Be inspired, life, mindset, People

The 8 Natural Qualities of Exceptionally Cool People

Cool isn’t just what you say, it’s what you do.


 Austin Powers. For some reason, the prolific 1960s spy who was unfrozen and thrust into an array of new assignments in a confusing ’90s world, is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of someone exceptionally cool — “Yeah, baby?”

Okay, so the main selling point of the film series was clearly imbued with the joyous sexism reminiscent of early Bond flicks, but no one can deny that the always-up-for a-good-time, lusting for life and love Austin Powers, was exceptionally cool in his own right.

Love him or hate him, Austin Powers is remarkably unique.

Have you ever observed someone and thought: “Whoa! That dude is so cool. I want to be like that.”

It is never because of what there are wearing, what they do for a living or what they own. It is because there is something about them that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Something you admire.

That’s how all exceptionally cool people are. Their way of being in the world — how they think, what they choose to do, and how they talk and move — is all part of their wildly different identity that draws others toward them.

If you’re anything like me, you may wonder how they got to be so damn cool. Is there a secret to being less-than-ordinary? Were these people just born with a magnetic personality?

Thankfully, we don’t have to be a shagadelic imitation of Austin Powers to be cool. That is because there is no one secret formula that separates what we call exceptionally cool people from the rest of us — it boils down to what and who they are, along with certain qualities that come naturally to them.

And it is something we can all easily learn and effectively reproduce in our own lives.


1. Cool is Friendliness

Sometimes it can feel as if the world is full of rude, ill-mannered and inconsiderate people.

That is very uncool.

The thing about the people we consider to be cool is that we appreciate them for their caring nature and willingness to treat others in the way they would like to be treated.

They will give you their undivided attention and you can sense their genuine interest in you. These kinds of people know that a friendly attitude makes a positive impact not only at an interpersonal level, but to the world as a whole.

Kindness creates a ripple-effect.

I don’t need to tell you that kind-hearted and friendly people attract more of the same into their lives, and that makes us want to spend more time getting to know them.

Applying the Friendliness Quality

Being kind and friendly makes you feel good about yourself — happier. Make an active choice to qualify any negative feelings with something that feels better.

All of us can take the initial move towards potential friendly behavior with others. We can all make a difference.

2. Cool is Confidence

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” — Nelson Mandala

To be clear, when I speak of confidence, I’m not talking about blind arrogance here — that’s another category altogether.

However, I am touching on the type of self-confidence and self-belief that is needed to have faith in your skills and creativity — the kind that helps you keep striving to realize your life goals and dreams.

Pretty cool.

Yes, cool people have their low days and self-doubts like everyone else, but they also have the ability to overcome the fear of the unknown, set their personal-bar high and follow through with the courage to start new things.

They are the type who continue to test their limits and skills, while forming new ideas in their quest to manifest their greatest desires. Even when those around them are still pondering how to get started.

We naturally admire these people.

Applying the Confidence Quality

Try not to confuse confidence with ego. Rarely does one equal the other. Believing in yourself is what allows you to rise up and reach your potential. Realize that self-belief has a cause-and-effect motion, exactly as Nelson Mandala said in the above-mentioned quote.

That is positive power imbued in exceptionally cool confidence.

3. Cool is Philosophy

Every exceptionally cool thought leader is a forward-thinking rebel by nature. These individuals don’t much care about authority and are fast to question the ideal moral framework with regards to traditionalism, “right human conduct” and conformity.

Austin Powers provides a groovy example of a revolutionary mindset:

“If we had known the consequences of our sexual liberation, we would’ve done things much differently, but the spirit would remain the same. It’s freedom baby.”

Those with a sense of inner-freedom are the type who naturally live their life knowing the truth of John Allen Paulos’s popular observation about life:

“The only certainty in life is uncertainty”

Very cool people are open-minded with a focus on what matters most to them — their quality, freedom and vision for life, regardless of what others think of them.

Applying the Philosophy-Quality

I’m not suggesting that you need to break the law, wave your protesting-pitchforks at the next “extremists” rally or host psychedelic orgies to be cool.

But do try to make the time for introspection — stretch your awareness to encompass self; go deep and ask the important questions — about yourself, the world and your life purpose.

Analyze stale societal conventions that may be holding you back.

You see, opening your mind to new ideas is what creates positive change, improved thought-patterns and ways of being. Philosophy in a nutshell.

4. Cool is Inspiration

Just by being who you are.

A quality many cool people demonstrate is the innate love to evoke inspiration as much as they are motivated by the inspirational qualities in others. They give and take in mutual balance as they willingly share what they know minus the airs and graces.

That is, without being condescending or expecting something in return.

I also think that cool people strive to bring out the best in you by showing trust in your potential and lending you words of encouragement. It just feels uplifting to be around someone like that; as if you don’t need to worry about being judged, scorned or undervalued, even when you mess up.

But the best thing about cool people is that they walk-the-talk — fully backing up their words with actions, showing you what you mean to them.

Real life cool people know the power in showing up for others.

We can all do that.

Applying the Inspiration Quality

Don’t do things for people and always expect the favor returned. Try not to say things you don’t mean or make promises you cannot keep.

Short and sweet — keep it real. That’s inspirational.

5. Cool is Desirable

We all want to feel seen, known, and cherished by others.

Right? It’s the feeling that drives us towards attaining love, intimacy and connection in our lives.

Attraction is the energy emanating from within that draws people closer to us. It creates desire, intrigue, and deeper connections in relationships.

What is often misunderstood about desire and attraction is the fact that it has very little to do with your outwardly appearance and everything to do with how you feel about yourself.

Attraction happens from the inside out.

One of the coolest guys I know dated my girlfriend for a number of years. He wasn’t overly attractive but he was smart with a voracious, magnetic personality, and he was funny as hell.

Humor is very cool. You know this.

Anyway, just being around my friend’s fella somehow switched my energy meter to high, and that made him a desirable person to hang out with.

Cool people are less likely to spend time trying to create an appearance that fits a particular aesthetic and more time cultivating an inner connection to who they are.

Applying the Desirable Quality

First, you must realize and internalize that desirability is not about what you wear but how you wear it, and it’s definitely not about what you do but how you do it.

Feeling like an attractive human being is about cultivating an inner-connection to who you are and standing strong within yourself as that person.

Appreciate and love who you are.

Self-love and self-care are key factors because when you feel good about yourself, others will find those same qualities highly appealing. And it’s desirable.

6. Cool is Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, express and control your emotions, and it is a very cool quality in a person.

Whether expressing honest feelings or dealing with a blow-up of some sort, it takes a certain level of intellectual capacity and self-awareness to remain “together” during the hard times.

Think about the people you consider to be cool. I bet you seldom see them acting out with anger, or slicing and dicing someone with harsh words when things don’t go their way.

Cool people keep their cool.

They understand the significance of staying under control when circumstances force them to burn out. They also realize their irrational response will achieve nothing other than to worsen the situation.

They work at dealing with problems by focusing on solutions, rather than losing their cool. And they make sure you know that you are important to them, regardless of the circumstances.

Applying Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is mindfulness-in-action — it’s the ability to empathize, communicate effectively and defuse conflict.

Be conscious of your inner-world and immediate responses by practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises; and paying attention to the moment, your body and your feelings.

7. Cool is the Language of Love

What sets exceptionally cool people apart from everyone else is that they see the good in others and don’t withhold expressing their love to the people they care about.

It touches our hearts so deeply to feel the truth and honesty of love.

Somehow, cool people are able to effortlessly touch you in the most meaningful and unexpected ways with their deepest truths, acts of humility and humble hearts. They are the type of people who show you beauty where you previously saw none, as well as restoring your faith where you most need it.

That’s what cool people do — they remind us to believe that we too are worthy of great love, beauty and kindness.

Applying the Language of Love

Truly exposing yourself to the language of love can be scary because you must allow yourself to become vulnerable. I totally get that.

However difficult it may seem, you have got to remember that love is worth every bit of putting yourself out there, as that’s what creates deeper connection and intimacy in your life experiences.

Exposing ourselves to great love and vulnerability takes courage — take a deep breath and dip your toes in a little at a time. Trust your intuition. Celebrate your ability to sense and experience love deeply in this lifetime.

That’s what makes you beautifully human.

8. Cool is Being Your Authentic Self

It may very well be impossible to always operate from your authentic self, but it is entirely possible to become aware of and connect with your authenticity. It is making the choice to merge with that immaculate, hidden part of yourself once again; learning who you really are and how to be true to that person.

Cool people know the value in authenticity and keep up the inner-work to be able to identify when their behavior or actions don’t align with their authentic nature. They realize that to experience a meaningful life is to fully embrace who they are, holding their inner-sanctuary in a place of love and forgiveness, along with the important people in their lives.

Exceptionally cool people empower others with their presence. They have a knack for making you feel cool, too, just by being around them.

Applying the Authentic Quality

To find your authentic self, you’ve got to dig beneath the layers of borrowed thought processes and learned behavior, social conditioning and expectations; as well as needless education and unnecessary moral policing.

Qualify every aspect of your life by honoring who you are. Accept, connect and strengthen how you choose to love yourself and others.

Being authentic takes real practice and effort, though it’s an important aspect of your humanity worth striving for.

Friendliness, confidence, philosophy, inspirational, desirable, emotional intelligence, love and authenticity, are all shared qualities that come naturally to exceptionally cool people.

But they won’t tell you that they are essentially good people. They won’t need to — their actions will speak loud and clear.

Now, that’s exceptionally cool.

Yeah, baby!


Originally published by Living Out Loud on Medium

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life, Love and Connection, relationships, sexuality

The Things You Should Never Share About Someone You Love


Just the other day, my mother went to tell me about someone else’s personal business. I instantly rejected the conversation about a relative who feels the need to share with my mom all the ins and outs of her relationship. From her sex life to money matters; to the hottest topic to land on this week’s quibble-table — she divulges everything. It’s no wonder her relationship is mostly miserable, and that she’s whining on the other end of my mother’s phone every other week. They were right, those people who said that there is No Honor Among Thieves.

It might sound a bit dramatic, but spilling your guts about someone you love in such a personal way is a bit like theft — Trust-theft.

Sure, every now and then we might need to talk to someone about our personal lives and relationships, we may even be tempted to vent. But doing so can be harmful and hurtful to the one you love. I mean, unless you are experiencing a major issue or crisis in your relationship, rarely can anything good come out of others sticking their nose into your business.

Right? Our relationships, feelings and love are about as personal as our business gets. Here are five things I think you should never share about someone you love and the reasons why it’s better to keep your mouth shut:

Private Messages

Private messages are exactly what the name implies; private. Whether it be emails, text messages or personal messages via social media or any other means, if the message was meant for you, keep it that way.

Why?

The above-mentioned messages are still considered conversations between two people. When I send a personal message to my partner, I do so in confidence and trust that he won’t air it to his best friend and vice-versa. The same rings true for any personal message I send to those in my life.

Whether the message is romantic and intimate or a little on the nasty side following a disagreement, the correspondence between you and the person you love makes for building trust and intimacy within your relationship.

So, that means sharing the content of text messages and private emails is a fast way to destroy what intimacy you’ve got going on between you. You don’t want your partner to think every single conversation you have is going to be open to everyone, and I’m certain that if the shoe was on the other foot you’d be mortified too.

And as For Those Grudge-Messages . . .

Don’t be one of those people who hold onto messages to use as future ammunition against your mate after you’ve broadcasted the contents to your friends. Remember that relative who I mentioned earlier? She has a backlog of these waiting to strike when her man aggravates her. It’s a bit like gathering spears of poison to inject into your life.

Why?

It is unhealthy for your relationship because collecting and/or copying those messages for a future throw-back is grudge-holding behavior that will slowly kill the trust between you.

Here’s what Nathan Feiles from Psyche Central has to say about it:

“Grudges are essentially an emotional process that becomes stuck and unable to move forward. As a result, people who hold grudges are often in a state of mental and emotional distress. So much energy is focused on negative and spiteful feelings that it overtakes the relationship altogether.”

Everyone loses when a grudge is held. Let it go and seek ways to loosen any emotional grudge-holding patterns your behavior reinforces — which may mean working on the communication in your relationship or finding a skilled therapist to help you move forward.

Infidelity

Yes, keep your mouth shut about cheating.

If either of you commits infidelity, keep the dirty laundry in the dirty laundry basket and clean it up yourself. I know, it’s natural to want to cry on someone’s shoulder and seek those who will support our position when we get hurt, only the fewer players involved in this game, the better.

If you really need to talk to someone, it’s best to seek support in the form of a professional therapist during these delicate situations and not your immediate circle.

Why?

Because it is your relationship and your decision about whether it is worth fighting for or not — and not best friend’s or your mother’s. A professional therapist has the unbiased skill set to help you heal from the betrayal, while those close to you may do more harm than good because their feelings will be influenced by their connection to you.

People are people and none of us are perfect. A large part of being human is learning and growing from our mistakes, as well as our ability to forgive. The same holds true in knowing when to walk away from someone and realizing its time to begin something new.

Only you know what’s best for yourself and no one really understands the dynamics happening in your relationship. Also, if you do stay together, you risk tainting your friend’s or family’s perception of your partner — or yourself if you were the one to stray.

Your Sex Life

I used to have a friend who enjoyed talking about the nitty gritty’s of her sex life. So much so, that I’d almost feel as if I was involved in a threesome. Almost. I found myself redirecting the conversation a lot of the time because I felt awkward knowing intimate things about a man with whom I wasn’t involved.

Broadcasting the details of what happens in your bedroom makes your intimacy a group activity — where you’re having sex, how often you have it or don’t have it, your partner’s sexual fantasies and delicious little kinks — all of that raunchy intimate stuff should be kept between you and your mate; and maybe your sheets.

Why?

Because sex is the greatest expression of love that two people can share; in body and in spirit. Making love to someone is the physical representation of your complete union. It is the ultimate language of love that should not be compromised by becoming someone else’s entertainment or fantasy.

Sex is love without limits.

Consider this statement from Deborah Anapol Ph.D.,

“Sex is sacred because of its role in bonding. Mutually satisfying sexual exchanges naturally intensify bonding … Sex opens the heart only if we bring the energy up … the awakening all of the senses, tuning in to subtle energy, letting go of judgment and blame, expressing gratitude for the gift of life, and savoring the present moment are wonderfully supportive tools for intimate relating.”

Lovemaking essentially creates intimate fusion, reaching deep and soul-sacred levels. Don’t kiss and tell that kind of stuff — speaking it out loud to others somehow betrays the reconciliation of energies; and sharing those beautiful experiences will spoil the union.

If, on the other hand, you’re having problems in the bedroom, discuss it with your partner. Otherwise, speak with a therapist who can help you figure out why you’re having these issues.

Your Lover’s Secrets

“Trust is easy to lose and hard to get back.”

— Kristie Overstreet

Your mate loves you. Trusts you. You might be the only person in the world who sees every part of them; you are their soft landing place in an uncertain world brimming with strangers. Throughout our lives, we experience very few people with whom we give our trust enough to share our inner-most thoughts and feelings.

So, don’t betray that precious trust.

Why?

Trust is at the core of any relationship. Without it, we have little foundation on which to build a great bond with the person we love.

If your mate tells you something confidential, keep your mouth zipped.

Whether it is a buried skeleton in their closet, a long-held secret burden or deep insecurity — if your partner has chosen to confide in you, it is super important to maintain their confidence.

We all have skeletons in our closets. Well, most of us.

When your mate tells you something deep about themselves, breaking their trust is not only disrespectful but will undermine their ability to trust you if they ever find out. The other thing about it is that blabbering your partner’s secrets to your friends will cause weirdness between them and your partner.

Then, of course, the inevitable will happen — you’ll end up feeling crappy for it. We do receive the same kind of energy we put out into the universe.


People talk all the time. We are so busy talking and posting the latest on social media that we can easily become disconnected from what’s real or oblivious to the feelings of others.

We forget discretion is a virtue. And we don’t always remember how to hold our truest connections in esteem.

At the end of the day, your relationship, feelings and the way you want to love someone is nobody else’s damned business.

There is No Honor Among Thieves.


Originally published by P.S I Love You on Medium.

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Humor, relationships, Romance

Dear Men: Your Beard May Become its Own Love-Destiny


Let’s clear this up once and for all — beards are sexy. And frankly, it is a damn shame to a see a man who is capable of growing a nice spread of facial hair forgo his God-given stubbly gifts to the razor.

But there is a catch — I’m not just talking about any kind of beards. Certainly not the unruly, extra-long variety that conjure disturbing thoughts of what might be breeding among the wiry tangle. No.

Lord, no.

The kind of beard I’m hitting on is the simple but effective full-trimmed beard or the gorgeously heavy stubble. Either will do just fine. In fact, a write-up at her.com states “that a neatly trimmed full beard tops the list of things a man can grow on his face by virtue of the fact that it shows he has the patience to grow a beard and the wherewithal to keep it neat and tidy.”

Appealing. Sexy. Attractive.

Beards are much more than just a fashion statement or the ever-contentious subject in the domain of male grooming practices. From Grizzly Adams to scruffy day-old stubble, they are essentially a manifestation of a man’s masculinity and imbued with social messages.

I have been asking around; getting the facial-hair low-down with some of my lady friends. Turns out, I’m not the only woman who cheers and celebrates the heavily stubbled jawlines of our male counterparts. There are others; many others. Women everywhere find beards incredibly tempting and as it happens, studies report that beards can play a significant role in a man’s love life.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia gathered data from 8,520 women and concluded that: “Overall, the women said the sexiest men were those sporting heavy stubble, followed by short stubble. Men with full beards and clean-shaven men were rated the lowest on the overall sexiness scale.”

Hmm … sexiness scale. I like it.

The heavy stubble or well-trimmed beard has been said to make a man appear confident and approachable, too.

A quick pause and worth reiterating: Do not confuse the alluring, well-trimmed beard with the scruffy snack holder where you store crumbs and other food morsels that it happens to catch. You know, the full-blown beards that might tempt you to decorate with seasonal ornaments come Christmas time.

Please don’t do that.

And please consider removing the porn-stache if that’s your thing, too. Think John Holmes and then think again. The early pornographic actor’s life may have been measured in inches but in this case, the inches work against you.

I mentioned as much to a brief love-interest of mine when I had first started seeing him some years ago. I know, it sounds a bit … erm … mean, but he was really out of touch with the what-goes of facial hairdom, and he wasn’t nearly over 50.

Brief pause: Dear men, if you’re over 50 you have earned the right to do whatever you like with your facial hair, with the exception of a soul patch (the small tuff of hair between the lower lip and chin) and the goat patch (extended version of the soul patch).

Anyway, love-interest quickly took to the razor and emerged from the bathroom with an upper-lip that resembled a freshly plucked chicken. Porn-stache was gone but something was terribly off … the clean-shaven look just didn’t suit him. Nor did he feel comfortable minus the lip rug. So, he embarked on growing and maintaining a nice heavy stubble.

And it was sexy.

It’s not just women who prefer bearded alpha males — men also prefer men with facial hair. The same study revealed that “men feel more masculine by growing a beard — had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.”

Another pause to contemplate a few cool bearded men: Hello, John Lennon. ZZ Top. Gandalf. Jason Momoa. Brad Pitt and … Santa.

The authors of the study theorize that for women who are looking for a long-term mate, beardedness may be more attractive as it “indicates a male’s ability to compete for resources.”

Many women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness, finding men with facial hair to be attractive and dominant, both socially and physically. The beard enhances these traits in men and is a strong representation of masculine energy.

Kind of like the Yin and Yang dynamic between the sexes.

Most people know or have at least heard of Yin and Yang. Yang is masculine and Yin feminine. Everything contains Yin and Yang energies, including each of us. They are two opposite yet complimentary energies.

The ancient Taoists believed that every relationship is a complex balancing act, namely balancing Yin and Yang.

Furthermore, Yin is what makes you want to receive sexual energy from another person and Yang is what makes you want to initiate sex with your partner. This suggests the underlying primal need for women to be naturally drawn toward bearded men; to balance her femininity, if you will.

And there may lie a man’s love-destiny and self-fulfilling prophecy — in the lovely folds of a well-groomed beard.

Having said that, I am starkly aware that some men have difficulties growing facial hair, or just plain prefer the clean-shaven look. As does some women. All of which is totally fine. So long as there are fewer neckbeards and Fu Manchu in the world, we’re all winning.


Originally published by The Good Men Project in Hello, Love on Medium.

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mindset, relationships

The Truth About Honesty

4 things to consider before you get brutally honest with the people you love.


I’m not sure why people feel as if the truth needs to be brutally delivered in order to be effective. I believe that honesty embodies the qualities of love, matters of the heart and empathy. Brutality and cruelty are elements directly opposing the true meaning of authenticity — even when dealt in the form of “truthful” words.

Being honest is a virtue. Being brutal and cruel is not.

Honesty should never to be delivered harshly. At all. It is a farce to believe otherwise. Furthermore, using honesty as a weapon to hurt others is unnecessary and uncalled for. You can be honest and kind without being hurtful and brutal with your words.

Time and time again, I have heard people say how they prefer to “tell it the way it is”, but their beliefs and opinions about something are not the same thing as the ultimate truth.

Our perspectives vary. The way I see the world and filter my thoughts are not going to be the same way that you do. That doesn’t make me delusional. Nor does it give you the right to negate or belittle me with your brutal version of the truth to appease … erm … your ego?

My husband is inclined to not sugar-coat the truth. Like, ever. He is blunter than a hollowed-out cigar filled with cannabis. This might sound counter-productive in the realm of self-liberation, but I often remind him that there is no need for him to always express his opinion about everything under the sun.

Naturally, his first reaction is to push back. It’s in his nature. He’s a classic Aries male who possesses a rapid-fire wit and rebellious personality; and he’s a warrior for what he believes to be honest and true. He thinks about it, though.

He was able to understand that while honesty is important in a relationship, it doesn’t have to be expressed harshly in order to make a point. He realized his abrasive manner was causing more harm than good in his relationships — with me and our children.

His hard messages were being buried beneath an avalanche of hurt feelings. Words can be so damaging. Words can kill.

As assertive and straightforward as my husband can be, I have had to learn how to match his strong personality traits with some fire of my own. Each time he chose to speak nothing but the “brutal truth”, I’d show him another, more thoughtful way to express himself without the severity.

I can’t be certain if it was my influence, but over the years he has learned to deploy a little finesse in his brash ways. He has learned that his truths do not always need to be voiced so forcibly, and that there is great value in thinking before taking the leap into brutal-honesty kingdom — And he cares enough to consider the impact of the way he delivers his words.

Brutal honesty can actually impede communication with loved ones rather than achieving harmony. It is about telling the truth in a way that your partner will hear it and benefit from it. In this case, when my husband attempts to be tender in his honesty, I am better equipped to receive it without feeling hurt or blame.

You can be present with your issues with some degree of gentleness.

Fact: Feeling strongly about your opinions doesn’t make it a fact.

Being incredibly honest is not about being brutally truthful, either. I would even suggest that it is in our intention to be “brutally honest” that is actually holding back some honesty.

You telling it like it is isn’t the same as how it actually is; this a fundamental misbelief and where we so often get it wrong.

I’m not saying that you have to compromise your honesty. There are ways to be honest and kind at the same time. We can honor the true meaning of honesty and deliver our truths with heart instead of brutality. It’s a choice.

Consider the following points:

1. Brutal honesty just tends to tear the person down.

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Justin Timberlake sang a whole song about it and he is da man — Right?

Well, with moves like that he’s got to be.

When he goes around, we’re all in for the ride. Speaking of around, there is no way around it — Your treatment of others will reflect back on you.

Eventually.

So, before you feel the urge to be brutality honest, it is wise to choose your words carefully and acknowledge the other persons feelings.

It takes deliberate practice to actually separate facts from fiction. Focusing on facts — what we see, hear and observe — and then having the ability to avoid a knee-jerk reaction long enough to consider the feelings of others, is what it means to be mindful — to practice empathy and invest in your character.

Keep in mind that brutal honesty isn’t true honesty because the truth should never be cruel.

2. Pause and Breathe.

We’ve all heard the old saying: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

There be truth in those words too.

Once you’ve said the thing, it’s out there; forever floating around in word-land. Whether verbally, text or email — once they’re out, you cannot retrieve those damaging syllables and consonants.

There are many different ways to say the same thing, and each version has a slightly different connotation to it.

Why choose to shred someone’s soul when you can be just as effective by honoring and respecting it while speaking the truth?

Sharing your facts and viewpoints with empathy and compassion means delivering your honesty without harsh dismissal, blame or confusion — victimless truth without brutality.

3. Avoid the shutdown.

We all know that person who believes they have the right to rip someone apart in the name of honesty. The ones who shut the breadth of their hearts to justify hurtful words.

It’s a bogus mindset.

Delivering honesty in this way is when you shut yourself down from others and proceed to steamroll over someone else’s feelings without acknowledging their emotions.

Being starkly aware that you may express your truths while simultaneously validating what the other person is feeling will go a long way in maintaining your empathy without compromising your integrity.

It will also soften the blow which will foster more positive and effective communication — they’ll be more likely to listen to you and hear what you are offering. They will be more likely to accept your point of view and respect you all the more for it.

Positivity all around.

4. Honesty is not what you think it is.

Being honest has nothing to do with being angry, hurtful or mean. Letting off steam and venting is not the same thing as truthfulness.

Those emotions have very little to do with honesty, but for some reason we equate them with each other.

Being more honest is about being clearer; more specific; sincere and authentic. It’s about hearing the other person, taking the time to understand their perspective and realizing their feelings are important and thus, should be treated with care regardless of the situation.

A little more about honesty:

· Honesty is about communicating your truths through acts of kindness and compassion.

· It’s about human connection and spirit.

· It doesn’t require you to raise your voice or use ALL CAPS to make your point.

· Truths don’t need harsh derogative comments, threats or brutality in order to increase your honesty.

· You don’t need to be more effective at stating the observable facts of the situation and your honest perspective about those facts.

· You don’t have to be mean to be honest.

And finally …

It’s worth remembering that you can still speak your truth and honor your integrity without being mean or cruel to the other person.

Here is a truth delivered without brutality: There is no limit to how honest you can be; but there is a limit to how brutal and cruel you can be.

You get to choose every time.


Originally published by P.S. I Love You on Medium

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