It’s a funny thing, honesty. I like to pride myself on being an honest person, I’m very open and don’t have any difficulty usually telling someone how I feel about something as long as I still be kind and polite about it but actually when I thought long and hard about it there were some times that I really wasn’t very honest and it didn’t do me many favours.
I’m not talking about lying or cheating or anything like that, I’m talking about the times that we’re not super honest with ourselves and maybe the small lies or fibs we tell others to fit in or to feel like we belong.
When I first met my boyfriend I soon realised we had different interests and hobbies, he was big into heavy metal music and extreme sports such as mountain biking. I was a self-confessed nerd who liked graphic design and YouTube and the amount of exercise I did when we first met was zilch so I soon worried that we’d start to realise that we didn’t have much in common.
My anxiety can make me doubt myself a lot and although being able to code, design a website or a logo and being massively into zombie and paranormal TV shows actually made me a really interesting person, I just couldn’t see it myself.
I started to feel the need to like what he liked so I could justify us being together (when really our identical values and principles in life are exactly why we’re so happy and are perfect for each other). There were some awful days out where I’d suggest bike rides because I know how much he’d love them which ended with me crying because I was in so much pain from renting awful bikes from little hire shops and forcing myself to keep going when I really didn’t want to.
Everything changed when I started to be more honest with myself and to have confidence in my choices and decisions. I started to feel OK with saying ‘you know what, I hated that bike ride, I’d rather go somewhere a bit easier where I can ride in my own time and enjoy the views’ etc. To no-one’s surprise, my boyfriend was absolutely ok with that – and of course he would be, but my anxiety had kind of convinced me he wouldn’t be.
Being honest with both myself and him has made things a lot easier, we still go for bike rides now – we just got back from one today actually which is what inspired me to write this post. I tell him how far I’m happy to go and we plan routes together, we take regular breaks if I need them and most importantly we enjoy it.
It can be hard to not want to say ‘yes’ or agree to things to feel like you fit in or belong but in the long run you have to ask yourself what the benefit of lying to yourself and someone else is? Usually there isn’t a benefit and you’ll begin to see the benefits when you start accepting yourself and have confidence in your own choices.