Hello sweets! Trust is something that we need more of when it comes to one another. I don't mean leaving your kids with any and everyone… I mean trusting in each other's ability to be ok with what is. Most people aren't broken souls who cannot function when told something difficult. We behave like everyone is one step away from suicide and telling someone something that isn't yummy will push them over the edge. Get a grip people. Very few (if any) people are going to crumble when told something that is true for you. Often it is the lies, keeping secrets and being indirect that cause more harm than good for everyone involved. Letting someone know what is actually happening for you can be a big relief for them, especially when you understand, and communicate, that your feelings and perceptions are just that, yours. When blame ends and truth begins, life is a lot less burdensome.
Women have this tendency more than men, I believe… and maybe I am just biased because I am a woman, but women like to be nice when really I believe they are just trying to please everyone and deny themselves (not consciously). It is a deep lack of self-worth that women are taught to have which translates into behaving in ways that aren't authentic. For many women, and men, it isn't enough to exist, you have to please and nurture and appease. I understand the desire to want to be loved by all… I also understand that it isn't possible. When you need to tell someone something, especially a boundary, you need to just say it. Boundaries need to be communicated. Loving yourself means making sure you are safe, taken care of, heard, treated well. Bending over backwards, lying, not communicating your truth… there is NOTHING loving about that. Not saying what you mean is deceitful actually, not kind. When you give someone the respect and responsibility of being a grown-up you are actually being loving. You are saying that you trust that they will be able to handle and hold this information. You trust that they are capable and your equal.
When we, when receiving news that isn't what we would prefer to hear, manipulate (even if you don't realize you are, you are) one another by saying that the person speaking their truth is being mean, or hurting us we are actually regressing. Stop blaming someone's words for your feelings. Your feelings originate with your ideas of yourself and the world. Stop trying to get someone to stop speaking their truth and stop taking the feelings of another personally. Just because it is hard to hear doesn't make it 1) true or 2) have anything really to do with you. What it does mean is that you have a chance to hear and honor what is happening for someone else. You have a chance to respect a boundary, move on, learn, grow, etc. I call listening and holding space for someone a "free throw." It is a chance to be told exactly what to do to bring a smile to someone's face. If what you want is to love, then respect is number one.
So just to be clear: when someone likes you and you don't like them tell them… clearly. If you say that you really like them and you like hanging out that isn't CLEAR. Say directly that I don't like you romantically, sexually, intimately. Period. Be sure they get it. If your Doctor sucks, tell them why you are choosing another physician; this gives them a chance to grow, change, or just know why they are losing patients. Give each other a chance to grow by being grown yourself.
All of the above is said with love :-)