How to Share the Truth Without Shooting Yourself or the Other Person in the Foot (or Head)

One of my favorite and often used purpose principles taken from the 28 Attraction Principles for Living On Purpose (found in the book, Life On Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life) is #26:

Develop the skill to be able to tell the truth in a way that it can be heard. Orienting yourself around telling the truth allows others to get in touch with their own truth and purpose, and it a great way to express your own.

Now, I'm mostly talking about your truth — your perspective on a subject — rather than the Truth, like the Cosmic or Universal Truth. I think we all have much of value to share with another and while there's a connection between my truth and the Truth, I also know they're seldom if ever exactly the same.

There are really two major parts to this principle:

1. Sharing your truth means you have to discern your truth that arises from your connection with your Inner Guidance from your opinions or judgments that arise from your ego or Inherited Purpose.  Not always an easy job but an important piece to start with, for it's this connection between your truth and the Truth that gives value to what you want to share.

2. This second part is where many people seem to fall down and either shoot themselves in the foot (or sometimes in the head) and/or shoot the other person or people involved.

How do you share your truth in a way it can be heard, not only heard but heard as a contribution or a gift?

Well, simply hanging out with that question for a little while can be a great start to actually being able to accomplish your intention to contribute to the other person rather than simply dumping your 'infinite wisdom' or opinions on them. The thought process might go like this?

"Hmm, I see something with Mary's relationship with her husband that I believe is quite similar to what I was doing in my relationship.  She appears to be holding onto all his mistakes and storing them up to use against him, over and over.  Now, how can I share what I'm seeing without her being offended or becoming so angry with me that she misses the point?

"Perhaps I could start by simply sharing from my own experience and how destructive I found it to be?  Or maybe I could let her know that I've observed something that I think could help her resolve some of her issues and ask her permission to share it?  Maybe I could start by sharing that I've noticed something that I'm curious about."

Each situation will be different, so taking a little time to 'purposefully ponder' upon what to say and how to say it will be most helpful.

A Few Guidelines to Get You Started
Here are a few suggestions that I've found often helps to share my truth without shooting myself or the other person:

1. TAKE THE TIME TO CREATE SOME CONTEXT — blurting out the truth, especially about delicate or sensitive matters rarely work out well.  Take a little time to create some context for what you want to share.

2. BE AUTHENTICALLY CURIOUS — often times coming to an issue with an authentically curious nature will take the edge off of a potentially volatile situation.  Something like, "I've noticed something about your work lately that I'm curious about…."

3. ASK PERMISSION — No one is under any obligation to listen to us or to take what we have to say seriously, so it's often helpful to ask permission to share your truth, and be really OK if the answer is no.

4. TRUST THAT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING CAN BE RESOLVED THROUGH COMMUNICATION — This can be a very powerful principle to operate from.  If your first attempt to share your truth in a way that will contribute doesn't turn out, then wait a little while and try again.

5. BE SURE YOUR WORDS ARE BEING SHAPED BY YOUR TRUE SELF — and not from your ego or the fear and lack-based Inherited Purpose.  If you find yourself getting defensive or positional, be suspicious that you've slipped over into Inherited Purpose land.  Take a few deep breaths, or even suspend the conversation until a later time.

So, how did I do in sharing my truth in a way you could hear it as a contribution?  Let me hear from you right here by leaving a comment.