How Honest is Too Honest?
If an HR person asked someone applying for a job, “What are your weaknesses?” during an interview, how upfront should she be?
If the applicant said, “Well, I once stormed out of a meeting with my last manager because I don’t like being criticized,” it probably wouldn’t help the person land the job, even if it was an honest answer.
Maybe if the person said, “Well, I used to get upset when my work was criticized, but my experience has taught me to manage my feelings and use negative feedback to do better next time,” they’d have a way better chance of getting hired.
It’s not because it was any less honest than the first answer, but rather that the person didn’t simply blurt out the first thing that came to mind.
Besides, people don’t expect you NOT to have any issues to deal with. All of us have a unique set of hang-ups, but we don’t have to trot them out thoughtlessly as if it defined us.
Rather, the best way to keep the other person from freaking out is by giving the impression that you’ve got your life under control, as imperfect as it may be.
In the same way, dating is a lot about being honest – but not so much that it makes the other person see red flags and run the opposite direction.
We’re all working on some personal stuff (that’s a given for the majority of us), and it shouldn’t hold you back from being in a relationship.
At the same time though, it’s best to keep it to yourself until both of you are comfortable enough to share such things.
Thus, honesty should be tempered with a little tact and discretion – especially at the beginning of a relationship.
There’s no dating rule that says you need to lay all the cards on the table for the sake of Keeping It Real.
There was a recent Reddit thread that asked the question, “What would your brutally honest dating profile say?”
A bunch of people replied, with answers ranging from hilarious to shockingly truthful:
“Good pet rock alternative.”
“Female medical uni student who is stressed as f@#%. Enjoys the company of cats as they don’t require social effort. Has probably cried and baked cookies today instead of studying.”
“Since we are single at this age, we are both damaged people. Tell me where you are broken and I will tell you where I am broken.”
“Still in love with my ex.”
“Seemingly perfect, but a disaster once you get 2 months in.”
Like I pointed out earlier, being honest while dating is important (e.g. speaking up when something goes against your moral principles, etc.), but not when it gives the impression that you don’t have it together.
Being a guy, I have to say that unloading all of that emotional baggage comes off as too intense. Give your man a chance to know you better, then let him peel you back one layer at a time.
Connecting with a guy is done in baby steps – pace yourself and don’t get into deep discussions about the number of children you want or how your ex was a cheating loser that took you for granted.
Eventually those things will come up along the way, so let the relationship unfold first before getting into the more serious stuff.
In the meantime, have fun with him, be a great gal to hang out with and focus on enjoying the moment.
And if you really want to connect with your guy, try learning his Connection Style to really find out what makes him tick.
Once you’ve mastered this easy-to-learn relationship skill, you can be as honest with each other as you want, and he’ll still stick around long after.
Yours, in Perfect Passion,
– Carlos Cavallo