts. Others will never question who you are or how you are because they will know the real you, and you will too.
What about you…
Have you been putting up a façade? How can you be more open and honest with yourself and others?