Truth in Dating with Susan Campbell
I loved last week’s episode of Last First Date Radio about ‘Truth in Dating’ with psychologist Susan Campbell! She has been a relationship coach for 45 years and is author of 10 books and 3 educational games on relationships. Her recent work centers on how to free yourself from reactive communication patterns using a set of simple awareness practices—as described in her best-selling, Getting Real and her more recent books, Truth in Dating, Saying What’s Real, and Awakening Intimacy. Following are some highlight of last week’s show.
What’s the idea behind truth in dating? Are you saying people should be totally honest even on a first date?
Truth in dating is a communication practice. You invite someone to enter into it with you. Telling the truth makes us grow into more confident human beings. We deal with our fears of rejection and fears of being judged. You invite the person into the conversation. You say something like, “I won’t pretend to play it safe and not show that i’m interested in you.” Even if the relationship doesn’t go anywhere past the first or second date, you can have a conversation about seeing each other again. You can say, “I have a deep passion for honesty. Can we agree to speak the truth the best we can? Would that interest you?”
Why aren’t people more honest? Why do so many of us lie, sugar-coat or pretend?
You teach 10 “truth skills.” What are these 10 skills and why are they important? What does knowing the ‘truth skills’ get you?
The 10 Truth Skills are:
1. Experiencing what is. You’re on a date driving somewhere, and you can feel and sense and see that person. Feel what is in the present moment.
2. Being transparent. Let someone know what’s going inside of you.
3. Noticing your intent. Is your intention to get the other to like us? Sometimes our intention is hidden from ourselves.
4. Giving and asking for feedback. “I see you’re not smiling. I wonder what you thought of that joke that I just told.” Once you know what you’re feeling, you can make better choices.
5. Asserting what you want and don’t want. This includes marking boundaries and saying ‘no’ in a kind way. Look at all your internal blocks to knowing what you want in the present moment.
6. Taking back projections. When you think you know what something means, you should stop and take back the projection. Get curious instead.
7. Revising an earlier statement. “Yesterday I didn’t ask for what I wanted. Today I’m going to come clean and ask.
8. Holding differences or embracing multiple perspectives. This is useful when you have a disagreement. Don’t argue. Say, “I hear that you are not ready to do _______. I have a different perspective on that. May I tell you how I see it?” We have a difference of opinion, but there is no right or wrong.
9. Sharing mixed emotions. Share all the emotions you have on the issue.
10. Embracing silence. What if my date asks me “Do you want to see me again?” and I do not. If I’m honest in the moment, he might get his feelings hurt. Stay silent until you’re ready to tell the truth.
For more juicy tips and to hear the podcast of Truth in Dating, click here.
Please share your experience with telling the truth in your relationships. What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to tell someone?