Friday, March 24, 2006

The Depths of Truth's Import

In Nikki's latest blog post, "ten attributes of my perfect lover," she breaks down some of her "must have's" for an ideal mate. Among them was honesty, of course. Here was my response:

"I believe a lot of life's problems boil down to the basics and you've listed quite a few of them here.

I think I'll briefly post about one, in-particular, in my spot. Your post reminded me of the depths of truth's import.

You may be thinking, "Of COURSE people want their significant other to be honest." The type, degree, and frequency of that honesty vary, though. Some people want honesty when it comes to finances, but prefer to be lied to when it comes to matters of vanity or sexuality. It helps to know where other people stand on the spectrum of truth.

Here's one example of where I stand-
People want their significant other to know them so well that they can finish each others' sentences, know each others' emotions, and tell each others' thoughts.

Okay, so if I get the feeling that something's wrong with my lady and I want the truth when I ask, "What's wrong, baby?" What I do NOT want is for her to say, "Nothing," IF she KNOWS there's SOMEthing wrong. Even if she doesn't know what it is, I do not want her lying to me.

You may think that's a rather harsh assessment of someone saying, "Nothing" is wrong, because they don't know how to put it into words or they don't want to talk about it. I disagree.

I believe that the way we achieve that mental and emotional bond I described earlier, is by open, honest communication. If I suspect something's wrong and you tell me I'm wrong, that tells me I shouldn't trust my instincts about how you feel. This is especially true if you're one of those people who has to be "milked," as I like to put it. If I have to ask you the same question, repeatedly, to find out the real deal, that's high-maintenance bullshit and is a disservice to you, me, and our relationship.

I have no psyche degrees, but the way I see it, if you're one of those "Nothing" people, learn to catch yourself before you misrepresent your feelings to those who care about you. Respect yourself and your partner by being truthful without sharing more than you're comfortable sharing, at that time.

Some alternatives are:
1) "I don't know. I'm having a hard time putting it into words."
Your partner now knows s/he was right about your feelings AND that you need some space and time.

2) "I AM bothered by something, right now, but I don't want to talk about it, yet. I appreciate your concern, but I'll let you know when I'm ready."
Of course, if you say this, the ball's in your court. Don't get pissed if your loved-one doesn't step to you, again. You TOLD him or her that YOU'D initiate the conversation and that you didn't want to him/her to bother you about it until that time. Don't get mad at people for taking you at your word.

3) "I'm upset, but not with you. I'll tell you about it after I've had an hour or so to cool down."
Letting your loved-one know that s/he didn't upset you takes the burden off of his or her shoulders and makes it easier for him or her to give you the space and time that you need.

4) "I AM upset with you, but I'm not prepared to talk about it in a mutually respectful way, just yet. I'll talk to you after I go for a walk."
If you're pressed after this point and you go off, you can always say that you asked for space and were denied it. If your significant other respescts your wishes, it's a lot easier to be respectful of him or her.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Life can be challenging enough without us sabotaging ourselves and our own relationships.

I would never want to be put into a position where I'm critcized for respecting my loved-one's wishes. That kind of thing eats away at a relationship like a cancer. Except, this kind of cancer is very preventable.

That's my two cents. What do YOU think?


boy-man said...

I definitely agree. Any of the 4 options listed is better than the nothing reply when there is something wrong.

Of course one must also agree that sometimes nothing really is wrong.

West said...

True enough.
I see I didn't stress that as much as I'd intended to. For that matter, I forgot to insert the links to Nikki's post, which inspired mine.

Man, I'm really slippin'. Thanks for the heads-up.