Tag emotions

Inviting Honesty: How to Get the Truth from Anyone

Imagine that you have this great idea for a party. You plan the most resplendent décor and exquisite cuisine, lavish flower arrangements, and only the best in lighting and live music. You’ve diligently prepared every detail. Unfortunately, your party isn’t going to be much fun if you skip one essential step: sending out your invitations. Most people value honesty and recognize it as an important aspect of healthy relationships. However, it takes some wishful thinking on our part to assume that others are always going to be honest with us—our closest friends, family members, and partners included—simply because we want them to be. This would be like expecting all our favorite people to attend our party without inviting them to it first.

The Importance of Mutuality

When you go to the grocery store, you generally have a successful relationship with the cashier who rings you up. It’s not much of a relationship, but it is a successful one. This success occurs simply because you and the cashier share a certain mutuality. You care equally about one another, maybe not much, but equally. Since your feelings are mutual, it is easy enough for you both to share a brief and cordial exchange. Why? Because this is exactly what you both want. You want the same thing, to have this one transaction flow smoothly with a small measure of courtesy, then to both go on about your respective days, thinking no more about each other thereafter. Success.