The frustration in your coworker’s voice is startling so you ask “Is anything wrong?” “No, nothing” she said, ”Everything is FINE!” Too often fine is an acronym for something else going on and it stands for frustrated, insecure, neurotic and emotional!!We’ve all experienced times where someone chooses not to be honest about what they are feeling but why does that happen? Too often people either do not feel safe to be real or are afraid they will be judged if they share their truth. They may have been taught growing up that he or she were rebuked for saying what they felt. For whatever reason, they decide not to tell what is really going on with them and instead they pretend everything is fine.
People tend to put on a mask which hides their true feelings. The key to healthy relationships is to find people who will allow you to be honest and learn to remove your mask. A trusting relationship allows you to communicate openly and honestly. These relationships are a gift to both parties and often rare.
To remove a mask one first needs to understand why they developed it in the first place. These masks are emotional masks, which people hide out of fear the world will find out their truth. The fear that if they show up they will be judged for who they are. People wear a mask to hide feelings of sadness, inadequacy, anger, and pain, and their mask to the world to be more accepted. The thought of being vulnerable is too much to bear and yet, it is the key to transformation. Do you have any idea what the foundation of your mask is?
In order to develop healthy relationships, you need to learn that you are truly fine the way you are and a worthy individual. Although you fear other’s not accepting you, it is actually you that you need to accept and see as worthy. You need to find people who create a safe space where you can take your mask off and talk honestly about your feelings and perceptions. When you do not feel good about yourself, it affects how you perceive situations. You may put a negative spin on something someone does because you filter it through your low self-worth.
Unmasked communication is about developing relationships where open and honest communication is the expected and the norm. A relationship where both parties feel comfortable to take their mask off. Where it is safe to be authentic, and no conversation is off limits. Where transparency and vulnerability are encouraged and the relationship is built on a foundation of trust. To “unmask” your communication means making small changes which allow you to be authentic.
- First, find someone you trust and tell them what you are trying to accomplish
- Take chances by making small changes. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust who can give you honest feedback.
- Learn to trust this person and what they are telling you.
- As you become more comfortable try your new-found skill on others you trust
- Make sure the people with whom you share are ready for that honesty and start small.
By making small changes over time and taking an honest look at what you have to offer, you can build a foundation for healthier relationships. Small, consistent behavior changes over time will make the difference and dramatically improve the quality of your life.