Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Opposite of Honesty

The opposite of honesty isn't lying.

It's omitting.

Instead of saying how we really feel, we say nothing. Instead of telling the truth, we tell ourselves to keep quiet. And the result is very dangerous form of dishonesty.

For most of my life, I was an omitter: Happy to share my feelings when asked, but hesitant to volunteer my feelings the rest of the time.

I had girlfriends who never knew how unfulfilled I was until the relationship was over. I had roommates who never knew how miserable I was until I transferred. I had parents who didn’t know how lonely I was until they read my status updates. I had professors who never knew how lost I was until I failed the final. I had neighbors who never knew how unhappy I was until I moved away. I had friends who never knew how scared I was until I had anxiety attacks. I had coworkers who never knew how frustrated I was until I got fired. I had mentors who never knew how angry I was until they saw my art. I had colleagues who never knew how burnt out I was until they read my blog. I had family members who never knew how stressed out I was until I ended up in the hospital.

That’s what happens when we omit: The people closest to us feel forever in the dark. They fail to understand our full experience and simply assume that everything is fine.

When in reality, our heart is ready to explode.

But a few years ago, enough was enough. I was tired of being an omitter. I was tired of people being surprised every time I told them what was going on in my life.

So I started being prolific in my communication. I practiced telling everybody everything, all the time, everywhere. I even started writing letters to my girlfriend and parents every Sunday. Just to tell them was going on at that moment in my life, good and bad and in between.

And these days, I feel a lot more honest.

Not because I’m telling the truth, but because I’m simply telling.

What are your omitting?

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Scott Ginsberg
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