Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt
Part 2 of 2. Listen to part 1 >
“Emotional honesty is what allows you to perceive your world accurately”
This episode is a continuation of Episode 50, part 1. In this episode, Jodi answers more questions, including why “little white lies” don’t have a place in emotional honesty.
Episode 50—Part 2: Perceptions, Emotional Honesty, & Boundaries
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You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity, which are: how to live impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.
This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, Reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortions, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.
Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles your life; how to live in Truth rather than distortion; how to recognize your distraction and your controlling behavior in your relationships; and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives, beginning with yours.
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Good morning. This is part two of Perceptions, Emotional Honesty, and Boundaries. I just wanted to follow up with another section to wrap up these concepts more fully. So, in the first podcast, we were talking about the ability to know yourself, which as you begin to know yourself, you will love yourself—and how those abilities to know and love self facilitates our perceptions and our ability to be emotionally honest with ourselves, and therefore creates our ability to hold appropriate and clear boundaries with ourselves and then sharing those boundaries with others.
There were a handful of questions that I wanted to answer that I didn’t get to in the first podcast that I’d like to go over here. And remember, these three concepts: perception, emotional honesty, and boundaries. And so, as you are practicing knowing yourself and you’re practicing becoming more familiar with the Distraction Cycle—I went over that in great detail in the first podcast.
We’re all having experience and then we’re going to go one of two ways—we’re either going to distort our experience and take it into a shame/fear/pride area, or we’re going to hold it in Truth, which means that we’re emotionally honest with ourselves and we’re emotionally honest with the situation that’s happening, whether the outcomes are pleasurable or not; we hold it in Truth and then we respond from a place of Truth with anticipation, or maybe it’s appropriate to have fear, like there’s legitimate danger present, and then we take responsibility for what’s going on and we humbly respond.
This ability to be emotionally honest is so, so, so key in having perceptions that are of an accurate nature. So, I have a couple of questions here.
Emotional honesty is how to stay in Truth and Reality and avoid going into that distraction or distortion side of the Distraction Cycle. As a side note, I want to talk about things that set us up.
When we have experience, distraction happens when we are not able to really hold the experience in Reality. And it’s not that we can’t, it’s that we either don’t know how or we’re afraid to be emotionally honest about the experience. And so right there, there is a setup, a setup for what? Well, a setup is something that supports us to go into further distraction and therefore fantasy. So, distraction leads to fantasy and fantasy leads to more distraction, and so they’re setting each other up going back and forth. And we want to do what we can to avoid those distractions, those distortions, because it just continues this cycle of distorted perception and therefore a lack of emotional honesty.
So, again, distorted thoughts—we have an experience and if we don’t hold it in emotional honesty, we will distort the perception that we’re having, and through that distorted perception, we will have distorted thinking—our thinking will be skewed from what’s really going on. And our feelings follow our thoughts, and so, the minute we distort our thoughts, we will have skewed feelings.
And the feelings, when I talk about skewed, it’s about, we’ll have shame, we’ll have faulty core beliefs, our fear will kick in, our entitlements, our pride, our judgments, our erroneous expectations that other people or things “should” happen the way that I want them to. And these are setups—these are situations where I will walk into further distortion/distraction/fantasies, which then are more distortions for my perception to be skewed and have reactions or dishonest behavior, or make choices that are full of shame which leads to more disconnection, addiction, more deception, more manipulation, which again are more setups for distorted thinking and distorted feeling. And so, as you can see, this cycle goes around, and around, and around.
So, what is emotional honesty? You’ve got to be able to understand that. So, emotional honesty is my ability to be really clear and courageous with being able to define what is happening in my world. And it is not conditioned on the emotional outcome of the situation. So, for example, I don’t define my situation only a certain way if I like the outcome, or I like the feelings, or I appreciate what I’m going to get from this experience. Emotional honesty (or honesty—just being honest, whether it’s about the experience or my own emotions) is this willingness to humbly and bravely step into each experience regardless of outcomes, regardless of emotional outcomes, regardless of expectations being met, and to clearly define what’s happening. When you are willing to be honest to that kind of rigor, you cannot be deceived. It is impossible to be deceived at that level of awareness, because what you’re saying is, I am open and I am available to really see clearly what is happening.
Another question. How does it show emotional honesty when I make sure that as I tell a story or an event in my life, that I speak from my perspective and use the pronoun “I” instead of “we”?
So, I’m a stickler on language because language creates meaning—and language, because it creates meaning, it is used to persuade our emotions. And so, when people are talking, they will oftentimes use the pronoun “we”. And “we” if used in a way to distort, will not suggest that the person take accountability for themselves. So, they will say “Well, we were late.” And I’ll invite them to say we, or you were late? “Well, we didn’t quite get here on time.” “I understand that but you were the one that was responsible to get here, and why don’t you just own that you were late?”
And a lot of times, people feel really uncomfortable—their level of honesty is not interested in taking that kind of rigorous accountability. And so, I will oftentimes direct their attention to, if they are wanting to practice this kind of rigor of honesty, they must start from a position of I instead of we, or they, or us. Those kinds of plural pronouns give us some kind of “refuge” from really taking accountability for the things that we’re choosing. There’s a reason why people use those kinds of pronouns, because oftentimes, they want to hide behind someone else and not really be fully accountable for the choices that they’re making.
So, being willing to speak and using the pronoun I is a very important indicator for you that you are learning to be emotionally honest.
Another question. If I tell a little white lie—listen to this language, a little white lie, it’s not big and it’s not black, it’s little and it’s white… and it’s lie. If I tell a little white lie to help someone feel better than telling them something that will hurt them, isn’t that a better and safer way for me to communicate than black-and-white honesty?
What I’d say, if you are wanting to practice emotional honesty, is that this isn’t about manipulating Truth, it’s not about manipulating a story line. It’s about being willing to be factually honest and emotionally honest. Now, does that mean that you say something that is aggressive and mean to someone, that you know will be devastating to them? No. And so, I don’t know that you have to be “black and white” in your honesty. Sometimes you do. Sometimes it calls for very clear, unambiguous language. Other times, you don’t have to talk like that, you can say things like, “I am really disturbed by the choices that you’ve made.” Instead of saying, “That was a dumb choice.”
So, you get to be very sophisticated with the language, and you get to be more conscious about what your motives are. If someone has done something, or is behaving in a way that is completely inappropriate, you can be very clear with them, especially if you need them to get a clear, direct message very quickly, you can say, “That was not a good choice. Your behavior really caused so-and-so pain.” So, sometimes you do need to be black and white, other times you don’t. But don’t change or distort the experience or the honesty about the experience because you are trying to “save” or “help” someone not feel bad. You are not responsible to control how they feel, you are only responsible to be honest with yourself and the people that you are connected with.
Again, remember, emotional honesty is what allows you to perceive your world accurately.
Another question. What is helpful about considering how emotionally honest I am throughout my day?
I would say the reason that it’s helpful is because it creates consciousness. When you pay attention to the rigor of your awareness—your honesty throughout the day—you are awake, you are scrutinizing yourself, you’re being “critical” around your perceptions. And that’s good, you want to do that. This isn’t about shaming yourself, this is about really being in tune with your senses and other people’s language and their meaning, and asking questions. You are responsible to have that kind of awareness so that you can be connected to yourself and other people.
Another question. How does emotional honesty build and foster my relationships?
The reason it builds them is because of what I was just talking about. When you are honest and you’re willing to perceive in Truth and in accuracy, it fosters and builds them because it creates connection. The outcome of emotional honesty is connection. Isn’t that awesome? So, being able to perceive in Truth—we looked at what Truth looks like versus true—being able to perceive accurately will create an outcome of connection, being able to be emotionally honest.
My son had a speech today in a group of people, and after he got done, all these people came up and were very emotionally honest with him and told him how he affected them for good. Now, what if he would have given that speech and he affected people in a way that was uncomfortable for them? Many of them may not have said anything. Even though they still were impacted, they may not have been willing to be that emotionally honest, like wow, that information really affected me and it allowed me to feel discomfort and poked at me in a way to wake me up to some areas that I need to change.
That’s how it builds and fosters relationships, is that the outcome or the fruits of emotional honesty is that we get to be connected with one another.
A few more questions. Here are some questions about boundaries. So, boundaries were a part of this. Once I understand about emotional honesty and perceptions, then I can hold my boundaries with people.
Here’s a question on boundaries. How do I hold boundaries with people who have power in my life?
Again, once I understand perceptions and I know how to be emotionally honest, then anyone in my life, whether they have emotional importance to me or not, this is about me sharing myself with them. I don’t need to do anything different, I just need to be able to be aware of me, connected to me, so that when I give information to someone else, it has Truth in it.
And so, again, boundaries are about sharing what I know about me, with you. And again, you have the responsibility as well to share you with me. And I can’t know about you if you don’t know about you. That sounds kind of obvious but sometimes it’s not very obvious. And so, it is mandatory that I have to learn about myself in order to share me with somebody else.
I have one more question about boundaries. What does healthy interaction look like with unhealthy individuals?
That might not sound like a boundary question but I’d like to interpret it as it is a boundary question. What does a healthy interaction—so me being in honesty, me being an appropriate perception for myself and being emotionally honest, so I’m in a healthy interaction with self, and I’m inviting that healthy interaction with someone else who is theoretically disconnected or is in an unhealthy place. Well, what that means or what that looks like is that again, I share in Truth how I perceive my world and the world around me, and how I’m being affected by things and people. And I’m not accusing, I’m not blaming, I’m not saying you’re right or wrong, I’m sharing my angle and what I know, or I believe, or I espouse, with people that I’m either close to or I’m not close to. And so, I stay connected, I stay connected to myself, I stay connected to a Higher Power if I believe that there is such a thing, and I invite that kind of interaction or connection with the other person.
Now, I do that by sharing me, and as I share me, I’m sharing my boundaries, I’m sharing specifics about me, and I’m teaching them about what I believe, and value, and honor, and follow, and commit to. And so, what does a healthy interaction look like with unhealthy individuals? It’s just a sharing and an inviting to connect. And your responsibility is to stay present, and to stay connected to yourself, and to not go into drama because drama automatically disconnects you, and be awake and present in that dynamic so that you can stay available. Even if they’re not capable of being there right now for whatever reason, either they don’t know how or they can’t get out of drama because they’re in shame or pride—that’s okay, just continue to stay connected to them. When I say “stay connected to them,” it means stay connectable, stay available to be connected with, which means be emphatic, be compassionate, continue to stay in honesty, and continue to invite them to connect with you.
I believe I’ve covered all those areas, and if you have any other questions, there’s always a place on the website at www.ConneXionsClassroom.com underneath the Podcast button where you can ask your questions. I would really appreciate questions coming towards me. Your questions make these podcasts capable and possible, so I really appreciate your interest and your listening.
Between now and next time we meet, stay connected, stay emotionally available, and emotionally honest so that your perceptions are accurate for you, and then you can share you with appropriate boundaries with others. Take care and until then, see you later, bye bye.
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See the following materials for more in-depth study of the topics in this podcast: