Watching television’s “sitcom’s”, I can’t help but notice that most of the plots revolve around the same theme – someone being afraid to tell someone else the truth. We saw it in the years that Ross loved Rachel, that Niles loved Daphne, or that George hated Susan. We saw it in virtually every episode of Three’s Company.

Why do we keep the truth from people? Usually it’s for one of the following reasons (or a combination): we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, we’re afraid the other person will be angry with us or we don’t want to be embarrassed.

What is the main consequences of not speaking up and telling the hard truth? It keeps us stuck in unfulfilling situations – like jobs, relationships and other life circumstances. Here are some others:

~ Someone thinks you understand something you don’t
~ Someone thinks you’ve agreed with something you haven’t
~ Someone thinks you’re going to do something and you’re not
~ Someone thinks you did something and you didn’t
~ Someone doesn’t know you love them and you do
~ Someone thinks you love them and you don’t
~ Someone doesn’t know what you’re capable of
~ Someone thinks you’re capable of something you’re not

How do you know when it’s time to tell the hard truth? From that first nagging feeling in your stomach that something about the situation is not right. Because there’s no bad time to tell the hard truth.

5 ways that telling the hard truth is good for your self-care:

1. You deepen your relationships. Social support is a very
important element of self-care. When you assume someone can
handle hearing the hard truth, they usually rise to your
expectations. When you learn to tell the hard truth in a
relationship you can be yourself in that relationship.

2. You lose the stress. Hiding the truth and/or living a lie is very stressful! Telling the hard truth is the antidote.

3. You feel better about yourself. When you’ve done something courageous like telling someone the hard truth, you’re sending yourself the message that maybe you can do OTHER hard things.

4. You create evidence that your own thoughts make you suffer – look at an experience where you told the hard truth and notice that it was the anticipation of telling that created your worry and stress. Things that hadn’t happened and may never happen, things you were creating in your own mind. And the reality rarely lives up to our feared expectations.

5. You can learn from the hard truth. Has someone told you a
hard truth? Use it as a way of deepening your relationship or to improve something about the situation or yourself. Thank the person and recognize their courage for telling the hard truth.

Who do you need to tell a hard truth? What hard truths have you been avoiding telling yourself?

Copyright Linda Dessau 2004. All rights reserved.

You’re welcome to reprint this article online as long as it
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Author's Bio: 

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach helps hundreds of people every month improve their self-care and make healthier choices. To receive her free monthly newsletter, “Genuine Self-Care”, subscribe at