Have you ever found it hard to say what you really think, or been worried about whether to tell your friends the truth? Perhaps you've tried before and it's just got a little awkward. Well, we've been uncovering some truths - we’re getting real about honesty in friendships…
Pinky Promise : Telling the truth
I'd never lie to a friend! Honest! Yet, according to the Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, around 60% of us struggle to make it thought a ten-minute chat without lying twice! For women, the untruths slipped out when trying to make others feel good. Phew, so at least the ladies mean well! But what if our fear of being blunt is keeping us from experiencing true friendship? While honesty can sting, it’s better that we’re able to share authentically. The Bible puts it like this: ‘Wounds of a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses’ (Prov. 27:6). In other words: ‘I’d rather my friend tell me the truth, than make me feel good for nothing!’ Nobody wants an elephant in the room - it’s awkward. Falsely flattering someone is also described as laying a net out to catch their feet. After all, if you’re not quick to resolve a problem, no doubt your relationship will trip up again!
Cross My Heart : Meaning well
What comes out of our mouths is a good indicator of what is going on inside, so what happens when we don’t say anything? The problems in our heart just get bigger. When things are left unsaid, often resentment or worry can take root, so it’s time to get digging and bring the truth into the light. So, can we can say what we want, how we want, and when we want? Unfortunately not! How and when we say something can show what’s inside our hearts too. According to the Journal of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, it's not only what we say but our tone of voice and posture that send the message. Timing and tact is everything, and while we need to be completely honest, we also need to be gentle. Try to control any anger or judgment you may feel. After all, snapping, spitting or shouting our views is never going to go down well. The way we speak should show the love and concern in our hearts for those around us. Honesty is a part of love, so try to reflect that!
The All Clear : Healthy body
When we’re transparent, our health improves. Not just in relationships, but in our bodies! A study from the University of Notre Dame shows that participants who spent five weeks being honest in all things (from why they were late, to what they really believed about each other), reported a large decrease in illness and ailments. They reported less sickness, fewer sore throats, flu symptoms and even mental health complaints. Psychology Professor Anita E. Kelly has used the method herself, suggesting her readers try it out and test their own health! It’s also important to acknowledge the health of our relationships and community too. When the Bible talks about ‘not being fake’, it’s because all of us are at stake. It’s explained that we should speak truthfully to each other because, in reality, we all make up one ‘body’. If one part is unhealthy, we all are. So perhaps it’s time to see your friend’s ‘tricky to talk about’ areas as part of your life too and care for them in the same way you’d care for you!
For more, check out our Autumn 17 issue!
Photo credit: Shutterstock