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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Transparency in Relationships

Saharan Star Gazing. Photo Credit
Who hasn’t lied in a relationship? Maybe not about something as shattering as having an affair on the side, but perhaps something more light-weight such as pretending to like football or opera at the beginning so you can be with the football or opera lover, when it actually nauseates you. And who hasn’t been lied to in a relationship – and felt the results: lack of trust and a general sense of malaise that permeates everything from that point forward, because you just don’t know anymore whether the person that lied once can be trusted to not lie in future.

Transparency and the lack of it in relationships, is a condition with consequences whose insidious tentacles extend much further than pure and simple lying. Transparency means saying what is really inside of you. Transparency means not equivocating about what is important to you. It is not pushing your opinions or likes and dislikes on others, but it is being honest about them when they become part of what is happening in the relationship.

Being transparent implies being vulnerable, because the transparency…the visibility of your inner self...is now out in the open, for your partner to see, to palpate, to react to, to comment about, and possibly, to reject. Clearly, this latter reason, coupled with the fear most people have of being vulnerable (see also “Leaving Your Comfort Zone: Fear of Emotional Expression”), causes many to avoid the issue of transparency. If I allow him or her to see the real me, or so one reasons, he/she will not want to be with me, or will think I am too this or too that. And yet, if you do not allow the other to see the real you, how will they ever really get to know you? And therefore, if they fall in love with you, what or who are they falling in love with??? A chimera, evanescent by nature, since it is not real. Is it not better to risk possible rejection by being transparent, and thus eventually be loved for one’s real self by someone who appreciates it, than to be loved for what one is not?

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