Written by Laux
Earlier this month, a friend confided in me an idea she had for a new project. She came to me because I had worked on a similar project before. However, when I looked over her proposal I found it riddled with mistakes and gaps in logic. Do I tell her the truth and risk her losing her confidence? Or should I be nice and risk her failing? These two things are not mutually exclusive, but I often find myself thinking that they are.
I wonder what life could be like if we all felt more comfortable with being honest. What would it take for us to not hold back because we don’t want to hurt other people? When will we stop being nice for the sake of social decorum?
This shows up in small ways like giving friends constructive feedback, but it also shows up in our sexual and emotional health. For instance, some of us choose to fake orgasms for the sake of stroking our partner’s ego. Other times a friend may be taking up too much of our emotional energy, treating us as therapists, and we choose not to communicate our boundaries because we know they need support and don’t want to hurt them. Sometimes, we disregard the truth for the sake of being nice.
Niceness is normalcy. Status quo is easy. It’s comfortable. Many people choose to be nice because they feel it brings positivity into the world invoking the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Yet, if that niceness is fake or inauthentic is it really bringing positivity into the world?
Honesty invokes the power of truth-telling, allowing empowerment of self and others. Yet, honesty in and of itself is not perfect. Honesty can come across as harsh or unnecessarily cruel, because we are not used to hearing it. If I’d been faking my orgasms in bed and then one night I stare up at the ceiling with the look of boredom that I am actually feeling, it would likely catch my partner off guard.
Honesty also consists of grey areas because the way that we perceive the world is constantly changing. Perhaps one day a friend forcing me to do their emotional labor is sending me into a state of anxiety, while the next it is providing me with the connection that I crave. What is true for me today may not be true for me tomorrow.
Our perception of the truth may also be wrong. I may be thirsting after a new partner and picking up on cues that they like me too. Yet, I could be completely wrong and flat out rejected. These uncertainties stop many from declaring their truth.
There must be a balance between being nice and being honest, but niceness has become the status quo, so perhaps we should work on honesty. I am hoping to inspire myself and others to share our truth and reap the benefits. I’d like to imagine a new reality where we maintain order through honesty rather than complacency while exploring methods of finding a healthy balance between kindness and honesty.
This series will focus on a particular aspect of truthtelling, sincerity, or honesty as it relates to emotions. I have had a difficult time understanding my feelings, and an even more difficult time communicating those with others. This gap intersects with both my mental health and sexual health. For example, it is difficult for me to communicate boundaries because I don’t take the time to figure out how I feel about situations. If I don’t understand how things make me feel, I can’t define how I want others to treat me, or in other words, my boundaries..
Season of Sincerity will explore the importance of truth telling, especially as it relates to emotions, while exploring the intersection between mental and sexual health. I hope that people become more comfortable with telling their truths and receiving others. I also hope that we learn to better navigate the complexity that is “the truth.” Let’s see how it goes.
Sincerity is an act of honesty
Honesty is an act of authenticity
Authenticity is an act of Love
Towards myself and others.