Livin' true to you and others (JP Lifestyle Manifesto #2)

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 9:55 PM | comments: 2

One of the things I thought about today, I suppose in the context of Diana's medical adventures, is how easily we share most everything. I don't think either one of us do too much screening of our thoughts to each other, and when we do it's generally out of some kind of consideration for one another.

While I know it's very The Four Agreements, it occurs to me that being honest and transparent in your relationships, with others, with yourself, in every context, is one of the most freeing things in the world. When you can be completely honest (or impeccable with your word, as Agreements puts it), you don't have to worry about who you keep secrets from, candy coating your mood, misrepresent yourself, etc. You just are who you are, and the people who love you and call you friend accept it or they don't.

This should extend to your professional life as well, and I admit that this is the place that I'm not quite as good at it. I don't mean whether or not you speak up in a meeting, but more along the lines of how you interact with those above and below you. I've always had a hard time saying, "I'm not content with the tasks you're giving me," or, "I'd like you to do this differently." It's a little easier for me to communicate to underlings, but harder to tell a boss they're failing me (perhaps because I'm not always sure how to word it in a way that may piss them off).

Ultimately, this honesty is what drives expectations of any relationship. And isn't that a huge portion of what relationship management is? Expectation management?

The hardest part of this is with the relationship with yourself. It's hard to admit your faults or your strengths to yourself without feeling like a narcissist. It doesn't help that you're with yourself all of the time, so how the fuck are you supposed to recognize your own patterns? It takes a lot of work.

I'm not suggesting that this is a universal truth, by the way. I think it's OK to place reasonable limits on what you're forthcoming about. Heck, that's something I likely need to do more of. You don't need to share with friends the scope of your last dump, and you wouldn't share the sexual details of past relationships with your in-laws, for some obvious examples. But for the stuff that counts, honesty is critical.

So here's the second point in the J-Pizzie Lifestyle Manifesto:

"Live honestly and transparently with those around you, and create an environment where this transparency is possible."


Iceracer, October 22, 2008, 5:51 AM #

Damn, you're good and it appears Diana is good for you too.

Interestingly, I've been pretty much the opposite with regard to personal and professional life. In my professional life, I've never had a problem expressing my positions or expectations with those senior or subordinate to me. In most cases, that transparency and honesty has paid off, particularly when I had forward thinking managers above me, albeit at the price of often being referred to as the company maverick.

Unfortunately, as you know, I have not been as successful in expressing myself the same way in my personal life until somewhat recently, with a few notable exceptions among some lifelong friends. Odd that I am better with "extended family" than I am with those that should be and, in fact, are most important to me. The good news is I seem to be making progress in recent years and hope I continue to learn and grow.

I do believe ultimately, that people will make the decision to either accept us as we are or not. We can only be who we are, keep the opportunity for communication open and pray those we love and care for can see through our sometimes stupid behaviors and accept us anyway.

CPLady, October 22, 2008, 1:16 PM #

I've always dealt honestly and openly with friends, although I admit to being cautious for quite some time first. brainer. In fact, he always got the bluntly, truthful, open and honest Linda. The way I see it, people need to see the real me in order for any of relationship to last.

Of course, the idea of telling my boss what I'm unhappy about has only come back to bite me in the ass too many times. I learned very quickly that "being part of the team" to her means kowtowing to everything and not disagreeing or suggesting alternative methods.

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