Zan Perrion says, “Honesty is the greatest aphrodisiac.” While this may be rather poetic, I believe that Honesty is the secret to all successful relationships.

To be honest with another person, we first have to be honest with ourselves. What do we want? What do we need? What makes us tick? If any of those shows up in the other person, we can start to build something.

That’s the easy part. The hard part is when some things come up, either in ourselves or the other person, or both, that we might not have known were there, that we might not immediately know how to deal with.

When these things happen, that’s when Honesty is most needed. All Honesty, if it’s true, is hard, because it means risking losing trust, respect, or love. And it’s a skill – it takes practice. And it’s not always second nature – sometimes it takes a self-knowledge that can only come about over time, and through many episodes of being in the dark.

I am convinced that Honesty is the one thing that can save all relationships. If we’re OK with the potentiality of losing trust, respect, or love, we are now in a position to gain it. Our capacity for these gifts is only measured by our willingness to let them go.

So if you are uncomfortable with the way an associate is doing business, tell him so. If you don’t like the way a lover is looking at someone, tell her so. If you aren’t sure about the integrity of a friend’s values, tell him so. If you sense that a part of you could hurt someone you care about, make sure that someone knows about it. If you are being hurt, or have been in the past, don’t keep that to yourself.

Secrets are the death of all relationships. Honesty is scarce because it takes a great deal of courage. Be the odd one out!

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