How Much Emotional Honesty or “Nakedness” is TOO Much?

Here’s a question for you…

How many people do you let see you naked?

Chances are, not many.

How about emotionally naked?

We’re guessing you don’t let many people see you emotionally naked either.

Getting “naked” emotionally is when you let down your guard and let people see (and feel) the REAL you.

We’re talking about the you that doesn’t hide.

*The you that isn’t afraid to say what’s true for you.

*The you that’s willing to reveal the painful parts of their past (or their present).

*The you that’s willing to let down their walls and defenses and allow people to see their true heart.

*The you that wants to connect deeper but gets scared and afraid and holds back.

If you cringed a little when you read the list above…

You’re not alone.

Letting people see your body in all its glory or getting emotionally naked is not something most people are willing to do much of.

And if they are, sometimes it’s “over-the-top” or too much information for others.

How emotionally honest or naked you are with the people in your life (and them with you) is one of the big factors in how close, connected and loving your relationships are.

If that’s the case…

Is there such a thing as too much emotional honesty or “nakedness”?

It depends…

Here’s what we see…

In some situations and with some people, most of us hold back what’s really going on inside us.

It just may not feel safe to feel totally honest.

You may not feel that you’ll be heard or it will just cause an argument or hurt feelings.

You may recognize (or not) that you’re making a lot of assumptions that may not be true and sharing these assumptions before you’ve calmed down isn’t necessary.

We put up barriers to connection because of the stories we create and hold onto which may be true or not.

Keep in mind where our emotions come from…

They are the result of thinking we believe to be true, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

Susie remembers one relationship with someone close to her where she’s held back questions she’d wanted to ask and her hurt feelings that were the result of her thinking and emotions.

She knew she’d been making up a lot of reasons for the distance between the two of them.

The story she weaved was that there’s no opportunity to have a deep conversation like that and this other person wouldn’t be open to it.

So she stayed silent (and has for years) and this relationship which is very important to her has remained cordial but distant (at least for her).

After her feelings would settle, she would usually made the conscious decision to be okay with that for now and maybe the opportunity for sharing would present itself sometime in the future.

She saw that it was also possible that this relationship was perfect already without her putting up walls and wishing it was different from what it was…

That it wasn’t necessary to share the hurt feelings she can choose to no longer carry around with her.

Eventually it came out that the reason for the distance was a secret that this person was holding because of a promise to someone else and now Susie feels closer to this person.

She’s glad in that instance that she didn’t share any hurt feelings but allowed them to pass through.

But in her relationship with Otto, there’s no holding back emotional honesty.

This is because we made the commitment when we first came together to be transparent with each other so that resentments don’t build up.

We also agreed to listen and not to criticize each other because we think differently about something.

(Sometimes we do this better than other times!)

We both know that our love is kept alive and growing because of this honesty and trust…

But that doesn’t mean we spill every negative thought and emotion that passes through.

What we’ve found is…

You don’t have to share all your feelings to have great relationships…

But you do need to see what remains after your thoughts and emotions calm down and share from a place of love what needs to be shared.

That’s the key here…

Whatever you feel called to share–Do it from love and with a desire to connect.

If you’d like some help navigating a tricky conversation with someone, contact us here…

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