Dishonesty is probably the cause of every problem in your social life or your dating life.
You don’t tell the girl you have a crush on that you want to be more than friends with her. You keep waiting for or bargaining for the “someday” where she falls in love with you, though part of you knows it’ll never come.
You don’t tell the guy you’re dating that you’ve lost your attraction to him, so you keep dating someone you’re unfulfilled by.
You stay with friends you feel you’re settling for because you’re afraid to express the truth you feel: You deserve to spend time with people who share your values, doing things that align with those values.
You refuse to engage new people, make new friends, or be receptive to people who are interested in you because you’re afraid people won’t like you for your honest self.
You assume dating is supposed to be a minefield of games and manipulation, so your dating experience becomes a minefield of games and manipulation. Even when an honest person is attracted to you, they don’t fit your schema of what dating should be and your expectation of dishonesty ruins what you could have had. When you have the opportunity to express honest interest in someone, you can’t because you’re afraid of telling the truth and making yourself vulnerable to rejection.
You’ve probably had interpersonal problems from miscommunication, lack of communication, trying to guess what someone meant by doing x or saying y, doing or saying x to get someone else to do y, or from not knowing what to do in a social situation.
Honest self-expression kills those problems.
Everything about your social life improves when you express what you truly feel instead of hiding it to fit in or to keep someone comfortable, when you make clear what you will and won’t tolerate from someone else, and when you make an effort to only spend time with people you can be honest with. Your dating life becomes much less of a headache too.
Make a habit of telling the truth and never lying. This habit has endless benefits:
- Not being lead on by people who don’t actually like you
- Reducing social anxiety and uncertainty in social situations
- Attracting people who are similarly honest
- Worrying less about your image and more about your character
- Having an honest relationship with yourself
- Desensitizing yourself to repressed emotions
If you’re a genuinely honest person, people will sense that honest energy; They’ll find you trustworthy and dependable. You’ll be at ease around them instead of worrying about saying or doing the Wrong Thing.
Here are some ways to build that honest energy and get comfortable with honest self-expression:
Assume everyone else is telling the truth
Not just with their words, but with their energy and their behavior.
Therefore, if someone isn’t acting enthusiastically about seeing you or texting you back, move on.
If someone’s playing a game with your feelings, don’t buy into the game.
Some people assume games are just something you have to deal with in dating or friendships. Wrong. Honest people who communicate effectively exist. You just aren’t attracting them because you don’t expect people like that to be interested in you.
If someone’s dishonest words set off your bullshit detector, trust the bullshit detector. Trust their behavior too. That’s the most honest thing about anyone.
Honest people don’t vibe with dishonest people, and vice-versa. Honest people don’t have patience for anyone whose perspective is based on lies, image, and untested values and ideas.
If you feel like you don’t know the Right Thing to say or do to escalate a relationship with someone, there’s no Right Thing. There’s only the right match in energy.
Assume you don’t need to convince anyone to be with you or to like you
If someone likes you, it’s not for the clever things you say or the mystery you think you build when you ignore them. It’s not for your good looks (though those are a reflection of an honest lifestyle) or your cool toys. No, they like you for your energy.
If you feel like you have to do a Right Thing to win someone over, your energy will be needy and dishonest. You can only win someone over superficially that way.
Come on, are you expecting anyone else to say or do a Right Thing to earn your approval? No, you’re expecting them to show you more of their honest self so you can feel how much you vibe with it.
Your energy can’t be honest without risking rejection. Sometimes, standing for what you believe means standing alone.
Prioritize truth over comfort
If you can’t comfortably and amicably disagree with someone, you can’t trust them. People who blow up at disagreement prioritize their own comfort over truth. That’s unhealthy because it prioritizes their individual comfort and stagnation over the common good.
Feelings matter. Positive feelings are a reward for doing good things. Negative feelings are a motivational shock to get off your ass doing something or healing something about yourself, not lazying around complaining about the latest thing that made you feel bad.
However, you can’t trust someone who’s unwilling to be challenged.
You can only have a fulfilling connection with someone you don’t have to censor yourself around. That’s someone who likes you for challenging them with your honesty; They don’t dislike you for your conflicting perspective.
No one has a perfect internal model of the world, and emotionally healthy people understand that; They’re constantly expanding their world-view through interacting with new people. Unhealthy people like to maintain their pre-established model of the world; They refuse to entertain views that don’t support that stagnant model. They refuse to entertain people who dare to disagree with them.
You can’t have a strong value unless it’s tested, including honesty.
If you say you value honesty but you tell lies, you don’t value honesty.
If you want others to tell you the truth but you hide truths you feel, you don’t value honesty.
Or maybe you value honesty, but you value something unhealthy above it, like an image or your comfort. Still, you don’t value honesty unless that value holds up against challenge.
To develop a solid sense of honesty, start with being honest with yourself. I used to wonder why people didn’t seem to like having me around, even if they actually did like me. I used to wonder why no matter what techniques or strategies I tried, my social life and dating life weren’t getting any better.
My problem wasn’t that I was saying or doing the wrong things.
My problem was that I was refusing the burden of being honest.
I was refusing to define myself in concrete reality instead of in weak impressions.
I ended up accepting that burden and developing a solid identity that serves me. I learned how the social world REALLY works, and everything that used to confuse me about it now makes sense.
You can have that same development, even if you haven’t been a winner in the social world.
With my guidance, the process will be painful and honest. It’ll be a process of internal growth that won’t just make you appear like an attractive, valuable person. You’ll ACTUALLY BE ONE.