We’re taught from childhood that honesty is the best policy but no one told us that honesty was going to be a pain in the butt when we grew up and started having grown-up feelings. I get it—telling someone how you feel about them is completely terrifying. But on the other side of that fear is relief, answers, and maybe an extra large celebratory pizza. Here’s why you should tell that person you like how you feel today:
- Guessing games are the worst and you don’t need to play them. When you start telling people exactly how you feel about them, you obliterate the game. You know the game— does he like me? Does he know I like him? Is he going to text me? Does he want me to text him first? If you have a monster crush on a guy, tell him. Once you do, all your does he/does he not questions will be answered and you’ll have saved so much time by not spending hours on end obsessing over a text.
- YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE. When you’re incredibly honest with someone, it opens the door for you to receive an incredible amount of honesty in return. Granted, you won’t always like what someone has to tell you. Keep your ears and mind open but take the honesty you’re being given with a grain of salt. Use any advice or criticism you receive to better yourself for you and no one else.
- IT FEELS GOOD TO LET IT ALL OUT. It takes the weight off your shoulders. Once you get all the words off your chest that you’ve been holding onto for so long, you’ll finally be able to breathe again. What the other person decides to do with those words is not your problem. You’ve harbored them for this long—it’s time to let them go so you can have peace of mind.
- HONESTY IS HEALING. Honesty has the awe-inspiring power to heal wounds. I mean, if your leg’s broken, you honestly need to go to the ER. However, if you’re putting distance between yourself and your S.O. because you’re suddenly scared they’re going to stop loving you and break up with you, getting it out there might help bring you back down to earth and realize that you’re being silly.
- HONESTY KEEPS YOU HUMBLE. Practicing extreme honesty with the people in your life will spark a new way for you to perceive the world around you. If you let it sink in that everyone—not just you— is holding onto these feelings and insecurities and unspoken words, you’ll feel a little less alone. In feeling less alone, you’ll feel lighter and more at ease. You’ll want to be kinder to those around you who undoubtedly are feeling as lost and fearful and insecure as you sometimes feel. The universal feeling of having no idea what you’re doing is the invisible thread that connects us all.
- You have to practice what you preach. How many times have you given sage advice to your friend in the form of “Just tell him!” or “You need to stop being so nice.” Hmmm? If you’re anything like me, you have a tendency to give worthwhile advice to your friends that you are too stubborn to take from yourself. When you’re on the outside of a situation, it’s easy to see how an honest conversation would remedy the issue. When you’re on the inside of a situation, however, it’s damn near impossible to work up the courage to initiate that conversation. Love yourself like you love your best friends; take the advice you want them to follow.
- THE BEST IS YET TO COME. I once told a guy I really liked that, well, I really liked him. He shot me down. Grieving this almost relationship of mine, I confided in an acquaintance who’d called me around the same time for a completely different reason. As luck would have it, she was grieving her own almost relationship. Now she’s my best friend. Laying it all on the table and getting shot down lead me to my best friend in the world. Know that being honest with the people in your life is always a step in the right direction, even if it’s foggy and you can’t see the road.
- LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO HOLD IT IN. Seriously, life is too short to be anything but honest. When you think about it, what’s the advantage to holding it all in? If you’re scared of embarrassing yourself by telling that person how you feel, think of it this way: The higher you climb, the harder you’ll fall. And honestly, why keep climbing that tree when you can fall, dust off your knees and start climbing the right tree?
- FUTURE YOU WILL THANK YOU. Whenever I’m pondering whether or not I should make a certain move or say a certain thing, I think of myself as an 80-year-old woman. If you’re wondering, 80-year-old me bears an uncanny resemblance to elderly Rose in Titanic— but I digress. Eighty-year-old you is laughing at the thought of you deciding whether or not to send a silly text. She’s saying, “Do it! Do it all!” Eighty-year-old you knows the value of making the most of every second you’ve been given. She knows you have nothing to lose but time and she’s wishing she could get back every wasted second spent mincing words. Don’t let her down.