“What is the truth about yourself that you didn’t tell,” asked Iyanla Vanzant. (I just love her!) She was speaking to a group of women who wanted to settle down but had a hard time finding a mate. The ladies ooh-ed and aah-ed as they pondered this thought-provoking question. I realized that in most of my struggling relationships there was a truth I didn’t tell.
My friend and I had signed up to be roommates in the new apartment-dorm at my school. That summer I found out I was dismissed from school and couldn’t room with her anymore. I told her I had decided to take a semester off. She became angry that I had left her hanging and hadn’t told her sooner. The truth was, I didn’t know I was kicked out until my grades were turned in at the end of the school year, but shame wouldn’t let me tell her that. It’s hard for others to see us clearly when we’re hiding bits and pieces of who we are. We often withhold pieces of ourselves when we’re afraid the person won’t stick around or will think less of us. And, while that may be true, half of us is never good enough.
I recently ended a friendship with someone who was hiding chunks of herself, but demanded I understand her. It was an exhausting task. I couldn’t understand why she was behaving so oddly. She became angry and passive aggressive. Every conversation ended in an argument. The relationship was draining. When we can’t be honest with ourselves, we will find it hard to be honest with others.
Get clear about who you are (the good, the bad and the ugly), what you value (what you’re willing to compromise and what you’re not), and where you’re going (Is your life headed in the right direction? Are you stuck?). It’ll take some guts, but I challenge you to tell the truth about yourself (to those who deserve to hear it).
Don’t decide to be honest based on someone else’s response. Be true to who you are because you are worthy of connection, just as you are. Wouldn’t you rather be in relationships where you can show your whole hand and not have to constantly keep something hidden behind your back?
What’s the truth about yourself that you didn’t tell about yourself that hindered your relationship?