My advice is one of those simple clichés that takes a lifetime to learn and probably on our deathbed we’ll still be in the process of trying to do it right.
It’s that simple and that complicated. Often we know what we feel and think, but rather than respond authentically we ignore our feelings and act with proper political correctness. Okay, let’s think about mothers, since tomorrow is their day. Most of us have issues with the person that gave us life, but how many of us actually sit down and tell her what we’re really thinking?
“It’ll just cause a fight. She’ll never understand. I’ll hurt her feelings. It isn’t worth it.”
And maybe all those reasons are true. But, what is the result of holding back the truth and being a phony? The result is that you both survive whatever experience you’re having, but neither of you feels fulfilled or appreciated. Taking a risk and being a real person can of course work both ways. It can lead to much more fulfillment; or on the other hand a really bad experience.
One thing that is almost always true is that if you at least risk being authentic, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself. For the rest of your life, you’ll know that you at least tried. Not carrying the burden of holding in all those negative feelings can help you be healthier and happier.
Also, being an honest observer of the human condition can actually lead to wisdom, whether it’s with your mother, your friends, your spouse or fellow workers.
One more thing! Pick your battles carefully and be tactful.
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