Tags: Communication, Drip - feeding

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1. Don’t ask questions if you’re not prepared to accept the honest answer. Honesty is not about hearing what you want to hear.

2. Don’t beat them up for being honest about a past that you weren’t a part of. Laughing and joking along about their past and then using it against them later down the line is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

3. Do expect as much honesty as you give.

4. When a guy is honest enough to tell you that he’s a) an asshole, b) married, c) otherwise attached, d) a wife beater, e) anything else that screams run for the hills, listen to him instead of thinking that you’ll be the one to make a difference. There are a lot of guys who won’t even bother to be upfront! Consider yourself slightly more fortunate!

5. Don’t have predetermined answers. Guys hate feeling like they are damned with their answers and deciding on the answer before they speak is like setting them up for a trap.

6. Don’t be fluffy with your questions or your answers. You don’t need to be brutal, but you do need to be honest so that there is no ambiguity. There is for instance no point in saying that you want a casual-ish relationship if the reality is you want a serious relationship.

7. Don’t say what you think they want to hear. Many people spend their time bumbling their way around the truth for fear of other people’s reactions, but often the reaction is not as bad as what you think it will be and the truth always eventually comes out.

8. Don’t hold back your honesty so that you end up feeling resentful.

9. Don’t get caught up in that ‘your version of honesty bullsh*t’. Some people wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped on them and shagged them. The truth is the truth – no in betweens.

10. Don’t drip feed information. I had a reader complain that her boyfriend told her that he had a crush on another woman. Over the next few months the truth unfolded drip by drip and the final story was far different from the original. Telling 90% of the story and omitting the vital 10% is a waste of time. Either say it all or say nothing.

11. If you’re going to be honest about something, be clear about your motives. Is it to make them feel better or to make yourself feel better and unburden the guilt?

NML is the editor of Baggage Reclaim

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