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Monday, February 13, 2017

Honing and Harvesting Raw Honesty (pt. 1)

Caramel maple syrup ice-cream in Jean-Talon Market

The season for harvesting maple syrup here in Quebec is once a yr during late winter to early spring. Locals will tap trees and watch as liquid gold oozes out of the trees into their buckets. Likewise i see our dearest relationships as lovely trees that can ooze goodness. If honed correctly we can enjoy a bountiful harvest.

There is a deep conviction inside of me that rich relationships aren't invented, they are cultivated. I cannot tell you the countless amt of relationships that I've had that began with a BANG of great chemistry and today those people are no longer in my world. Much like the leaning tower of Pisa, those relationships were not built with the proper foundation and ultimately sank just like one day we know the leaning tower of Pisa will.

For me chemistry is simply not enough,  I want longevity. One of the things that i had a desire to harvest is raw honesty. My heart was to create a platform and space where we do more than brunch and coffee dates. But for it to become the kind of relationship where we look out for one another and even have the kind of trust that we can call each other out on things that may pose a potential threat to someones well-being. 

One of the first things I've learned is that when i want change in a relationship i have to demonstrate the behavior that i wish to see from the other person. Whatever words or actions i do or say are things that will either build or erode the foundation of relationships. If i take on a passive aggressive tone, it will be dealt back to me. If i demonstrate an ability to show raw honesty, then I'm opening a door for that behavior to be a regular part or our relationship.

At one point in any close relationship we will end up needing to have a brutally honest conversation. Whether we are doing things that irk the other person or maybe they are irking us. Maybe there might be some things you see in the lives of each other that are posing risk to well-being. When done right, raw honesty can create a stronger relationship and deepen the trust between two people. Done wrong and you'll end up putting a sword thru your relationship.

When creating a platform for honesty it is important that you make the other party 100% safe. This means that if you have started something where you tell them what they are doing is irking you, it means they have the freedom also to tell u if something is bothering them about you. I also highly recommend that if someone comes to you and speaks their heart about things that are troubling them, do NOT bring up any issues you have with them. It has to be purely their moment.

Bringing up things to them when they bring stuff up to you gives a sense of retaliation that ultimately comes from a place of insecurity. It will make the person less likely to be honest with you for fear that you'll give a snappy comeback.  Instead of making people feel insecure about coming to you, why not praise them and give them positive reinforcement to encourage raw honesty?

That's what i did, when my loved one took the incredible step of starting to talk to me about things that i was doing that was irking them, i praised them enthusiastically. Not only did i make them feel safe and encourage this behavior, i immediately made changes to the way i had been interacting with them and stopped the things that were bothering them.

When you've been made aware of what's bothering the other person, be committed to change. The last thing that you want is to go from zero to sixty and show signs of change for a little while and then leaping headfirst into the same toxic behavior patterns. If you want a stronger relationship with someone then they need to feel safe that you are committed to ensuring a new set of behavior patterns.

These are lessons I've gleaned on ways to produce raw honesty in a relationship. Another subject i wish to tackle is how to use raw honesty to look out for each other and call out each other on things if need be. In my next post I'll write guidelines and tips on how to do that in a healthy way.

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas