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Being Honest is Hard when Dating

16/09/2013 12:19 BST | Updated 13/11/2013 10:12 GMT

Being honest is hard...

It's hard because we're often taught that we shouldn't tread on anyone's toes or cause any tension as it will create a bitter taste when establishing yourself as a 'nice person'.

We spend all of our years being told by our family and teachers that being noble and nice is what will command respect and admiration from others. Yet what we soon learn further down the line is that the opposite happens.

There are 2 extremes to being nice, which many people who follow this path seem to come across, which is:

1) The inability to be yourself

2) The inability to be authentic

The problem with the idea of being nice is that no one quite knows what it really means, so we're often misled and causes us to lose track of what it means to be our true selves - We put on a facade in our character all for the sake of maintaining this niceness that is taught to us from an early age.

It never quite occurred to me how much this was affecting my self-confidence until recently when I knew something was not quite right. I was behaving differently in different environments and almost seemed as though I was wearing a mask.

Why is this a problem?

When you behave like this, you are essentially telling yourself that 'who you are isn't enough'. Being your true self won't be respected and that you would have to do something different in order to be liked..

Have we been lied to?

I would say, no we haven't because the problem doesn't lie on 'being nice' but by failing to recognize the idea that we need to maintain our honesty and authenticity.

Being nice isn't the problem - We can be nice and still command the respect and admiration we expect from others due to knowing who we are and knowing what our values and boundaries are and most importantly of all, not being afraid to express it to others.

The real secret

Broken down, it all boils down to 2 simple things as mentioned earlier:

1) Honesty

2) Congruency

I would advise to simply do the following:

1) Do not be afraid to speak your mind

If a man you're interacting with says something that you don't quite agree with, or says something that upsets you. Do not be afraid to express yourself in the moment and tell him how you feel. This is something that I personally call 'Calling out the elephant'.

Which leads nicely onto the second tip.

2) Be present

Being present is difficult because it forces you to be congruent which goes against standard etiquette in being nice. We're taught to smile and be polite despite not feeling it, which is often fake and clearly seen by others and very unattractive.

Rather, react naturally. If you feel like frowning when speaking, do so comfortably. Smile when you feel like smiling and laugh when jokes are genuinely funny.

3) Maintain your boundaries

There will come a point where you will face a situation that will challenge your personal boundaries. This is evident during the early stages of dating - You will feel tempted to overlook and let him get away with his bad and manipulative behaviour.

Make no mistake, both women and men will challenge your boundaries consistently.

What are your boundaries? Do you know what your values are?

It's always a good idea to know what these are for 2 reasons - It will help you naturally qualify people a lot better, which will show in your communication and will help you filter out the men or women that aren't right for you with the ones that are.

The best part

All of these tips can be applied and worked on from today without any fuss or difficulty. All it takes is the decision to get started.

If you take on board and practice the above three tips in your daily life, I sincerely believe that your social and dating life will improve massively as will your self-confidence.

You'll suddenly start to realize that the belief of being unattractive was not true at all, because the reality of it is, you are enough. You were simply following flawed guidelines, which you can now put aside and be who you really are.

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