With women being encouraged more in today’s society to have a voice and stand up for equal rights, speaking your truth has never been so ‘en vogue.’ At the 2018 Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey triggered a debate about the potential power versus the dangers of expressing your truth with her remark:
What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.
What does speaking your truth mean?
To speak the truth in love could mean expressing how you are feeling about your relationship or perhaps your work or friendship. It could also include voicing your opinion about something you feel strongly about or sharing your story and revealing past problems that may have been difficult or painful.
Can it help you to attract more love, connection, and intimacy in your relationship?
In my personal experience and from working with clients, speaking from the heart can undoubtedly help your relationship to thrive.
When you choose to show up without holding back certain feelings or parts of yourself, it can help create an environment where you feel accepted for the person you really are. This is what I call ‘Relationship Freedom.’
Speaking your truth is not a license to play the victim
However, some people seem to use the theory of ‘speaking your truth’ as a license to play the victim card or blame and criticize their partner for not coming up to their perfectionistic standards.
Similarly, others see it as an excuse to overly exert their opinion and take the stance that they are always ‘right,’ which can end up in domineering and controlling behavior and has the effect of stifling any healthy relationship.
As a result, there are ways that I recommend to speak your truth that will help in relationship growth as opposed to weakening it.
How to speak your truth that strengthens your relationship
1. Take a deep breath and say what is on your mind
If something is bothering you, learn to speak your mind without fear. I tell my clients, ‘feel the fear and say it anyway.’
You are a human being with emotions, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable is a way of strengthening the relationship to help create a deeper connection and enhance the relationship.
2. Always take full responsibility for your well-being
Your partner is not responsible for your happiness and so telling the truth in a relationship that how unloved you feel and that it is their fault is to give your power away. When you take responsibility for yourself and how you feel, your relationship can enjoy much greater freedom.
3. Know the difference between using vulnerability as a strength as opposed to using it from a place of weakness
Taking full responsibility for your emotions will help you speak in such a way that enables your vulnerability to open up your relationship.
Instead, “I am feeling hurt right now” or “I realize I felt scared at that moment when XYZ happened, and I did not manage the situation as well as I could have done” does not point the finger of blame at your partner.
It helps to create a space whereby you are both allowed to be a human being with emotions.
4. Know that you are always entitled to your feelings
If your partner tries to deny or dismiss how you feel, then you have every right to put a boundary in and say, “Please do not dismiss my feelings.”
However, this does presuppose that you have taken full responsibility for your expression, as described above.
5. Work on your feelings of self-worth
When you are confident in your worth and know your value, it is much easier to speak up with assertions. Whatever happens, you always have the knowledge that you have your own back.
In the video below, Adia Gooden questions, “What would you stop doing if you knew you were already worthy?” She talks about forgiveness, self-acceptance, connecting with supportive people for realizing your self-worth.
6. Be clear on your values and desires in your romantic life
When you are clear on what is truly important to you and what you desire in life and love, you will have a clear idea of how to speak your truth and what you want to take a stand for. On the other hand, some things in life are just not worth even bringing up in conversation.
7. Be mindful
Learn to become acutely aware of your thoughts and feelings. The human mind is exceptionally good at feeding us many thoughts and stories that are just not true.
These thoughts then trigger our feelings, and the feelings feed the thoughts. We can then get caught up in a vicious cycle of negative emotions, influencing our partner’s behavior.
When you learn to take a step back and observe your thoughts, you will be able to start seeing the limited perspective of the mind and be less likely to take this out on your relationship.
8. Be prepared to get it ‘wrong’
Trying to be a perfect partner and human being is a tall order for anyone. When you permit yourself to get ‘messy’ in love, you give yourself and your partner the best possible chance to connect with your partner on a deeper level.
If you do not allow yourself to get it ‘wrong’ when you speak your truth, you also do not allow yourself to see where you can do it better next time.
There is no such thing as ‘wrong’ when you decide to take a breath and speak up because you are taking a stand for being yourself, ‘warts and all’ as the saying goes. If your partner is not willing to let themselves or you make mistakes, then you may be better off without them.
9. Allow yourself to feel your emotions
Of course, things can get uncomfortable when you take a risk in your communication, but I always say to my clients, ‘So what?’
This may sound a little harsh, but what if you feel frustrated, sad, or angry? Are you willing to allow yourself to experience the full spectrum of human emotions and still love and accept yourself regardless?
The problem only comes when we hold onto these emotions and use them against our partner or as a reason to stay stuck—most feelings usually only last 90 seconds.
If you can let yourself feel your frustration and even speak it from that place of full responsibility, it will generally flow through you, and you will feel much better for being honest and open.
10. Remember that the ego will often see your relationship ‘problem’ as the end of the world
The ego is often doom and gloom when it comes to relationship issues. This is the part of you that fears to open up to a deeper love. It would rather you jump ship from your relationship and believe that there is someone else out there who is a better match.
The irony here is that many people go on to attract someone with whom they play out the exact same patterns and, therefore, are rarely any happier.
When you can take the time to cultivate openness and honesty with your partner, you will start to see how the ego wants to sabotage your relationship and be better equipped to deal with it.
Speaking your truth is not always comfortable or easy because it goes against our conditioning that says, ‘Be nice, be perfect, does not upset others.’
Without a doubt, it is a great way to create an extraordinary relationship with your partner.
Many people choose to hide in their relationships and end up settling and plodding along. This is not a recipe for long term happiness, as hiding who you are, makes you feel miserable and that something is missing.
If you decide to speak your truth, it involves being vulnerable, honest, and open from a place of full responsibility. It is never an excuse to keep blaming your partner, and there is never a right time to speak up. It is all about learning to trust yourself to show up at the moment, even though you are not sure how things might turn out.
The more you do this, the more you will receive evidence that you can do it again and again and that it will create a greater amount of freedom for you and your partner to speak your truth and be accepted for who you are.
Consider your relationship as the training ground for you to create the love you want. Expecting it to be perfect and for there not to be times when it gets uncomfortable is unrealistic.
You have much more space to be more of who you are than you realize, and this is how you create a relationship where you and your partner both feel fully supported, seen, and heard in your journey of life.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
I am a qualified Imago Relationships Facilitator, Contemporary Psychotherapist & fully certified Coach (ACC, CPCC) and draw on all these trainings to help my clients (men, women & couples) achieve transformational results in a short time frame. I use an intuitive, challenging approach encouraging all my clients to take full responsibility in their relationships and teach them how to do this in the form of clear, calm & simple communication. I make full use of the present moment and facilitate clients to step into their full power as much as possible by understanding where, when and how they are giving their power away to their partner so that they can become more empowered and enjoy greater relationship freedom, connection and intimacy.
I work online and in person (depending upon the location of the clients).