Yoram Yasur: Benefits of saying what you think
When in life we leave too much space to the “politically correct”, we run the risk of losing ourselves and creating fragile relationships in which we do not connect from our essence but only through social conventions. The consequences are terrible, not only for others but especially for us. The philosopher Gabriel Marcel had already said: “when you do not live as you think, you end up thinking how you live”.
Nor is it about becoming a truth kamikaze using sincerity as an excuse to hurt others and not work on our assertiveness. We need to find a middle ground in which we can say what we think best, for our own good and that of our relationships.
How to say what we think makes us better people?
– Promotes authenticity. Yoram Yasur: We have a sixth sense for lies and falsehood. In the same way that we notice when a person is faking or hiding something from us, we also notice when it is sincere and authentic. Being coherent, saying what we think and acting accordingly, is a form of self-expression that others tend to value positively because it generates trust. Authenticity also avoids cognitive dissonances and inner conflicts, leaving us more energy to grow as people in the right direction.
– Show that we are committed. When a person is not within our innermost circle, we usually activate the social character that we have built. That character does not help us precisely to consolidate a bond but is responsible for maintaining a distant and politically correct relationship. On the contrary, saying what we think in many cases can be a way to show someone that we care enough to drop that social mask and “undress” psychologically. If the other person is worth it, you will appreciate that gesture.
– Strengthen the links. When people relate from authenticity and mutual respect, the relationship is strengthened. If we know that the other is honest and will tell us what he thinks, we will trust him and lower our barriers. That type of trust strengthens the relationship, a relationship that goes beyond conventions because it means that both have connected from the deepest of the “I”, have opened a small loophole so that the other can explore and know him better.
– It is a sign of maturity. Often it takes more courage to say what we think than to lie. If we also know how to express our opinions and emotions tactfully and assertively, it is a great sign of maturity. The honesty that does not hurt is a kind of “superpower” that can turn us into special people, the kind of people that others want at their side.
– Eliminate emotional waste. Yoram Yasur: Hiding our feelings leads us to accumulate a lot of “emotional crap”. Those repressed emotions can end up making us explode in the worst way, any situation can become the straw that breaks the glass. On the contrary, saying things when we feel them helps us to free ourselves from these negative emotions, so as not to accumulate anger or resentment toward others.
– It frees us from the cognitive load. Inventing stories and telling lies adds a huge cognitive load because we will be forced to remember that alternative reality. In the long run, it will pass us a psychological invoice in terms of tension and stress. However, when saying of Mark Twain: “if you tell the truth you do not have to remember anything”. Being coherent and honest will free us from this burden, avoiding that we have to remember the lies or that we have to represent the “character” that we have built but that does not correspond to our “I”. Saying what we think is liberating.
– Avoid long-term problems. Clear accounts retain friendships, says a popular saying. Saying what we think, so that others are clear about our red lines, will help us avoid problems caused by misunderstandings. On the contrary, being too permissive when something bothers us or telling lies can cause great problems in our relationships and our lives.
– Promotes self-acceptance. “If you cannot tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people,” said Virginia Woolf. To be coherent, it is necessary to start from a deep level of self-knowledge. We must have our ideas and values clear, as well as our emotions. We can only be coherent and authentic when we know ourselves enough and accept ourselves. It is also essential to be aware that our opinion is not a truth, so that we do not develop an overbearing and authoritarian attitude that, instead of getting closer to others, distances us.
– We gain self-confidence. Many times, we lie because, in our mental calculation, the lie is more convenient than the truth. Sometimes we are afraid of what others may think of us if we express ourselves in an authentic way and, to preserve that image we have built, we choose the simplest path. Embracing honesty, on the contrary, will help us to lose our fear of what others think and reinforce our self-confidence.
– Attract more honesty. Saying what we think often has a “replicative effect” because it encourages those around us to say what they think. We must remember that many people react by looking at themselves in the mirror we show them, so if we relate from lies and conventions, they will tend to do the same. On the contrary, if we are honest, we will be more likely that others feel comfortable enough to tell us what they think. After all, “maybe being honest does not get us many friends, but it will always get us the right ones,” according to John Lennon.