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So, not only are we often afraid of dealing with another's anger, but we may be even more afraid of lonely feeling of being uncared for. Until we are willing to know truth of whether or not other person really does care about what is important to us, we may avoid speaking our truth.
However, when we withhold our truth to avoid conflict and avoid feeling uncared for by another, consequence is that we feel alone and maybe depressed because we are not caring about ourselves. When we don't stand up for ourselves, we end up feeling unimportant, regardless of how others treat us. We cannot ignore ourselves and feel good inside.
The question we need to ask ourselves is, "Are we willing to give ourselves up to avoid losing others, or are we willing to lose others rather than lose ourselves?" I have found that losing myself is never worth it. If I lose others as a result of speaking my truth, then I have to accept truth that those people never had my highest good at heart anyway. People who care about my highest good applaud me when I speak truth that supports my highest good. People who care about me support me in living my truth. Those who just want to use me in some way will get angry or hurt at my truth, and that lets me know truth about their intent.
Therefore, we have to be willing to know another's truth regarding whether or not that person really cares about us in order to tell our heartfelt truth. Let's say that you say to your partner, "It is not tolerable for me to be around you when you are drinking. I feel shut out and disconnected from you when you drink. It is just too lonely to be with you when you are drinking." If alcohol is more important to your partner than you are, then response is likely to be, "That's your problem, not mine. Stop blaming me for your feelings. Stop trying to control me!" If you are more important to your partner than alcohol, then your partner will address issue and get some help with problem. The question is, do you want to know reality of situation? Are you prepared to take loving action for yourself if you discover that your partner really doesn't care about effect his or her behavior is having on you?
You will have courage to speak your truth when you have courage to know truth about any given relationship. What if you say to your best friend, "I often feel judged by you and it doesn't feel good," and your best friend gets defensive and tells you it's all your problem. What are you going to do if your best friend consistently responds in an uncaring way? Are you willing to lose someone whom you have believed was your best friend, or are you going to avoid telling truth to avoid knowing truth? Are you willing to feel loneliness if you find out that someone you thought cared really doesn't, or do you want to go on pretending that real caring exists with that person?
It take great courage to tell truth and discover truth. We often kid ourselves into thinking that avoiding others anger and hurt is a loving thing to do. We justify our behavior by telling ourselves that it's just that we don't want to hurt or upset others, or that we just don't want to deal with another's hurt or anger. Yet avoidance may not be loving to ourselves or others. Are you willing to sacrificing your own integrity to avoid pain of conflict and loneliness? To me, nothing is worth a loss of integrity, not even loss of another.
When you really tune into how you feel when you withhold your truth to protect yourself from conflict and loneliness, you will discover that honoring yourself by telling your truth, without blame or judgment, is deeply empowering. You will feel on top of world when you finally have courage to speak your heartfelt truth when your intent is to support your own and others' highest good. Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?", "Healing Your Aloneness","Inner Bonding", and "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?" Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:email@example.com
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?", "Healing Your Aloneness","Inner Bonding", and "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?" Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org