Overly positive men are untrustworthy

Dec 31, 2022

We move through life by running various strategies. These are the default programs we use to connect, feel safe and get things done. Give and receive love.

Social norms, parents or past successes create stories about "how things are done around here."

Growing up, my parents encouraged my brother and me to be polite. When we were well-mannered, we got rewarded. Life was easier.

I adopted this strategy in other parts of my life too. Being polite and optimistic in the workplace meant I got the job or made the sale.

I adopted a way of being that got things done.

But then, this overly polite guy was running the entire show without anyone noticing it.

He would be the one that made many of the decisions about how I engaged with others.

I would often choose positivity over honesty.

"People don't need to listen to you complain".

"Don't disclose that - it might upset the other person."

So, I would pretend things were ok. Avoid prickly subjects.

Always be the upbeat, happy-go-lucky guy.

But my relationships started to feel uncomfortable.

I was trying to be someone that I was not.

Living a lie.

But then I read a book about radical honesty. A particular line landed hard on me. "Dishonesty, even dressed up as kindness, is on a spectrum with violence".

Where had I been dishonest in the name of caretaking the other person? My actions not matching my words makes the other person feel unsafe.

Me not entirely ok with being myself.

Then I reconnected with Charlie. My inner polite boy.

He's Charlie from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. His politeness repaid him with keys to the Chocolate Factory.

A winning strategy.

But Charlies is about nine years old. He shouldn't be the primary voice about some of life's grown-up decisions.

Sometimes your truth will clash with someone else's desires. That's a feature, not a bug.

Since committing to being 100% honest with the people in my life, things have been much cleaner.

People know where they stand with me and how I am. My intimate relationships are grounded and grown up. Clear. No bull-shit.

Just sexy radical honesty.

Sometimes I'm "amazing!"

Sometimes I'm "fuck-all-this!".

I'm both. But I'm committed to choosing honesty over faking positivity - even when it's "harder".

Because when I stop pretending things are ok, the other person feels safe to share their authentic truth with me.

My relationships are stronger as a result.

It's not always easy being radically honest, but it's always the kinder option.

Are you courageous enough to choose radical honesty over fake positivity?

Do you have an inner "polite boy" (or girl) creating strategies that focus on optimism rather than honesty?

The way through the chaos is to get to know these parts of yourself. As people. Honour them as you would another human that you love. Make them part of your kingdom.


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