Join us on Facebook
What's Happening
more>>
Events & Entertainment
more>>
J.WhitfieldNew School
Arts Guild exhibit delivers deeper view
Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Katy Byrne
What's Up With That?
Katy Byrne

To tell the truth

It sounds simple. Just tell the truth. But, telling the truth is difficult. As much as I believe in honesty, I grapple with it. Speaking up isn’t as easy as it sounds. Try telling someone they have gas or their hair is too greasy.

Being honest can be better than stuffing myself with donuts, but it’s not a good idea when I’m in a snit. This world’s already in a mess because we have too much anger and conflict, both personally and politically. So, what to do? Sometimes I get bloated, hold in my hairball or take stool softener -- while my cat gets relief just blurting it out.

When to risk difficult conversations and when not to? Sometimes I shut down instead because saying what I feel can come out wrong. Hey, it’s easier than not being heard. Why rock the boat, or argue over something that could be let go? As my friend Jutta says, “Sometimes we just have to button up.”

Well, the other day I decided to take the leap. I told a friend she had hurt my feelings. She gasped, “You’re kidding, what did I say?” After I told her, she grabbed her belly, bent over, and then jumped up, throwing her long hair back, (as I gulped and sweated). She belted out, “Oh, my God! I was kidding!”

Ok, so telling the truth isn’t always smooth. It can go a lot of directions -- hurt feelings or more resentment. Then again, if you don’t tell it, you could get a stiff, throbbing neck or feel more isolated. There’s even the very palpable fear of punishment, jail or retaliation. Being called a “whistleblower.”

These are trying times, keeping up with the economy and technology, earthquakes, heat waves, aging, violence, etc. So, why bother being honest?

John Backman said it well in “The Dialogue Venture.” The pursuit of dialogue is important. “The future of our marriages, of our churches, even of the planet may depend on it. If we cannot talk openly and civilly about family conflict or matters of faith, let alone climate change or nuclear armament, how can we ever overcome the problems that threaten us all?”

Why can’t we just talk to each other calmly? Fear, despair, stress and more escalation are a few reasons. The fight or flight instinct is strong and if the other person seems unsafe or blaming it takes balls and skill.

Another tactic we use to get away from hard conversations is being passive aggressive. Did you hear about the wife who said to her husband: “When I get mad at you, you never fight back, how do you control your anger?” The wife responded: “I clean the toilet bowl.” The man asked: “does that help?” The wife replied: “I use your toothbrush.”

Ok, on a serious note, we all know that getting our claws and hairballs out leaves a mess on the floor… kind of like the state of the world. But deep listening or skilled communication is work. And who wants to do it? To use “I” statements and say our needs and intention takes skill. And, if both people own a part in it, the conversation glides like Vaseline. But, it’s a new skill for our species. We didn’t learn Relationship 101 in school. (I think it would have served the planet more than algebra.) So now we’re living in a power hungry society with constant conflict. So, what to do?

Gear up. Dive in. Say what you need and wish for: “I wish we could get along,” or ”I’d like peace.” State a positive intention. Don’t purge criticisms and don’t use email.

And, if you’re still snorting or feel too fragile, don’t watch war on TV and get congestion from pizza. Don’t blame and vent, take a rest. The world depends on it.

And if telling the truth seems too challenging, sometimes it’s best to go with the flow, just let it go.

Continue Story...
VIDEO
Local Movie Trailers and Videos of Interest - more >>
SUN Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Public Citizen - Larry Barnett
The Sun Eats - Sarah Stierch
Turning Stones - George McKale
Pets - Sonoma Valley Sun
Before It's Too Late - Eric Gullotta
The Sonoma Garden - Karen Boness
Progressive Majority Coalition - Ben Boyce
Taxpertise - Bonnie Lee
Snark Infested Waters - Bob Edwards
Springs Eternal - Gina Cuclis
Board Walk - Susan Gorin
Nonprofit Matters - Dr. B.J. Bischoff
Body Talk - Heather Morgan
What's Up With That? - Katy Byrne
Blog Dog - Will Shonbrun
Connecting the Dots - Fred Allebach
This Week in Politics - Ron Willis Ed.D.
Voices of the New Majority - Alejandro Águilar
Find What You're looking For

Archives

What We're Following
more>>
Stories of interest from around the Web
Health officials caution public about eating scallops, anchovies, crabs and sardines from Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties
> NBC Bay Area
Big energy users get rate cut while most residents will pay more
> Sacramento Bee
City of Sonoma residents cut water use by 35% comparied with last May, but have the highest rate of use at 108.9 gallons/day
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
smart SMART gets an $11 million grant to purchase three additional rail cars
> North Bay Business Journal
A voter-referendum has been filed to overturn the new CA vaccine rules
> KQED
California’s mandatory sick leave law is now in effect requiring paid time off to workers
> Napa Valley Register
Rural residents of Sonoma County have been ordered to conserve water, even if they have their own wells
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
There are still some great camping options available in the Bay Area for this holiday weekend
> San Francisco Chroncile
Wages continue decline for middle-income workers – still 1.8% below 2011
> Los Angeles Times
air SF cracks down on Airbnb with new enforcement officers  -  but they also facilitate registration
> San Francisco Chronicle
Why Trader Joe’s wine is still so cheap
> Business Insider
Boosts crop yield, saves water, aids soil health… Is Biochar the next big thing? Learn more at free workshop
> Sonoma Biochar Initiative
Sonoma-based developer Darius Anderson drops lawsuit against Sacramento Kings owners
> Sacramento Bee
Did you hear the thunder last night? We also got a tiny bit of rain. 
> SF Gate
tunnel Marin “Rainbow” tunnel to be named after Robin Williams
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Napa County exploring formula to limit winery visitors
> Napa Valley Register
“Kill Gays” ballot measure blocked from the ballot…for now
> Sacramento Bee
Open outdoor residential burning suspended by CalFire for Sonoma County
> Sonoma Index Tribune
Electricity rates undergoing review and likely change by CA regulators
> Sacramento Bee
93-year-old tennis player says wine is the key to long life
> London Daily Express
More Following Stories...
Live Traffic
Link to Live Crime Map