Many of us have gotten to the point where we are honest with our emotions. We have learned to communicate them more effectively and openly. We want to connect. So what is it that still keeps us from actually allowing the emotional connection we want to badly to happen?
Simply put: It hurts. Or it has hurt in the past. You’ve been let down. You’ve been lied to. You’ve had broken promises and collapsed expectations. It happens to everyone but we feel like it is not worth the pain of trying to connecting again.
If I could give you the single most important piece of advice I think I could ever write on this blog it would be this:
Honesty is the healthiest and happiest way to build connections and relationships.
Connecting often hurts because we are not honest. That is not the only reason of course (sometimes honesty hurts!). But by and large from my experience, what I’ve read, and what I’ve observed, when people are less than honest in a relationship (any type of connection not just dating), that is when they are exposed to getting hurt. And this can go both ways. Me no being honest with you can hurt you. But it can also hurt me.
Sadly this is a self-perpetuating cycle. The most common reason I find that we are not honest is that we’ve been hurt before while connecting. We are simply trying to protect ourselves. While I don’t condone dishonesty in relationships (even for the sake protecting yourself emotionally), I understand why we often do it.
If I open up completely and tell you how I feel, I make myself vulnerable. You now have the power to use this intimate knowledge against me. If instead I fudge the truth a bit and give you just enough that I sound like I’m connecting, without ever really being vulnerable, than I protect those intimate emotions from your reach.
Quick word of caution: I’m not saying spill everything at once. And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with telling someone “ I’m not comfortable talking about that with you right now, I think we need to get to know each other better first.” That’s honesty.
But going back to why connecting hurts: connecting hurts because you are exposing yourself and making yourself vulnerable. You are allowing someone else to become entangled in a part of your life. Someone who could ultimately walk away.
Part 2 Later this week will finish this series on emotionally connecting with women and why connecting hurts.
Author: Jesse Leake
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