Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

Truth Telling in Relationship

March 21, 2024 MaryAnn Walker Episode 91
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
Truth Telling in Relationship
Show Notes Transcript

Are you telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in your relationship?

Comment like:
 "I don't like your boyfriend"
"You abandoned me at the party"
& "You are so inconsiderate"

Might feel like you're telling the truth, but these statements are actually partial truths.

This week we explore how to be more truthful and authentic in relationship by increasing our own emotional maturity, identifying ALL that is coming up for us, and communicating in a way that owns your experience without defensiveness.

Are you looking for support when it comes to identifying what your whole truth us? Apply to work with me now by going to  

Well, hello and welcome back. So today I want to talk to you about the idea of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And I can hear you that you're saying, well, I'm not a liar. Of course I tell the truth. I'm a truth teller. And while you may be telling the truth, it might not be the whole truth. And let me kind of explain what I mean about that. So I might have somebody come into a session with me and they might tell me about somebody that's right now, a casual acquaintance, but they really want to make this person a friend, an actual friend. But sometimes when they're talking, especially around other people, then this person might make some comments that are in conflict with what it is that they believe. And it's kind of just being assumed that they're all on the same page, which is creating a lot of discomfort. So they might say so, I don't know, like what do I do? I want to be their friend, but it makes me really uncomfortable when they talk like this. And I might just state the obvious and say, so why not tell him that it bothers you? And then they might go into freak out mode a little bit. And say, wait, what? No, I'm not going to do that. Didn't you hear me? Like, I want to be their friend. So I can't say I have a different view from them and that it hurts my feelings. There's no way I just have to learn how to feel my feelings on this. And sure. There's a lot of truth to that. You can just choose to feel your own feelings about it and radically accept that you have this big difference and that it just is what it is. Uh, or you can choose to actually deepen your level of relationship and tell them how you're feeling. Because so often we think I'm going to deepen the relationship by pretending this doesn't bother me. And. By essentially pretending to be someone else. But then they're not actually in relationship with you. They're in relationship with this imaginary, other. So practice telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Right. So telling the whole truth might sound something like, Hey, I am so loving, spending time with you. I just absolutely love it when you get together. And I love it so much. I really want to do more of it. And because of that, I'm honestly a little bit hesitant to tell you. That you keep making these comments, especially around other people. And I just need you to know, I actually feel differently about that topic. And I know that I haven't told you my opinions on that subject before, but I just wanted you to know that sometimes. I find myself feeling uncomfortable in those conversations because it's kind of just assumed a belief that we all believe the same way about that subject. And I really don't want this difference of opinion to get between us. Because, like I said, I think that we could be really great friends. Now think for a moment about how that might feel how much better do you think a truth like that? Might be received because that is the whole truth. It's not a limited truth. Right? So let me share a few more examples of partial truths. I'm going to say these like they're facts, our brain is going to believe that these are all facts, but I want you to know that these are all actually partial truths. Okay. And as I read these, I want you to just kind of notice if these are maybe statements that you've heard or that you've even used, or that you're believing really strongly. Just kind of notice what is coming up for you. Okay. So here's some parcel truths. I really don't like your boyfriend. I hate it. When you leave your dishes in the sink. You always talk over me. You never respond to what it is that I have to say. It really makes me angry when you're so late. You are such a jerk for leaving the TV on so loud when I'm trying to work. Now, these were all spoken like facts and they might be true in some way. Right. But these are all, as I said, partial truths. And they also sound pretty judgy any emotionally charged. But these statements, they are not the whole truth. There is more to the story around these. So let's kind of play around a little bit with what it means to tell the whole truth. CAISO tongue the truth. Yes, it does include facts. It also includes maybe possibly some fears, some vulnerabilities, some insecurities, like it really is a vulnerable thing to do to tell the whole truth, but that's where the magic lies. That's where the connection lies. So, yes, it might be true for example, that you don't like your friend's new boyfriend, but just saying, Hey, I don't like your new boyfriend. That is a partial truth and think about what is it that that's going to create and what is it that you actually want to create? Oftentimes we can just look at, okay, what is the end result that I want to create? And how can I approach this in such a way to create that? And most of the time, what we're seeking is connection. So thinking through, okay, so how can I approach this? Not saying that we're responsible for how other people respond to us, right? We're not responsible for how they show up. For us, but the way that we choose to approach things can definitely impact and influence how well we are received. So, for example, instead of saying, Hey, I don't like your boyfriend as a partial truth, then really reflect on what is the whole truth. What is coming up for you personally, as you are thinking that, and as you're feeling that way, And it can really help you to make some space for both parties. It lends a little bit of room for compassion when we're able to really self reflect on what is the whole truth. And it can help us just show up more authentically in our relationships when we're showing up through that more authentic and loving lens, versus when we're showing up through a more critical or judgmental lens. So for example, maybe instead of saying, Hey, I hate your boyfriend, then maybe instead, then you want to say something like, Hey, I am so happy that you have found someone. I can see how happy you are with him. And I'm also feeling a little bit insecure about your near relationship. You and I have historically really spent a lot of time together and lately you've been spending more time with your boyfriend, and I totally understand that. And I also admit that I've really been worried to talk with you about this because I don't want my insecurity to impact our relationship. And so do you think that maybe you and I could plan just like a once a month bestie date? You know, whether you're in a relationship or not, I really want to spend some time with you because you're somebody that's really important to me. Now that's a more honest truth. It's a more vulnerable truth. And it's focusing on that end goal. Of connection. Okay. So another partial truth might be, you never respond to what I say. Now, this can really feel true, especially if you actually have in front of you. All of the read receipts. That are showing you all of the messages that were seen, but not responded to, but really think on, okay, what is it that you want to create? And what is the whole truth? Because if you come at somebody saying, Hey, you never respond to what I say, then they might think, oh wait, what? Now they're mad at me. They don't want to hear from me anymore. And then it's going to be creating a scenario where now you really aren't going to be hearing from them. They're not going to be responding to what you have to say. Cause it's not safe. And so really thinking through what is it that I actually want to create? So maybe instead your whole truth might be something like, Hey. I've been missing. You. I sent you some messages and you didn't respond. And I want us to be able to be real with each other. So first I want to ask, like, are you doing okay? Now being honest also means being honest about the things that you don't know. You don't actually know why they haven't been responding to you. They could be depressed. Maybe their screen broke and they can't actually text a reply. Maybe they're just super swamped at work. We don't actually know what's coming up for them. We don't actually know their reason for their lack of response. All that we know is that you sent a text. And they didn't text back. That's all that we know. Everything else is assumed. So partial truths are assuming that, you know, what's going on or just saying, Hey, like you haven't been replying to me, but the whole truth might be, Hey, I actually don't know why you haven't been responding. And it's actually me not knowing why you're responding. That's creating the insecurity for me. It actually doesn't have a lot to do with the texts. It's about the story in my head that there might be a reason why you're choosing to not respond to me. And so being honest about that can be very helpful. So ultimately you might see something like, Hey, I noticed that you've been less responsive than you used to be. And I really want us to be able to connect. I really miss talking with you. Now that's going to really shift the emotion behind it a bit. Right? It's less accusatory. Is taking ownership of your own personal experience and your own feelings so that you can mindfully move forward in relationship. Another example might be maybe instead of saying, Hey, I hate the, you leave your dishes in the sink, then think about why is it bothering you so much? And what else is coming up for you? And you might try saying something like, Hey, I can see that you left your mug in the sink. And I get it that this might seem like a really little thing for you. But for me, it's not actually about the mug. For me, it's about feeling unseen and unappreciated for everything that I do around the house, especially right now, when my workload is really a lot heavier due to that huge project that's weighing on me so heavily. And so I'm really feeling like maybe there's a silent expectation that it's my job to pick up the slack. And if I'm being honest, I'm scared to even tell you this, because I'm worried that if I tell you this, then it's going to create conflict for us. And I really just want peace. That's what it's all about is, I love you. I care about you. I know that I'm acting right now through the lens of overwhelm. And so I was just wondering if we could sit down some time and maybe map out the home duties to see what each of us could realistically do. I think it would bring me a lot of peace because maybe if I see, oh, they're planning on doing the dishes later, I can know that, okay. The mug is not my responsibility. I can delete that story that says that I should just assume that if it's not done, that's expected that I do it right. We can really just open up a dialogue around, Hey, I would love it. If we could just sit down. And distribute out those home duties so we can find something there'll be more supportive, especially during this month when I'm really having a particular heavy workload. And I get it that this can really sound like a mouthful. And also we really do both ourselves and the other person a disservice when we're only speaking our limited truth and not actually speaking our whole truth. And what else is true is that as you practice telling your whole truth, it will actually save you a lot of time and energy in the long run, because let's be honest, how many arguments have been started because of those little partial truth. So just really notice what's coming up for you that yes, you can invest the time at the beginning. I have the request to really express your whole truth because the alternative is you share your partial truth. You get in a big fight, and then you're trying to correct the story. In hindsight, once you've identified after the fact that you haven't actually articulated your full truth, but that was a mouthful that, that makes sense. The whole truth will eventually come out. You just get to choose if it's before or after the conflict. And I can also hear the argument that, well, isn't this just me doing all of the mental and emotional work for them. And I'm going to suggest to you that no, this is not you doing all of the mental and emotional work for them. They still get to decide how they want to respond. They get to choose how they want to navigate this. So, no, you are not doing the work for them, but you are doing your own mental and emotional work in order to make your own delivery. More honest, more sincere, and more authentic. It provides context to our feelings and concerns, which in turns helps the other person to better understand what it is that is needed. And what is coming up for you personally. Now as we practice speaking our truth and showing up more consistently in our truth, it really does help us to build that relationship of trust over time. Now, so often we assume the other people, they should just be mind readers. Right. And so we assume that we don't actually need to say anything at all. Or if I do say something, it can just be one really short sentence. And then they will know automatically all of the context around that one little segment of a partial truth. Right. They should just know better, but two people can have two very different experiences even of the same event. We'd like to assume that when I say this, then they just know everything, but that's not always the case. So just to kind of illustrate this, let me tell you a story about Sarah and John. So Sarah and John attended a dinner party at their friend's house and it included a lot of lively conversation and really delicious food and music and dancing. And yes, I can list those off as facts that yes, there was dancing and food and music and conversation. And these. Are the facts of the party. However, John and Sarah had two very different experiences when it came to that party. So for example, Sarah, she had a great time at the party. She enjoyed catching up with old friends and savoring all of the delicious homemade meals and dancing to the music. And so when Sarah left the party, she was feeling really happy and energized and grateful for such a wonderful evening. But John's experience was very different. John's experience was not a positive experience. He actually felt really uncomfortable during the party because Sarah spent most of the evening with her friends. And since he's more introverted, he had a harder time engaging in conversation with the other guests. And so John left the party feeling drained and honestly, slightly resentful towards Sarah. He was experiencing a bit of abandonment there. Now John could say to Sarah, Hey, I can't believe you ditched me. I had a terrible time at the party and it's all your fault. But that would not actually be the whole truth. Right. So what if instead John said something like, Hey. I'm really glad that you had such a good time at the party, and I'm so happy that you get along so well with your friends. And also I was feeling a little bit abandoned by you and that really triggered my own feelings of insecurity. And it honestly made it a little bit harder for me to engage socially with other people because of that insecurity. And I totally recognize the, oftentimes I am dependent on you. To help me to connect with other people in those situations. So that's another insecurity is now not only was I feeling uncomfortable, but the person that usually helps to introduce me to people wasn't by my side. And I know I've really depended on you in the past. And I'm still honestly trying to figure out how to do that for myself, how to introduce myself to other people, because I don't have that skill yet. Now by sharing his whole truth, then John is able to actually deepen his connection with himself because he's identifying what is actually going on with him. He's asking some questions to get below the irritation and the resentment. Towards Sarah. So he's deepening that connection with himself, but he also has the opportunity to deepen his connection with Sarah as well. Being willing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It might sound a little bit daunting at first, but also it is essential for authentic communication. When we express ourselves fully, we're able to create clarity and understanding as we deepen our connections with other people. So in essence, telling the truth, it isn't about just being honest about one little thing and stating one fact. And allowing other people to fill in the whole story. Right instead, it's about self-awareness it's about fostering mutual, understanding, empathy and growth. When we communicate authentically, we're able to create space for true connection. And that helps us to navigate our challenges with greater ease in the relationship. So the next time that you're considering sharing a truth, reflect on what might be the whole truth. Ask yourself, am I sharing just the tip of the iceberg or am I sharing any emotion and the experience that I'm having with fear or insecurity, like what's coming up for me. Am I being vulnerable as I'm expressing my truth? Or am I sharing just a partial truth? It can be such a powerful tool for building stronger and more meaningful relationships. And I get it that doing your own inner work to figure out what's coming up for you so that you can get to a place where you can share your whole truth. It can feel a little overwhelming at times. And that is where coaching can be so valuable. So when you choose to work with me, I can help to reflect back to you and ask those questions to help you get to okay. What's happening underneath the mug in the sink. What's happening underneath this distaste for the boyfriend what's really happening. Under the surface so that you can actually articulate those things and express your needs authentically to other people in a way that actually deepens the love and the connection. We oftentimes like to make other people responsible for how it is that we are feeling. But again, that is just a partial truth. So we could acknowledge like John and Sarah, that, yeah. When you were talking with your friends, I was feeling insecure. But it's not Sarah's fault that John was feeling insecure. Oftentimes we've never actually even tried to articulate our truth because it's just so easy to assume the other people should know what it is that we want them to do and what it is that they have done wrong. But this really does limit the depth and the connection that we're able to potentially experience in relationship. So again, if you would like some help and support learning how to identify what is coming up for you so that you can deepen your level of connection through whole truth, telling. Come and work with me. I would be happy to work with you. You can click the link in my show notes to apply, to work with me now. All right. So here's to a week, a full truth telling. I love you guys. That is the whole truth. Let's talk soon. Bye now.