How many times, when someone asked, “What’s wrong?” have you answered, “Nothing, I’m fine?”
But do you realize how dishonest that answer is?
When I contemplated the question, I realized it applied to every relationship, not just the one at home.
At work, with friends, as a parent, a grandparent, and with anyone I might hope to influence, I am being dishonest when I say nothing is bothering me, but in actuality I’m unhappy. The root cause of my discontent might be hurt feelings, sadness, or anger. But I’ve discovered a deeper emotion drives them all.
I’ve learned to peel away the layers of my emotions, and ask myself a crucial question. “What are you afraid of?”
Fear is at the heart of every negative emotion I have, and the biggest reason I answer, “Nothing.”
In the past, I used to tell my husband I was fine when he hurt my feelings, because I was afraid he might walk out. I covered my sadness at a lack of purpose, because I lived in terror of failing. When someone cut me off in traffic, my anger was driven by a fear of their vehicle hitting mine.
Fear caused me to dishonestly tell people I was fine, when it was my limp attempt to cover how I truly felt. And it cost me years of peace.
Now, when I’m hurt, sad, or angry, I take a deep breath, and then share how I really feel. Not aggressively, but honestly.
The benefits are astounding.
Since I started communicating how I really feel, my marriage has moved to a whole new plain. We don’t just love each other, we adore each other.
At work, I garner more respect, and truthful answers have enabled me to make a difference, when otherwise, buried emotions would escalate problems.
With friends, I enjoy deeper, richer, and closer relationships, since we stand on a foundation of truth.
Since I stopped squelching my emotions, and lying to others, I’m free to live as the woman I was created to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Do you ever catch yourself telling someone you’re okay, when deep inside, a greater truth waits to be revealed?
Anita Fresh Faith
Ephesians 4:25 (NIV)
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.
She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. Anita believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.