RD&T contributing author, John Amodeo, shares his take on the question: Is your self-expression damaging your relationships?
We’ve often been told that it’s important to speak our truth – voicing our honest feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. We’ve been warned against being codependent and concealing our true feelings to protect or placate others. Intimacy cannot thrive in a climate of emotional dishonesty and inauthenticity.
Fair enough. But the research behind Attachment Theory suggests something that may seem contradictory: we need safety in our relationships as a foundation for love and connection. This raises the question of what’s more important, our autonomy or maintaining healthy attachment?
There is much complexity in having mature relationships. If it were simple, we’d all be in relationship bliss by now – living happily ever after. So let’s sit back and delve into the complexity of holding both sides of this seeming contradiction: what would it take to be ourselves and speak our truth while also maintaining a climate of emotional safety in our important relationships?