TRANSPARENCY. Agh, this topic has hit me hard recently.
I’m realizing more and more that transparency HUGELY affects our relationships like a ton of bricks. It’s impossible to have a balanced relationship without it.
Think about it. Let’s say a husband has been not doing too well emotionally, mentally, physically, professionally, or in any other way. AND THEN HE SAYS NOTHING. Do you think for a minute the wife won’t know something is up?
WIFE: Is everything ok? HUSBAND: Yeah.
(Wife is thinking: Um, no. He’s not acting himself. I wonder what is up.)
WIFE: Is there anything you’re worried about? HUSBAND: No. Everything is fine.
(Wife is thinking: Why isn’t he telling me? Is he upset with me? Is he ok? Are we ok?)
All of this because someone isn’t willing to say…
“I’m not doing well.”
“I’m struggling right now.”
“I dropped the ball.”
“My job sucks.”
“I am not perfect.”
Months or even years could go by with someone struggling personally- and yet not saying anything – and allowing a distance and a distrust and unneeded frustrations to begin. And I am sure we all know how fun that could be – and how deeply that can unravel a good relationship. I’ve been there.
Employee does not perform their job well.
Boss is ANNOYED and wondering what the crap is going on.
Employee is actually going through a divorce but says nothing.
Boss gets more and more annoyed because she is in the dark.
And the moment the boss learns what is happening, SHE NOW GETS IT. She isn’t so annoyed anymore. She only wishes the employee told her sooner as it would have prevented a lot of frustration.
Transparency. It’s a massive way to not burn bridges; to stay close to loved ones instead of creating a distance; to build trust instead of take it away; to gain respect or compassion or connection or understanding from others. Though clearly, to be transparent, it takes some guts. It takes some vulnerability. It takes an ego-self-worth-check…because we are usually hiding away or avoiding difficult conversations in order to protect those dang egos – because we think our worth is on the line. In reality, our worth is inherent. It’s never based on those perfect circumstances anyway.
Can you think of a scenario in your life where transparency would have prevented a lot of frustration, worry, or distance? Do share! And let’s all think of something RIGHT NOW that could get a dose of transparency. Hiding/Delaying/Procrastinating/Avoiding be gone!
(Water color gradients by Gillian Schwartz, a talented designer and brand consultant in Brooklyn.)
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