How to speak with honesty and empathy? Honesty is a fundamental value when it comes to relating to other people. Nobody likes to find out that they have been cheated or betrayed. This inevitably results in a loss of trust towards the person who lied.
However, when it comes to being honest, not everything goes, especially if we take into account that the feelings of others are at stake. Therefore, honesty and empathy are two concepts that must go hand in hand.
In today's societies individualism, competitiveness and a misunderstood independence prevail. Because of this, we sometimes assume that honesty is the best policy, but We forget the consequences that our words can have on others. How to be frank and empathetic at the same time? We will detail it below.
What is honesty?
Honesty is the ability to align thoughts, words, and actions. In this way, the person expresses what they consider to be true and, in the same way, acts in accordance with what they think and say. In honesty there is no room for lies, falsehoods or concealments. Nor is there room for empty words or broken promises.
An honest person is real and true, and expresses this truth even if the consequences are not favorable.. It is a personal value closely related to integrity and respect for oneself and for others.
What is empathy?
Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in the place of another person, so that we can understand their thought process to identify the emotions they experience. Being empathetic is being considerate of the internal and emotional world of the other, doing the exercise of leaving oneself to adopt the position of who we have in front of.
An empathic person does not judge, lie or humiliate because he understands the repercussions that these acts can have on the other. And, stopping to feel that pain as your own, choose the path of understanding, touch and human warmth.
How are these values related?
Although at first glance it seems that honesty and empathy are two terms with little in common, the reality is that their conjunction is essential in daily life. That is to say, that either of them without the other, can bring negative consequences.
For example, an excess of empathy leads to lying to avoid harming the other, what we know as "white lies." This, although it can avoid conflicts in the short term, ends up generating feelings of guilt and causing a feeling of betrayal in the other when the lack of honesty is discovered.
But, on the other hand, sincerity without empathy is not functional either. Being direct and sincere without considering the emotional aspect can make other people perceive us as rude, rude or tactless. As a consequence, we can experience social rejection or interpersonal conflicts.
Keep reading: How to have more empathy: tips to achieve it
4 tips to speak honestly and empathetically
Ultimately, honesty and empathy must go hand in hand if we want to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. Nevertheless, It is not always easy to apply these two concepts together; Therefore, we propose some keys to achieve it.
When communicating with other people, we must remember that respect must always prevail. Respecting the other implies considering him worthy of knowing the truth and, therefore, being honest with him. But it also means taking their feelings into consideration, as no one deliberately harms a person they respect.
2. Work assertiveness
Assertive communication is a must. Sometimes, the fear of being rejected or that our opinion is poorly received leads us to lie to try to please. For this reason, it is necessary to improve self-confidence and learn to express ourselves assertively.
Similarly, if we get carried away by aggressiveness and are unable to control impulses, we can hurt the other person with our words. Remember that to assert our point of view we do not have to underestimate the other's.
Find out more: Tips for non-violent communication: is it possible?
3. Use constructive language
To convey an unpleasant message to another person, it is best to use constructive language. What does this mean? Knowing how to choose the right words and offer proposals and solutions instead of criticizing or judging.
4. Take care of non-verbal communication
Non-verbal communication has an even greater weight than words when it comes to delivering a message. Thus, aspects such as the tone of voice used, body posture or the time and place chosen to communicate an idea can make a difference. It is convenient to pay attention to these aspects so that the interlocutor does not feel attacked or threatened.
Honesty and empathy to live well
Values define us as people, and are demonstrated through our actions and interactions with others. Practicing honesty and empathy in daily life can be an effort at the beginning, but in the long run it will bring us higher levels of personal and social well-being.
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