This entry is about how we should treat ourselves and others, and yes, that is not an easy topic.
Sometimes, honesty and kindness are two opposite forces. We want to be honest with our partners or our colleagues, but we also don’t want to hurt them. So, we often chose kindness over honesty to keep harmony. However, I would argue that, in the long run, this is not the best approach. Doing that, we often neglect our own needs. This can lead either to loosing oneself, or it can lead to an outburst, when too many little things are pent-up.
I won’t argue that this is a very difficult topic. Often, we walk a thin line, being very careful what and how to say something. But it is important. It is important for you and it is important for the relationship you have with the other person. Especially when you think about the long-run.
Maybe I should start with myself. Because every change starts with us. There was one point in my life, after which I asked myself: what happened, and what can I do that something like that never happens again? Since I was a child, I always think and reflect a lot. However, that doesn’t mean necessarily that I am also honest to myself. But this time I was completely honest with myself. It was not easy. I reflected upon my values, my behaviors, why I do the things I do, the benefit I want to gain from my actions, my strengths and weaknesses and so on. The deeper I got, the harder the answers I found. It was easier for me I guess because nobody “forced” me to do this. So, I could approach this journey of discovering myself out of curiosity.
Still, it would have been easy to be upset with myself and maybe even dislike myself. Therefore, it was important that I was kind to myself. I had to remind myself that it was not about right or wrong, but to understand and to accept. I am okay the way I am and to improve myself are not mutually exclusive. In accepting myself and trying to understand myself better, I think I lay the foundation for personal development. Sustainable personal development. So, I want to already state: Please be gentle with and kind to yourself. It is very good to own your mistakes and, maybe, also to be sad with your own behavior. Honesty is not about being cruel not to yourself and not to others. If you use honesty as a means to understand and to be curious while at the same time being kind, you are on a very good way.
Being honest and also kind to another person is a challenge, too. Not only are we often quite bad at communicating what we want to say, but we are also often biased in what we hear. Not the best condition for leading a successful, honest conversation. Nevertheless, it is important to try. Again, I think that being honest should come from a willingness to understand the other person and to be kind to the other person. Speak honestly about your feelings and also try to understand the other person’s position. It can and must never be a one-way street. There are always things we don’t like about other people, and they will have aspects they don’t like about us. Maybe this helps to be a bit more humble.
What is needed to practice it? I did a lot of this discovery process while doing a form of meditation. What I can definitely recommend is to have a quiet and comfy spot and or listening to relaxing music such as Ludovico Einaudi. You should take your time and not be in a rush. The same holds true when having an honest conversation with another person. The atmosphere is always very important. Also, speak about some rules. In the beginning, it can be easy to hurt or be hurt. Speaking about what you like and not like will help to be kinder and more open to one another.
In summary, being honest and kind at the same time is possible, when you do it out of a desire to understand. Yourself or other people. You will do something good for yourself and others.
Have a wonderful day and take care =)