When people start talking more than they normally have, especially about their hurt or their anger, it can be really different for the listener. If you are used to a spouse being easy-going, complacent, or indifferent, it’s an adjustment when they start talking! It’s a worthwile adjustment to make.
When things are unspoken, when secrets are kept, when communication is lacking, it creates distance and a lack of connection. It’s often accompanied by a lack of trust. It happens in relationships; it happens in organizations.
Donald Miller wrote this very brief but amazing blog post about the secrets we now know about Rod Blagojevich and Jerry Sandusky. It’s very true.
When we allow ourselves to be known, even when we fear the response, we are saying, “You are more important to me than my fear of what you’ll think of me.”
You want people to know they matter to you? Talk to them. Be transparent.
You want people to open up to you, to trust you? Go first. It’s hard.
Because I believe people are inherently significant, because they matter, it means I’m transparent often. In response to that, I often experience acceptance. I hope people experience the same from me.
There are other times when I am judged. It hurts, but I can learn from it. When someone wants to tell me about my faults without being willing to talk about their own, they don’t accept my depravity. They likely don’t accept their own either. You can’t give away what you don’t already possess.
I can still offer acceptance to those who hurt me. [You may need to create some distance so it doesn’t become abusive, which is never good.]
Without trying, many people are transparent and make themselves known unintentionally. We can still offer them acceptance in their depravity.