[Reminders] Let those closest to you be honest with you. And you with them.

When was the last time you’ve had an honest, authentic conversation with someone? The rules of social appropriateness, being polite, and being guarded about yourself went out the window. You felt that no matter what you said or shared, you we’re going to receive honest feedback, whether it was positive or negative

If you haven’t in a while, I suggest you go and have one. RIGHT. NOW. Don’t worry, the article will be here after you get back.

For those of you who have, what do you remember from that experience?

Was it refreshing?
Painful?
Life-changing?
Anxiety provoking?

Whatever the reaction, there is one thing I’m sure you were left with.

More understanding of yourself and your impact on the world.

All from a conversation? Yeah, all from a conversation.

Through the evolution of humans building communities and being “nice” to one another, we’ve gotten away from being authentic and honest. How we portray ourselves outside of our homes often do not align with how we actually are inside of our homes. That’s a problem.

Social media has not helped. We now portray our lives in this carefully curated manner, where the representation of our lives are shown in pictures and short videos, often portraying funny or happy moments. All trying to tell the world that this is my “life”, please like it.

Somehow are conversations have strayed away from what’s actually important.

I feel inadequate at work

I’m still sad about my breakup from 6 months ago.

I think I have a drinking problem

I haven’t been this happy in a long time

Now, I get it. We all live in denial some times. At times, it’s absolutely necessary. I talk about it more here: “No I’m not”. The use of denial and preservation.

When this perpetuates, we begin to close necessary feedback loops, inherent for our growth and progress.

When I was young, I approached a lit stove. I watched the fire closely and watched intently, and wondered if I could actually touch it (this was the 80’s, the internet wasn’t around, nature was all we had). Well, as you expected, it singed my fingertips. It also hurt for quite a long time.

But as you probably guessed, I was super careful around stoves and fire from that point.

That feedback, as painful as it was, gave me vital information about how I should proceed in the future.

I understood more about myself and about the world at that moment.

Imagine if I touched the flames and felt no pain? I’d probably lose a finger or two.

But we do this all the time. We’re inauthentic in how we feel and what we think, even with those that are close with and love. How are we ever to get the feedback necessary to make change and grow. We couldn’t it.

Now, it makes sense, that people are avoidant in those moments to not experience the pain/shame/embarrassment of having to hear the truth.

But I bet it’s more painful to go years of engaging in the same behaviors and seeing nothing change due to not receiving honest and authentic feedback.

I guarantee it.