To tell the truth

One of the foundations of a good relationship, whether it’s romantic, familial, or friendly, is supposed to be, or at least I’ve always thought, is honesty. We say we want the truth from each other, no matter how much it might hurt, no matter if we disagree. The thing is with truths is that they can lead to issues that have long been bubbling beneath the surface, waiting to explode — waiting to be cleaned up. The thing with truths is that some people say they want to hear, but they really don’t.

And that sucks for the person putting it out there.

Over the years, I’ve had my share of people I love and trust disappointing me or shying away from the truth – and I lose them. At this point in my life, it seems that number of people who really truly care about keeping a relationship built on truth and willingness to adapt and work together to clean up the mess are slowly dwindling to the point that I wonder what’s the point anymore.

What’s the point in having a best friend if you can’t be honest with each other or ask for things of each other? What’s the point in telling someone you want honesty if you aren’t willing to be honest yourself?

Truths can also lead to good things. It can mend rifts, it can smooth out miscommunications, and shed light on something that wasn’t noticed before. The hard part is always hearing it. It’s always hard to hear that you’ve hurt someone, intentionally or not. It’s always hard to hear that you’ve screwed up, that you unknowingly caused pain. I’ve been there. It’s rough. You feel like crap, you immediately want to fix it, or you’re angry, or confused.

But think about the person who has taken the time and stepped up their courage to tell you what they’re feeling. That’s hard too. Really, really hard. The number of times I’ve dreaded even approaching a painful conversation with someone because I’m afraid of the outcome is countless – but in the end, the outcome is always for the best. Once when I approached a friend who I didn’t think was being a good friend, his reaction proved to me that I didn’t need a friend like him anyway – and I was glad to be done with it. Another time, I approached my dad with some feelings I had – and I felt 100 times better after – after having played that exact moment in my head 100 times before. And recently, I had to put the truth out there to the guy I had been with for four years. Scary, tough, but necessary.

Unfortunately, there are times when we tell the truth and things change for the worse. And I guess we could sit around trying to backtrack, trying to figure out what our next move is, but really, after you’ve put yourself out there, all you can do is wait for the response. It may not be what you want, or you may not get one at all. And then – you might see a little more truth out there than you bargained for.

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