Are you in a relationship that you know is not what you truly want but are afraid to leave because you do not want to hurt the other person? Is there a friendship that has long passed its expiration date but you continue to stay in it because you do not want to hurt someone’s feelings?
Is someone you love, perhaps even your child, struggling with something and you keep saving them or taking care of their issues because you can’t bear to see them in pain?
Are you withholding the truth from someone or not setting necessary boundaries because you do not want them to get upset?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions I ask you to consider that you are really NOT helping the other person and contemplate the idea that in fact what you think will hurt him or her may actually help them more.
A story will help this really sink in . . .
In my early twenties I was engaged to who I believed was the love of my life. Six months before our wedding, he broke off our engagement and moved out of our apartment. I was absolutely devastated. I felt rejected, ashamed, scared and heart-broken. It hurt so badly that some days I did not want to get out of bed.
I received a lot of sympathy and “how could he do that?” comments, yet, I am certain it was not an easy choice for him either. The truth is though that he had to listen to his heart and honor the fact that something did not feel right.
At the time my perspective was that he made a choice that hurt me, but that is actually not the case. Sure, it hurt at the time, but his choice to break off the engagement was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
That expectation hangover inspired me to take a deeper look at myself and own the ways I showed up in a relationship. I looked at how my own unhappiness with myself affected my partner. I dove into my own personal development and worked with my coach because I realized that if I was not happy with myself, then how would anyone else be happy with me?!?!
My career and mission today is a direct result of that breakup and the healing it catalyzed. I would not be living this amazing life that I love had my ex-fiancé not had the courage to end our engagement.
I understand that breaking up with someone, or ending a friendship, or being honest, or stepping back and letting someone you love figure their own way through a difficult situation is not easy. I really get that it can seem cruel. However, what is crueler is not making choices from truth and love. In the long run staying in any relationship that you are not 100% committed to is not fair to either one of you. Withholding honesty in close relationships will make them distant and cause resentment over time and rescuing someone repeatedly impedes their ability to learn self-reliance and resilience.
This is the topic I coach Sandie on during this week’s episode of the podcast. She is in a relationship she knows is not healthy but has been scared to leave because she does not want to hurt her partner.
Being the catalyst for someone else’s expectation hangover, like my ex-fiancé was for me, offers them a wake up call. You could help them MORE by being the reason they work on themselves and ultimately make their own life better. Of course this is not a guarantee, as some people stay in a victim story and remain under gray skies. But all of us have a choice in terms of how we respond to someone else’s behavior and choices.
Please do not sacrifice your own well-being and growth because you are putting someone else’s feelings before your truth. Communicate with love, kindness, compassion and respect. Just because the truth is not necessarily what someone else wants to hear, does not make it mean. The truth is the truth. Have the courage to honor your truth and give others the dignity of their own process.
P.S. Have you been wanting to take your coaching business to the next level? Then make sure to register for my Masterclass Training for Coaches, June 30th and July 1st in San Diego, CA. Go here for more details and to register.
P.P.S. I am excited to share that I will be in London and hosting a one day transformation retreat on July 21st. You are invited to join me to work on releasing emotions and situations that are holding you back. Learn tools that create lasting change and give you peace of mind. Connect with other like-minded amazing people. And receive tons of love, guidance, and coaching from me. Go here for more details and to register.