Why “Speak Your Truth” Is A Bad Idea

Why “Speak Your Truth” Is A Bad Idea

Hey everybody! I’m Jenny Hale and this is my truth bomb series of short videos about relationship advice that isn’t great, why it isn’t great, and where the truth actually lies.

Today I’d like to talk about the advice that you hear around the place,  especially in the new-age personal development realm – “speak your truth”.

Now intuitively, it sounds like a good idea right?

Obviously, if you’re faking things in relationship, you’re not actually being authentic, it’s not going to work.

But “speak your truth” is not necessarily leading to authenticity. I see this a lot.  I work with individuals and couples working on their relationships. I’ve worked with hundreds of people and I’ve seen this quite regularly. I’ve seen one partner giving the other partner “advice” – constructive criticism that’s not very constructive.

They’re telling their partner everything they think is wrong with them, what they’re doing wrong, how they can improve, and they justify this by saying “I’m just speaking my truth. This is just how I see it.”

Sometimes it’s wrapped in the language of non-violence, which is really interesting to see – nonviolent communication used in quite a violent way.

“When you do that I feel angry and hurt because my need for security is not being met”, and the subtext is therefore you shouldn’t do that.

So now that I’ve “spoken my truth”, now that I’ve told you how I feel, you have to change.

Or, it’s just a license to not be responsible in the way that people speak. I’ve seen people just allow themselves to go into a triggered rage state and say “I can’t stand this, this is unbearable, I’m out of this relationship, it’s over, that’s it …”

They don’t actually mean that. They don’t actually want to end the relationship, but in that moment there’s that’s how they feel. At that moment, that’s the words that spontaneously arise and pop out of their mouths. That’s the truth at that moment.

Send Me "Lasting Passion" Right Now!

Now you can imagine, as the partner trying to process what’s happening that’s really confusing.

“Speak your truth” works only when you’re speaking in a responsible way. When you’re speaking constructively, when you’ve thought it through, you’re very clear on what your truth actually is, when you know it’s not your childhood wounds speaking. When you know it’s not some mental construct speaking. When you’ve actually taken the time, you’ve done the meditation, you’ve gone internally, you’ve found the source of your own truth.

A lot of people who say “I’m just speaking my truth” have no idea what their truth is. They’ve never met their truth. They’ve never gone in there. They have no idea who they are, and they have no idea what’s true for them, so they say … stuff. Let’s call them mind farts. If they’re not childhood trauma, they’re mind farts.

They start “speaking their truth”, and what comes out of their mouth may be completely a hundred eighty degrees opposite to what’s actually in their heart as their truth, in their authentic self.

But until you’ve met your authentic self, connected with your authentic self, you can’t speak your truth, because you’ve got no idea what it is.

So the advice works for people who are connected with their authentic self, and who know what their deepest truth is, and can speak that.

For everybody else, whatever they speak when they’re “speaking their truth” is going to be on some level inauthentic. It’s going to be on some level a lie. It might be true in the moment because of that emotion, but it’s not really what they want for their life. It’s not really how they want to be with their partner, and so on.

A lot of relationship advice works like this. If you’ve actually done the work, and you’re connected with your authentic self, and you’re really present and together, and you have good communication skills then the advice is useful. Now, what percentage of the population is in that boat?

So you have to be very careful not to take these advices and use them as justifications for behaviour. It’s actually not constructive, and not useful.

At the end of the day what we all want to do, we’re all working on, is really coming home. Coming back to the authentic self, and being able to speak our truth for real. To be able to speak our authentic truth, to know who we are, and to know what we have to say.

“Say It Sweetly” Is Bad Advice

“Say It Sweetly” Is Bad Advice

Hey everyone! I’m Jenny Hale and you’re watching my truth bomb series – a series of short videos about advice for relationships that’s completely wrong, why it’s wrong, and where the truth really lies.

Today I’d like to talk to you about the piece of advice – in English culture we actually have an expression which is “you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”- and the idea is that if you say something sweetly and nicely you’ll get what you want more often than if you say it in a sour or harsh way.

I don’t really know why we’re supposed to want flies in the first place … but leaving the expression aside, the idea that whenever you want to express something when you’re in conflict with your partner, when you’re trying to resolve an issue, that you’ll get a better result if you express it sweetly and kindly and nicely.

Oddly enough, in our culture you find this advice being offered to women more often than to men. There’s something in our culture which says that women should be sweet and polite and nice when they’re expressing their concerns and their needs and their boundaries. With men, if they’re a little bit more forthright, a little bit more angry, a little bit more aggressive that’s just to be expected.

But as time goes on, and we’re looking at the masculine/feminine stereotypes, this advice is morphing into a generic advice which is being given to everybody, men as well.

It seems completely obvious. If I think about it, if someone’s coming to me to tell me something that I might not want to hear, I would prefer they said it nicely.

Intuitively, you think if you’re polite and sweet and nice, people will take it in. If you’re hostile, aggressive, of course people push back.

It seems intuitively obvious, and we all have these experiences.

However, when it comes to our intimate relationships, when it comes to people who are close to us, there is one thing which is even more important than politeness and palatability and sweetness and acceptability. That thing is authenticity.

Send Me "Lasting Passion" Right Now!

If you speak to your partner in a sweet way that’s not really true for you if you’re putting it on, if you’re wrapping your message of anger and resentment in a sweet wrapper, it probably isn’t going to get you the result that you want.

Depending on your partner and their level of sensitivity and self-awareness, for some people it will scare them. The mismatch between the wrapper of sweetness and the underlying emotion of anger, which they can feel, is actually scary for some people. That will put them into a shutdown and they won’t be able to engage with you at all.

For some people if it’s in a sweet wrapper it just doesn’t penetrate. If your tone of voice is gentle and sweet it’s just kind of background noise. It’s not until you actually display some strong emotion that these people go “oh wait a minute, I need to pay attention to this”.

Particularly if you’ve got somebody who’s very task-focused as a partner, somebody who whatever they’re doing, they’ve got their full attention on it, and you want to get their full attention to go from whatever it is they’re currently doing now to some issue in the relationship then it really helps to allow the genuine emotion of frustration or anger or whatever it is, allow it to become on the surface and be visible.

If you do this in a responsible way, you don’t shower them with accusations and blame, but you do allow the emotion to be heard and seen and felt then you’ll reach these people. You’ll get through to these very task-focused people in a much better way than if you use soft gentle language which to them just sounds like more of the same of everyday stuff that they don’t really need to change focus for.

So there it is. Yes, in general, when we’re dealing with people it is good to be sweet, to be kind, to be polite. That’s reasonably common sense. However, when it comes to communicating very deep emotional things in intimate relationship, it can actually become unproductive to wrap that in a sweet wrapper that’s not authentic.

Authenticity is one of the most important features of an intimate relationship. If you aren’t authentic with each other about your emotions, particularly your unacceptable, unpleasant emotions, then in the end it’s going to undermine the basis of the passion in the relationship.

You’ll end up just playing a role for each other and that gets boring and stale and ultimately it will kill the relationship.

So although in general it’s good to be kind and sweet and polite, don’t do it at the expense of your authenticity. Figure out a way to bring your authentic emotions forth in a responsible way. Not an argumentative, attacking way but also for them to be seen and to be felt by your partner. That is what will keep passion alive in the relationship.