I tossed up about what to focus on for this blog. I've had a few different things on my mind this month - one - the importance, and inherent risks of being candid in our relationships, two - the weird rules we impose upon ourselves when it comes to interacting with others (be it SO, ex, friend, relation) and three - the value that we put on the opinions and thoughts of others
In the end, I decided, they are kind of all related. Firstly, I think it's REALLY hard to be honest, 100% honest with people. We want to be, we try to be, but there's always a risk that they will not like us much for what we say, and so, we temper it a bit. Or there's a fear that it will somehow create a vulnerability we are not sure we want to risk. Its kind of the ''having a conversation naked'' idea that I've blogged about before. And invariably there are times when in being true to the idea of being honest we say things, that the minute they are out - sometimes still hanging in the speech bubble by our mouths - we wish we could gobble up again. Fear rules OK:)
It's also really hard to create your own rules for your relationships. Society dictates that things should be a certain way - things like how often couples should see each other in the early stages of a relationship, when they should move in together, who pays for things, what kind of friendship you maintain if you part ways...there's SO many pressures. Again, all wrapped up in the vulnerability of being honest. So what if you want to see each other every day? So what if you're ready to move in after 6 months? Its really no one Else's business and yet somehow the minute these things are made public, there's no end of advice...
Which brings me to number three. We DO value the opinion of others. All of us. Sometimes it's good (We really like that girl), sometimes it's not (don't you think you're moving too fast). But we put great store in the input of ''stakeholders'' into our relationships. I certainly value the opinions of others - sometimes they see things that we don't, and can also be our best cheerleaders - but the danger is that everyone has their own agenda (of course they do!) and sometimes that includes telling you what they think you want to hear. No one wants to be the deliverer of unpopular opinion after all. And so unless you're pretty sure of your own ideas, that can result in us not being honest, even with ourselves, and certainly can bring into question our adoption, or evolution of the rules that others impose.
So what can you do? Today, I'm in a ''what the hell happened'' kind of mood (about someone Else's relationship not mine). It may or may not be a good thing. I guess my ability to stick with that ambition of being (gently) honest, and listening (but not necessarily adhering) to the opinions of others has been well tested.
On the other hand, if there's one thing I've learnt in 30 years of adulthood, it's that the first person I need to be honest with is me. And that should be the easiest person of all to get naked with - especially if it means ignoring rules, and letting go of the opinions of others.