Did you look? Of course you did. We are usually quick to make sure we don’t have mustard on our chin or spinach in our teeth. Heaven forbid it would be anything worse that others would point out!
But I’m not talking here about physical leaking…but emotionally so. You may not even be aware when you are doing it, but I assure you those around you are seeing it, feeling it, and they just want you to take care of it ASAP.
So just what do I mean by “leaking”? This happens when you are not in tune with what is REALLY going on for you emotionally at any given moment. You therefore proceed to speak and act in ways that are absolutley not your truth. In other words, there is some serious incongruence going on, even if you swear there isn’t. Many describe it as a cognitive dissonance, when we are going against ourselves in some way, by not having our insides match our outsides. So how do you know when you are waxing inauthentic? Read on…
Now, there isn’t enough room here to identify all the fabulous ways we can be emotionally dishonest, but I want to point out some of the most obvious ones so you can get a better grasp of when this is happening.
- You moan, sulk, or sigh heavily. Or, you move quickly, seeming rushed or angry.
- Your statements are vague, perhaps laden with a double meaning, or cryptic. The receiver has to “guess” what you are really getting at. This is manipulative in that you are putting the ressponsibility on the other person to pinpoint what is hurting you or what you need.
- You avert eye contact,. sigh, stomp around oh so subtly and give only curt responses. Subtle yet powerful cues to the other that there is something going that you are not articulating.
- Your responses to very benign questions or comments are on the sarcastic side or snarky. This is a very common way we leak out our hurt, anger and/or fear in an indirect and emotionally dishonest way, since we are afraid of being vulnerable.
- Instead of being direct about what’s truly bothering you and what you need from the other, you will displace onto some minor annoyance instead, since it’s deemed safer to do so and much less vulnerable. If deep down we fear bringing up the larger issue, we will stick with petty arguments. At least that way we get our frustration out while still protecting ourselves from risk.
SO we let it leak out, because that’s so much easier than actually taking responsibility for what’s going on with us. Taking ownership of what we think, feel, need, and choose is at the core of being healthy and self-confident. It is also a requirement if we want others to feel emotionally safe around us and trust us to be a grownup.
If you got really honest and saw yourself resorting to some of these behaviors, don’t worry. Just start becoming more aware in the moment (or right after) when you can tell you are not being direct. When you are ready, you will go back later to that person and try:
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped at you. I’m just really struggling today. (or) I’m hurt about what you said two days ago but didn’t know how to tell you that.”
“Yeah, I’m being five I know. I’m just so pissed at myself for ____________________. I guess my shame was kicking up and I lashed out instead of asking for support.”
“Sorry. What I should have said is here is my boundary….I really need to count on you to be on time, because it’s making it hard for me to trust you to be.”
The way back to emotional honesty is a slow, imperfect and messy process but so worth it. You will not only enjoy greater trust and connection in your relationships, but also greater self-confidence and peace because your insides will match your outsides, and you will be standing in your truth. Emotional truth, just as any other type of truth, really will set you free.