Kids just say it like it is. There's no second guessing, no filter, no concern for the impact their words might have on whoever is on the receiving end. They drop truth bombs all day long with total ease.
I LOVE that about kids! I find their clarity and straight–forward ways inspiring. Especially in a world where everyone filters and edits their thoughts, often completely losing track of the essence of what they are trying to say.
Most of us have been trained away from speaking the truth. We've been taught to protect other people's feelings, with phrases like; "that's not nice, you'll hurt their feelings, you can't say that..." but at what expense?
Obviously, we want our children to understand the impact words can have and to be mindful of what and how we say things.
But at the expense of being honest? Once you start editing yourself away from your truth, it gets harder to find your way back. You begin to lose yourself in the divide between your essence and your need to please.
I grew–up in a household where people rarely said what they meant. This shaped me into an excellent translator; it honed my ability to read between the lines, to see through all the filters to the essence of what was being said, to see through people's confusion and unintentional manipulation.
But it didn't help me learn how to communicate clearly.
Instead, I became all too familiar with the shame of being too blunt, too direct. I tried to develop some tact, some grace around my communication but it just left me feeling stifled and frustrated.
I continued my unintentional study into passive aggressive (indirect) communication long after leaving home, after–all that was the style of communication that was most familiar to me, even though it felt dysfunctional. I kept lining up with people who were masters at skirting around issues, never getting to the point, for fear of stepping on someone's toes or creating conflict. Which allowed me to hone my ability to see through to the truth even more but it still didn't give me any examples of how to communicate truths gracefully.
It wasn't until I observed the frustration my youngest son felt when things weren't communicated clearly that I started practicing being more precise, I started to refine my communication down to the simplest truths. Witnessing his temperament settle every time I clearly expressed myself, without compromising or altering my truth to protect his feelings or prevent a potential outburst, showed me the power of speaking truths.
The Truth is disarming!
When you pare your language down to the essence of what needs to be expressed, there is no room for misinterpretation. People may not like what you have to say but it won't be personal, at least not on your end.
For example, my son hates not getting a straight answer, so if he asks why we can't do something that he wants to do and I make up an excuse of some kind he'll complain and keep asking, but if I give him the honest truth, even if it feels selfish on my part, he'll be satisfied because he'll feel that it's true.
Not all kids are that receptive or demanding, my older son would happily accept whatever reason I gave him for not wanting to do something that he felt like doing.
My younger son, though, with his laser focus and determination, forced me to refine my communication. Or suffer the consequence of his constant frustration.
He taught me how to speak directly, with clarity and compassion, even when it feels uncomfortable. And the reward has been an incredible sensation of freedom.
It's true what they say, the truth does set you free.
Practicing radical honesty makes life so much easier! For everyone! No more second guessing, no more resentment... just freedom and ease.
I've been fortunate in that I've been able to test the waters with my son and be a witness to the relief he feels when I clearly express the truth. Which has given me the confidence to apply the same truth talking practices with everyone else I come across.
So that I can show up in the world in a much more authentic way, enriching my relationships and interactions.
People are so used to second guessing everything that to be spoken to clearly and honestly is often a huge relief, and it allows people the freedom to step into their own authenticity, to speak their truths.
For some people, hearing the straight–up truth is so unfamiliar that I'll have to assure them more than once that I actually mean what I say.
I think we could all benefit from a little truth talk.
So why not embody your inner three year old, temper it with some grown-up emotional maturity and see how things unfold.
As adults, we can get so hung-up on saying things 'the right way' that we often lose sight of the truth. Rather than editing ourselves in an effort to protect other people's feelings, which by the way, doesn't work, it just creates confusion and distrust, let's try to get to the essence of what we're wanting to express, and find the courage to just simply say it.
Liberate yourself with some straight–up truth talk!