One of the biggest advantages of becoming more honest is that your relationships will be closer. That is, you’ll have a greater feeling of connection to the people you’re honest with and you’ll feel more love for them. John Gottman, a researcher at the University of Washington and the author of The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships, found to his surprise that some couples who avoid disagreements stay together. Yes, you read that right. These marriages are “successful” in the sense that they are long-lasting. But Gottman also found they are lonely marriages.
You can avoid conflict by hiding your likes and dislikes, but you forfeit closeness. Part of feeling close to someone is that they know you. And the only way for someone to get to know you is for you to be honest.
It’s ironic that the main reason people avoid conflict is because they want to be loved. We pretend to be what we aren’t, to like what we don’t like, we don’t speak up about what we really want or feel. We don’t want disagreements. We don’t want to be rejected. We don’t want to hurt the other person or be hurt by them. We want love.
But, as Klassy has told me many times, love flows on a communication line. Communication is like a pipeline between two people. The more open we are, the more open the pipeline. And this same pipeline is how love and affection flow from one person to another, so the more open the pipeline, the more love and affection can flow through it.
By hiding parts of themselves, people narrow the pipeline, thus closing off the very thing that they want in their attempt to get it.
Become more open and honest with the people you love, and you open the channel. You’ll experience greater love and affection.