Transparency in relationships is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately…  How does it work for you?

Photo by Yellow.Cat

Photo by Yellow.Cat

I am the type of person who needs complete transparency to feel safe and build trust or keep trust with my partners.  I know it doesn’t function like this for everyone.  I will say that it seems to me that the successful poly-type people I know who are in relationships all seem to be people who tell one another everything (whatever everything means to them) and who can process with one another/communicate with one another extremely well.  They also are people who care deeply for one another’s feelings and needs as well as their own.

I like that.  I like that both as a person who dates people who have primary partners (I don’t often have to worry where I stand with someone’s significant other, and I know I can reach out to them personally if something seems awry), and as someone who endeavors to build relationships that are lasting, respectful, and healthy for everyone involved.  I like that practicing transparency will probably bring me closer to the people I love in the long run.

For more ideas related to transparency, you can do some research on Radical Honesty, and think about the ways you might censor yourself (much less mislead or edit your thoughts and feelings when sharing them with the people around you).

What does transparency mean to me?   It means being 100% honest with yourself.  It means taking that honesty and sharing it with your partners.  It means risking displeasing your partners at times because it is as important to name your needs outside the relationship as it is to cultivate what happens within the relationship itself.  It means listening to the parts of your brain that don’t want to broach an important subject because you are afraid of what will happen if you do, how you will feel, how the energy in the room might change…, but taking the steps to do it anyhow.  It means telling the people you care about the things you know they’ll want to know before they ask a half dozen questions about a subject.  It means taking responsibility for making mistakes – we all make mistakes.  It means letting the people around you know when something has shifted or changed, and advocating for that shift to be worked through.  It means taking responsibility for your feelings, your fears, and your part in the communication process.  It indicates (to me) a level of loyalty to both yourself and your partners.  It is taking responsibility for your autonomy by sharing yourself with the people who you have chosen to be, in some ways, your biggest supporters.

In short if means telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…  and then admitting the times you realize you haven’t been so good at doing that and getting better.

The best part about it it that it gets easier the more you practice.  You might be astonished by what happens when you find people who want to support you – who love you for who you are, not who they wish you’d be – and who give you positive reinforcement for sharing your needs, thoughts, desires, and most intimate self.

To Breath and Being,
~ Karin

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~Thank you.


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