9 Steps to Telling the Truth
To continue with our Couples Series, this week we’re talking about how to be more honest in your relationship. If you missed last week’s, you can read Why People Lie in Relationships.
Most people struggle with telling the truth from time to time. But when someone starts telling bigger lies or lying becomes a habit, then it’s more of a problem. Unless you’re a pathological liar, most people want to be more honest in general with their partner. Often fear stops them.
First thing to know is to start small. If you catch yourself telling a lie, immediately tell the truth. You can practice this with friends, family, and your partner. Here’s an example . . . you get home from the grocery store and your partner remarks how long it took you. You say something like, “Yep, it did,” which is a lie of omission since you stopped by a friend’s house.
This would be the correction– “That’s so stupid. I had no idea why I just lied to you (laughter). I stopped by Mary’s house on the way to the grocery store just for a couple of minutes. That’s why it took me longer. I wasn’t honest probably because I know you don’t like her or want me socializing. We waved at each other (another lie). Well, actually we did hug but then we backed up to the 6 foot distance (another correction). I miss her so much.” Get the idea?
Here are the Steps to Telling the Truth
- Make a decision to be truthful. This is actually the MOST important step. Make a decision and stick to it.
- Decide what you want to happen when you tell the truth.
- Explore your own avoidance. You can do this with a therapist or friend. Or you may be able to do this alone. What are you scared is going to happen by telling the truth?
- Set a time and place to talk with your partner (if you’re not doing it on the fly).
- Don’t be passive aggressive in the meantime or during the conversation. No barbs or digs or bringing up stuff they did wrong in the past.
- Plan what you will say or do. Decide how you’re going to handle yourself. You can say, “I’m going to stay calm. I’m not going to blame them. I’m not going to get defensive.”
- Start the conversation. Let you partner know it’s hard for you to talk about it. Ask for their understanding.
- Take responsibility for what you did and tell your partner your intention for future honesty.
- Show you can handle their reaction, their truth by staying calm and helping them handle what you said.
If you need help, you know I’m here for you! Or for more in-depth reading about how to be more honest, you an check out the book, “Tell me No Lies” by Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson.
Peace and a lot of understanding (and no judgement),
P.S. I work with people all over the world. If you want a transformed life, grab your Free Consultation with me to get the deets on working together (the how, the when, the where, and the how much)!