One definition of unconditional love: “I love you because of your good and despite your bad.” It also means being brave enough to criticize.
One of my favorite family therapists Virginia Satir, noted that a true friend, “Tells you when you need a deodorant or a mouth wash.”
I have been most hurt by those who did not tell me what I was doing wrong, but eventually just dropped me as a friend. How can you correct or make an amends if you do not know how you are affecting another negatively?
My father was very much of the school, “If you cannot say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Here is the down side of not being honest about the bad you see: I knew I was the apple of my father’s eye, his curly headed cowgirl as he often called me. But I was never sure if he would love me if he know my less perfect self.
I also realized eventually I married my husband because he was one of the few men I met who not only could make me laugh, but could tell me when I needed a deodorant or he thought I was otherwise wrong. That means, when he says he loves me, I know he loves me for all of me, not just the good. Moreover, he has taught me to be more honest. I am grateful.
EMOTional Fitness tips
Emotional fitness tip one: Use a three strikes, three outs, nine innings, or even a full season of games when you feel the need to criticize. Which one you use depends on the depth of the relationship and the age and stage of your audience. The more important the relationalship, the more you wait before critizing.
Emotional fitness tip two: Beware of the gunny sack. My mother tried hard to follow my father’s path. But in time she was carrying a load of hurts and grievances that could no longer be contained and whoever was around got it all.
Sad to say, who gets a gunny sack of s— dumped on them, might well be the person you have the most power over. At best, it might be the person who loves you despite this not so nice trait.
Emotional fitness tip three: Say what needs saying, but don’t say it mean, if you do say it mean, make an amends. Some suggest asking yourself is it true, is it important, is it kind. The Care Plan covers ,making amends. This Emotional Fitness Poster Coach explains the Care Plan; while designed for parents, is useful for all,
Emotional fitness tip four: Follow Gottman’s five in one rule. He is a researcher into successful relationships and says that the lasting ones are those where the good times outweigh the bad on a five to one basis.
Emotional fitness tip five: Practice forgiveness, first of yourself and then of others. Here’s a poster coach about forgiveness.
This poster coach suggests how to forgive others and yourself.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO
Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful. Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it? Comment and tell me why and how to improve.
This post was inspired by this Word Press Daily Prompt. Truth or Dare – Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?
Not an either/or answer, but a yes/and. Honesty is generally the best policy, and there are both exceptions and ways to be honest so it will be seen as caring. Do you agree?
LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.