The definition of sincerity is the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy.
The truth about relationships is that they are messy. They all come with their perks and benefits feeding the need at human nature’s core for fellowship and community. Those in our inner circle are usually the first we go to in times of crisis or times of rejoicing and celebrating.
Those relationships can bring extreme joy and with it also extreme hurt or pain. Never in the beginning moments do we imagine the sharp pain of rejection or hurt from those closest to us. Most difficulties in relationships hinge on the fine lines of pouring out of yourself in vulnerability, while maintaining the practicality of sharing and receiving the hard truths with others. How can we be sincere in our approach of speaking truth and avoid the mess that happens when we speak out of hurt or choose to avoid sharing truth?
Examine your motives. The first question to ask yourself in an opportunity where you are able to speak truth, is why are you about to speak this truth? Motives can be the make it or break it in any conversation.
People must believe first that you care deeply for them and secondly that you want them to succeed in this life. Speaking a truth can be as simple as telling a friend she shouldn’t buy that dress because it’s not flattering to her body type, or as complicated as pointing out a flaw that you feel your spouse needs to work on to successfully move up in his workplace or thought life. Ask yourself first if you are sharing a truth to help or to harm.
Oftentimes, we can see our personal motives have emerged from a hurt and we are in a defensive mode wanting to throw out truths in an attempt to make ourselves feel better.
Is the truth based on factual evidence or pure perception and emotion? Sincerity requires you to be completely honest with your motives, first to yourself and then to the one receiving the information.
Place yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Most of us have heard the golden rule, to treat others how we would want to be treated. If you were in a place where you are in need of correction or truth spoken into your life, how would you want it best presented to you?
Would you want affirmation of sincerity and pure motives first before the truth is presented that could be hard to hear? Maybe, perhaps, a compliment sandwich would be beneficial to opening and softening of their heart. What can you say to emphasize the greatness and good you see in them already?
Focus on pointing out the good before pointing out the area for improvement, carefully and thoughtfully planning your words. Sticks and stones may break our bones but words DO hurt us. The closer the acquaintance, the deeper sharp words can cut. Be intentional with the words you are about to speak.
There’s no perfect recipe for delivering truth to someone.
Each personality and heart will need something different. Keeping honest about where you are, your motives behind sharing a difficult truth and thinking through how to present your claims in words can help alleviate some of the pressure.
You will see results of personal growth and transformation in the lives of those you care about as you learn to carefully and sincerely share truth.