Understanding understanding is knowing the similarities between two seemingly dissimilar word meanings. The opposite is equally true. There is such an in-depth understanding and enlightenment when we realize the difference between two words with similar meanings. Inasmuch as it’s important to know how honesty and transparency must co-exist in our relationships, in some context these words take sides and it becomes very important to choose one over the other. Let’s dive in.
What does it really mean to be transparent?
Transparency is spilling out what someone will need to know about you – because it directly concerns them – without being asked to, so as to let them know what they are getting their heads into.
The closer we are to someone, the more open we are to them. Very close yet very open. That is what transparency is really about. The difficulty that comes with Transparency is knowing what to keep private and for how long it should remain private
As to what to keep private;
Our level of relationship with someone determines what they have earned the right to know. They may never ask because they may have no clue. There are many things we keep to ourselves, where no one deserves to know because it doesn’t affect them directly. But once you’re sharing your life with someone else other than you, those things will eventually be exposed. The more vulnerable we are, the more we expose what we are.
Letting them know beforehand creates a bond of trust right at the start. You are saying I’m worthy of being in your circle because you have exposed something to me that not just anybody can know. Hiding it from them and they later finding out creates a bond of distrust. The longer the relationship has been, the longer you’ve kept it a secret, the stronger the bond of distrust.
As to how long it should remain private;
Being an introvert myself, I find it really weird when I get to know someone for a short while and they trust me with such vital information about themselves. In my mind, I’m like, “TMI..TMI”. This is the principle; start from the known to the unknown. There are things someone can easily get to know about you by asking a few friends, studying the way you go about things and checking out your profile online. Start from there. Allow the other person to earn the right to know certain not-so-obvious stuff. Don’t be an open book.
When the mutual interest to get to know each other is identified, begin to tell them things only a few would know as time goes by. When it dawns on you that they should probably get to know something about you, tell them right away. Trust your intuition! It tells you what to share when to share it and to the degree it should be shared at a time.
This is where the line between Transparency and Honesty is drawn. Honesty is telling the truth when I’m asked. Transparency is telling the truth because it deserves to be known. Honesty comes with a condition; you have to ask first. Transparency requires no permission. It is necessary to be honest and much more important to be transparent. Once I’m not questioned, there’s no accountability for my honesty or dishonesty.
If you have a medical condition, it’s important that your new friend gets to know at the early stages. If you’re single-divorced, your new catch might wanna know. And if you skipped reading only the last paragraph, I might wanna know lol.
I love you ❤️