Photo by Jordan Worthy featuring Maryn Worhacz for Mad Sounds Magazine, Issue 20
Honesty is the best policy, apparently. I preach communication in relationships the most out of anyone I know, but sometimes I find myself avoiding my own advice. In our generation it’s so easy to “ghost” someone via the screen and hide from them, pretending we don’t know they exist. For some of us, ghosting has become second nature; a tactic we rely on when we’re too scared to tell the truth. It’s becoming something to be proud of when you actually respond to someone’s message or tell them you’re not interested in them anymore. It’s a difficult process, I know.
I’m always terrified to confess my feelings but it shouldn’t be this way. We should all feel free to change our minds, not feel intimidated to express our thoughts and not feel guilty because we don’t share the same emotions as someone else. In place of telling the truth I look for excuses as to why I “can’t” go on a date with someone: “I still have feelings for my ex” or “I’m already seeing someone”, when really it should be as simple as: “Sorry, I’m not interested.”
Maybe it’s just me who thinks and feels this way, but it’s something I wonder about a lot.
The other day a friend of a friend asked me if I wanted to go out for lunch and I agreed, more so out of pressure and expectation than personal desire. There’s nothing wrong with going out on a limb, but as the date crept up through the week, I felt less like going and more like running away. I contemplated texting him some of the “brilliant” and not at all overused excuses I mentioned above, but something didn’t sit right with me. I knew I had to make an effort to tell the truth. I shouldn’t feel ashamed to tell him how I feel, I thought to myself. After I admitted what I was feeling, I felt bad for canceling, but more relieved than anything. Not only had I avoided lying, but I no longer felt pressure to create something out of nothing.
Finding the courage to tell the truth can be difficult and terrifying. The truth is typically the thing people say they want to hear, but in some situations the repercussions are inevitable and fierce. In the long run, the feeling of relief after addressing the problem is worth it. It may take awhile, but in the end everyone is happier than if the situation was sitting on a lie. This new year, I encourage you to obey your gut and tell the truth especially when something does not feel right. Don’t feel pressured to go on that date or feel obligated to say yes to people asking for favors. You are your own person and you’re allowed to change your mind. Don’t let others make you think differently.