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Honest Communication


We might assume that letting people know what we want and how we feel is relatively easy. We, surely, just open our mouths and say it. But human life shows extraordinary troubles around communicating our intentions and emotions clearly and honestly. This is some of what we get up to as an alternative to straight forward communication. We say nothing but somehow expect to be understood anyway, and blame the person for not reading our minds. We don’t get something off our chest, we go in for people pleasing behavior but secretly we build up hatred and resentment. We pretend we don’t care. We become avoidant and tough. We say things are okay and they’re not okay at all. We explode dramatically rather than explain calmly, the explosion often being the result of a past burial of the problem that then gives way to eruption of resentment. We nag bitterly. We give up even trying to explain and get interested in trying to order, impose, and control instead. There’s so much that we should be talking about: what we want in bed, how hurt we are by certain things our friends and family do, usually inadvertently, how badly we need a cuddle, but don’t want to look weak by asking, or, how we want to pay rise or promotion, or a shift to another role we feel sure we’d do very well. Non-communication starts early. It’s almost always the result of a certain sort of childhood in which we were not allowed to get things off our chest in a direct and sincere way. Perhaps we had an angry parent, around whom we had to walk on eggshells, we had to be so careful with what we said or a terrified explosion could be unleashed at any point. Maybe we had a prudish parent; it broke their heart every time we were a bit rough or unhygenic no wonder we find it hard to be frank about our body and its desires and needs. Or maybe we had a very fragile parent, whom we loved, but were always afraid of bringing problems to in case they couldn’t take it or broke down. Or perhaps the parent was too preoccupied and busy; our concerns were nothing next to the challenges they had with the corner chop, the doctor’s surgery, or the business. Bad communication has its roots in the feeling that “we can’t be both truthful and tolerated and loved”; “who you are isn’t enough.” Once we get more conscious of how reluctant we are to communicate directly, we may be able to start to take action. By understanding our past we can see that the present may not in fact require the compromises around communication we once had to accept as children. Without quite noticing it, we may be sticking to the very unfortunate habit that was formed, understandably, to deal with problems that actually belonged to another past era. We can afford to be bolder; we’re stronger now and others are stronger than we might imagine. Most people can actually take some stiff news, and if they really can’t, we can walk away. Put yourself in the shoes of those you’re afraid of. Is it really so nice to be lied to or not told what matters? People need to know the bad news to fix it. We can endure the risk of being disliked in the name of a cleansing confrontation. We should go through mental exercises to practice an inner resilience around communication. “I may be sacked, but I can find another job.” “They may not like me here, but there’ll be other places where I can find friends.” “What I feel is not always bad or strange, it deserves to be heard!” We have to tell ourselves helpful, important things that we fail to hear from others sufficiently loudly early on: “you’re going to be okay, whatever happens next;” “I will love you even if the news is challenging.” Enough of stalking the Earth with our shoulders hunched and our eyes wary. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We can afford to say what we really feel to those who deserve to hear it.

100 Replies to “Honest Communication”

  • Just outstanding brilliant information this channel is bringing to the people that choose to listen and think deeply about, thank you for taking the time and effort in putting it all together, thanks for caring, I'm extremely grateful for it.

  • Anyone who wants to look more into this should read Sam Harris' short essay, "Lying." After I read it, I never lied again.

  • And if someone tries to shame you for being honest…Well, fuck em. Honesty is a way to get rid of people who won't let you be yourself and speak your mind, and it brings us closer to the people who actually listen.

  • Many's the time I have been transparent and self-revealing, and received silence in return, which make me feel like a freak. The revelations are innocent enough (once I said in a list of women that I believed microwave ovens were dangerous for one's health, man did I get clobbered!). But most people simply are unable to reciprocate, because…they have no revelations to share. They are (and this is truly scary) empty.

  • the terrible things is, my long distance ex and i were planning to meet in person. the relationship was plagued with terrible communication from both parties, and we talked about how things may be a little different in person. we've grown apart more and more, save for the occasional step closer here and there. now i fear he is uninterested and wish to confront him with his lack of interaction with me, and his seemingly uninterested tone on the off chance we do talk. i also want to tell him how i feel, that i still love him and wish to see him and ask him if he feels the same. the biggest problem is i dont know how, i cant work out when the best time to really try and talk is, moreover i can not for the life of me figure out how to initiate such a discussion.

    i am afraid i will say or do something wrong that will blow it. at the same time i see the growing distance and indifference growing between us and know action must be taken if we are to remain friends, much less lovers later on. it may be too late for that though, i have no idea if the situation can be improved if i keep fighting, or if it would be best to leave it be and get on with my life.

    it seems i always have a lot to say, but no idea how, when, and where to say it. im at a loss.. this video helped me understand the importance of communication, and provides a fresh perspective on my past actions.. but it doesn't help me with the other problems.. i just don't know where to go from here .-.

  • I don't always say what I want because I always put others before me. I always think about how it'll affect everyone in any way. My friends are extremely sensitive, so I never really say anything unless it REALLY bothers me. Which is hard since I have slight anger issues, i've learnt to hide it, it's fine. I hate to see people hurt, but sometimes I just want to shout what i really think – the truth, but they'll be hurt. Which is why I always ask 'do you want to hear what you want to hear? or do you want to hear the truth?' if they ask any serious questions.

  • Narrated by Alain de Botton …what a fantastic voice … right up there with David Attenborough in my opinion

  • Your videos deserve more views. Outstanding work. Greatly appreciated. Do carry on making these much needed videos of necessary knowledge.

  • Very nicely done, thank you, TSOL.

    For some the problem is even deeper–we've ignored and stuffed down our own emotions and thoughts for so many years/decades that we can't even seem to figure out what we feel about things…but that's a somewhat different topic…

  • This video is particularly idealistic. Yes, I agree with the core points made, we should make an active effort towards being open and honest. The issue I may put forward (and this may be a straw man's fallacy) is that some news, when shared with the wrong individual, at the wrong time, and/or in the wrong environment could actually have disastrous consequences. Which is a point I feel is important to share

  • Wow this video spoke volumes to me, my mum was all four of those things, plus I am the youngest of rambunctious bunch of 4 with no voice as it was beaten down. No wonder I found it hard to communicate on a honest and intimate level with others though I never had malicious intent

  • So relevant to my life, thank you! I've struggled with both people who are easily angered and those who I've been afraid of hurting (eggshells example).

  • Couldn't have heard this at a better time. Thank you school of life for constantly providing a fresh perspective.

  • I have absolutely no problem speaking my mind. It's other people that are afraid to speak to me. Rightfully so to, I'm a terrifying monster.

  • Another great lesson. Tough to find those that, we are attracted to, and they us, that are sufficiently in touch with the reality of this lesson. Many people we get close to are not who they really are due to the bottling of past emotions, in turn what seems to be working rather well explodes on theboth of you. Too bad these important lessons are not taught to all. Great job love the channel!

  • -> Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication (NVC) technique. If you've never heard about it, just look it up here & now, it's worth it

  • Thanks. I know what I have want to say, but I'm always so scared to speak my mind, even with the people who tell me they want to hear me. This little push forward is much appreciated 🙂

  • i like how you mentioned habits, habits good or bad form all around us the way we look at the world the way we walk and talk and smile even and the way we think. These habits may come from everywhere someone we noticed on the street, our friend, a lover or a big example our parents. However you can form good habits or bad ones and you have to be careful of how many habits you have, what proportion of good and bad habits you have, how you make and develop new habits or even how you stop old habits from coming back "old habits die hard". so in order to gain the 'illusion of control' over your habits you must first recognise them than evaluate them how you developed them why you developed them and if it's OK to keep that habit you have to be optimistic, pessimistic and realistic about these habits and it can all be an overwhelming task but if you just remain calm and learn to love yourself even if it's only a bit at a time and in moderation you can learn how to understand yourself and come to terms with the many habits you have which in turn may allow you to deal with your emotions and mental state in a similar way too and I've noticed this channel covers what I've said in the video Philosophical Meditation thus you can learn to not only come to terms with yourself and your emotions but you can learn how to achieve the concept of being at one with oneself and learn how to appreciate yourself and your life all the more even if it's only bit by bit. because at the end of the day your worth it every human is even the bad ones 🙂 and i hope this helps because it took me along time to figure out on my own 12 years roughly but now i've found this channel :') and have found no end to the satisfaction within me.

  • Honest and direct communication prevents bullshit. The person may temporarily be upset or hurt but they will appreciate you for it later…trust me!!

  • This is very informative, but it doesn't tell me how to deal with my angry father. He has never hit me, but he is so quick to jump to anger and I am never right and he's so close minded he won't listen at all. He would never change. To him It is not his fault that I think he's a bad father, rather that I am an ungrateful child. Please launch a video about how to deal with people who exercise control over you to shut you down and refuses to see another sides point of view because they are always angry.

  • When I become emotionally attached to another human being I become needy and would ideally want their presence and attention non-stop! For example as I'm now dating someone and I developed feelings for them but we're not in a relationship. I know the person also has feelings for me but think they're not as strong as mine. I'm sometimes happy being with that person but often times I feel conflicted because my needs are not met (their attention and reciprocity). My rational mind is telling me it's ridiculous to require that much of that person's time and attention when you've only been dating for a few months and you're not even in a relationship. But when the person asks me 'what's wrong?' I'm torn between telling them about my conflicted feelings and keeping them to myself because I know I have no real stand to make. Is it then still beneficial to tell them exactly what I'm feeling? For what purpose?

  • What if you're honest (about yourself) with someone and they're the ones that degrade you? I mean almost all the time it happens.

  • My boyfriend just took a risk, as you put it in the description box, and told me to piss off. I'm crying myself to sleep, have to get up early tomorrow. There's a dire lack of social skills, which have nothing to do with dishonesty/inauthenticity, but everything to do with respect, empathy, patience, goodwill and constructive communication, in this world.

  • I value honesty A LOT actually, I just can't be honest with people. Too many "societal rules" in place. Especially in Toronto, people assume way too much, and expect 10X more.

  • I think there is too much emotion attached to the analysis. Just be honest. An honest no is appreciated.

  • Its so important to accept your flaws and own up to it than running away and ignoring it
    An honest conversation with your own self is very important
    Also cheering yourself. I also replay the things in my mind that didn't go well in the past but try to change visualise what I could have done or said that would make it better
    This Kinda helps me . Honest conversation with self it others is really really important

  • We lived in a world were matters the brand instead of personality, the appearance instead of honesty, fake relationship on "social" networks instead of few friends but trustworthy and faithful.

  • Honest Communication is important yes, but these days I feel like I have to lie, because you know…People are ignorant. And for some odd reason take great pride and joy in humiliating others. At least that's been my experience in "relationships".

  • I was looking for an advice since I have to say something important to someone. And I just thought, hey let's look school of life. And voilá. I got some neutral advice.

  • Every materialist/egoist/perfectionist allows/censors only their mistakes. And that's all most people are. Big dishonest, domineering babies. But none is God/a Perfect Humiliator but the Creator of us all. SubhanAllah. Audhu billah.

  • The road to Hell is paved with bad/dishonest intentions, never with good ones. That's the main point of/difference in honest communication. Audhu billah..

  • Its not about honesty. Its about responsibility. You can't talk to others. You can only talk to Gd, and to yourself. You can't be honest with others. You can only be honest to Gd, and with yourself. If you can't beat them, avoid sin. There's rarely or never a cheer up. There's usually, or only a put up, shut up, and a self wake up. SubhanAllah..

  • Its not about honesty. Its about responsibility. You can't talk to others. You can only talk to Gd, and to yourself. You can't be honest with others. You can only be honest to Gd, and with yourself. You can't better them. You can only better yourself. If you can't beat them, avoid sin. There's rarely or never a cheer up. There's usually, or only a put up, shut up, and wake up. SubhanAllah.

  • How is comedy better than honesty? Preferring a gangster, and thriller is bad enough. But a comedy, fantasy, fiction, horror, crime gangster, and mystery? I'd rather just have drama, and adventure. At least a drama is the truest story. Audhu billah..

  • Clean your heart, and morals, not just your house, and tables. Grow out of a child's mind, not just out of time.

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un.

  • Humble silence is as good as honest communication. Think before you act/speak. Thats the whole point. Morality is silent, yet not practiced. Not humbly/kindly considering is worse than not kindly speaking. Thats why people dont honestly/kindly speak. Audhu billah.

  • Honest communication: How do I make you feel? How do you deal with how people make you feel? What is the right/best way to deal with how people make us feel? Good morals are honest. Good emotions/good mornings are only desirous. Which good do/should we want most? Good morals, or good emotions/good mornings? SubhanAllah.

  • I would’ve called myself a good communicator…however I have one flaw and I was with someone I really cared about and I would lie to them about stuff they would’ve been somewhat okay with just so long as I told the truth. They saw through those lies now as this person is gone and hates me rightly so…I’m left here knowing I did wrong. And after watching this video I realize now communication is about truth. I would love an honest relationship but I was lying to myself because I was trying to make a perfect relationship based off of lies and not truth and trust.

  • "We live in the right time, even if it doesn't always feel like it."
    Depression, the secret we share | Andrew Solomon

  • This video so accurately describes the root of too many of my problems. I grew up with an alcoholic dad where any little thing would set him off so I kept my mouth shut. My mom was always busy with work and very prudent so I never really knew how to convey my feelings bc I never felt like it was important. Its affected me in my adult life with co-workers and people misunderstand me constantly. I'm now trying to communicate my thoughts more with people and then eventually my feelings.

  • As someone who promotes harmony in our family through and being good at honest and open communication with everyone in the house, most especially with my mother, I failed at this with the person that I like. He left, didn't answer the last few messages I sent. I am not thinking that it could've been different had I admitted what I feel for him but, there is some regret not taking that risk of initiating an honest conversation, not only to express my feelings but, to also know what he thinks or feels. There are factors that play into this but, hmm, I can only move forward.

  • the difficult with honest communication is that you gonna be blamed of saying the truth, your tone and blah blah blah, that's why philosophers write more books than talk the truth they know. Lately people are very offended. Hahahahaa keep quit keep it stoic.

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