Sometimes in relationships we have to have the tough conversations. The ones we want to avoid or push off because not having them seems easier, in the moment, than having them. Trust me when I say I wish there was a way to have these conversations that was painless or easy. The reality is that there isn’t.
When these conversations come up I often hear clients ask me if there is a way where they can tell their partner the hard news without being truly honest. Is honesty really the best policy? Is there no way to soften it so that it doesn’t have to hurt either of us so much? The answer is Yes it is the best policy, and Yes you can soften it.
Being honest can be hard but it also makes things easier in the long run. It allows us to deal with the issue at hand at the time it is happening, instead of in bits and pieces over an extended period. Where I think people cause harm with honesty is when they believe that in being honest they have to be, or have permission to be, blunt, rude or unkind. The key with honesty is delivering it with grace, kindness and compassion.
In other words, deliver the message while being understanding as to how it will be for your partner to receive this message. Do it with love, even if it is hard. This is how you make the message receivable. It doesn’t mean that your partner will like what you have to say, but that isn’t the purpose. The purpose is to be honest and authentic. This is hard and often anxiety provoking for everyone involved. Being honest while still being human will help make the experience as healthy and healing as possible.