Faithfulness, Openness, and Honesty
One kitty's opinion of the values of friendships and deeper relaitonships.
Disclaimer: opinion only. This is how i feel and how i've always felt. i don't want negativity here, debates, arguments, etc... if you are an extremely closed and private person who doesn't like to share with anyone, that's fine. That works for you. These are just my thoughts and how i work.
Faithfulness, openness, and honesty. These are important qualities for any relationship, no matter the type. They build a foundation of trust and security. Sadly, it seems to me these are also qualities that many seem to have forgotten. No one is perfect. We all tell little white lies from time to time. But still, open honesty is always preferred over obscured omission. As the 80s love song says, "I'd rather hurt you honestly than mislead you with a lie". Perhaps my opinions and values are remnants from an older age. I admit I have some strong old-fashioned values when it comes to friendship and love, relationships and committment. Older values mixed with newer ones. This is just what is right and wrong for me, my life, and how I struggle with and build my various relationships.
Its hard though to find that line in today's world of perpetual connection on what should be shared in good faith and what is really no one else's business. Because of the internet, the news and paparazzi, cell phones, pda's, smart phones, and more and more advanced technology we begin to feel entitled to know everything. I think we all are guilty at one time or another of feeling that way. But human nature also instinctively defends our own sense of privacy.
"Drama" as the common term for it has become, happens when we act on that sense of entitlement that we need to know and be involved in everything, every minute detail of someone else's life, someone that is not necessarily a close and important connection in our lives. A casual aquaintence, casual friend, friend of a friend, co-worker, etc.. That we actually have a say and control, or some sort of opinion on their lives and activities we really do not. Its not the only reason for drama, but it certain seems to me anyway, that this sense of entitled knowledge and constant input *contributes* to the cause many times.
A bigger problem though, again in my opinion only, is less about drama, which usually involves a large number of people, but rather these conflicting mindsets of entitlement and privacy as they relate to very personal relationships. How much does one share with close friends? Significant others? Potential signifcant others? How much do you hide? Is it misleading to promise or show one thing, but really do another when no one is looking? If a tree falls in the forrest and no one is around does it really make a sound?
Relationships, all kinds, are built on trust. Trust is built from being open and honest. Lying is still lying, even if its just a lie by omission. When you enter someone's life and put them in a position of importance in your life, they deserve the respect of honesty, even if the truth may be painful and/or upsetting. Finding something out by mistake, even though the other person omitted the facts simply to spare feelings, always backfires and ends up hurting more. You may feel that some actions are not for the general public, and this is true.
However, when you place someone in your life into a greater personal or intimate position, the fact is they do deserve to know more information. The higher the elevated status and perceived sense of importance in each other's lives (from friend, to close friend, to casual dating, to potential significant other, to significant other), so is the need for more openness and honesty. If you can't trust them with that, then they should not be given elevated status in your life because ultimately you will hurt them. If you're not willing to be open and at times almost brutally honest, you will never build that sense of trust that is demanded for a stable relationship. And if you're not willing to listen and hear, and protect that bond of trust, then you should not allow yourself to be placed in such a position.
It is a sacrifice both parties must make. Honesty is not always easy to give, we are divuldging bits and pieces of our lives and ourselves to another person. We run the risk of being judged, ridiculed, and rejected. Neither is hontesty always easy to take. Somethings we don't want to hear, not because we don't want to hear them but because we simply want them to be different. But you have to be open to hear these truths and acknowledge how much less painful they are hearing them first hand rather than finding out by accident some other way.
The closer you are with someone, the more you let each other in, the more intuitive each becomes regarding the other. When friends or couples say things at the same time, feel each other's pains or joy from a distance, complete each other's sentences, these are all signs of a greater connection. Remember that. Respect that. Don't lie to or hide things from these people who share this connection with you because they will know it, and will be hurt by it, and the trust will falter.
Remember communication is more than just words, its actions, expressions, and even silence too. Be conscious of what you are communicating and how it can and will effect those you care about.
Humans are selfish by nature, but if you care about someone then you must be considerate of them. You have to be open and willing to share even those things that may hurt you or them. Becuase trust me, a little pain or shame now is so much easier to recover from than the magnitude of hurt and anger if you hide certain truths and they are found out down the road.
Don't make someone feel like they are a priority or important to you when they really are not. Don't TELL them they are important to you and then do things that show them they are not. Actions speak louder than words. And even if you think you are hiding your actions well, trust me not as well as you think. The truth always comes out.
There are many different relationship constructs. If you have multiple people of similar importance in your life, be sure they atleast know there are others, and maybe even know each other. This is especially true for close, intimate type relationships, not so much casual friendships. Don't make someone feel like or tell them they are the only one, when they are not. Again, honesty wins. Don't sneak and hide.
Don't make promises you can't or won't keep.
Implied promises are still promises. Be careful what you say and how you say it.
Don't say something that isn't true.
I guess what it all boils down to is the age-old golden rule of "do unto others"; because trust once lost is incredibly difficult to build back. If someone is important to you, endevour every day to make them feel that way. Never let them have doubt or feel ignored.