Have The Balls To Tell The Truth

Picture 5In this day and age, as the world gets more and more intense, we need less “nice guys”, less “mean” guys, and more bad ass, strong, conscious men willing and able to step up and meet the challenges that face us.

But the fact is many men out there hold back and play small.

One of the biggest areas men hold back is in speaking and living their truth. Many of these men will collapse in the face of conflict, shrink, play nice, and run away. Many of these men will allow others to dictate their life’s course and will allow their parents or culture to push them around.

The most common places we hold back our truth is in our own families and intimate relationships.

Why is that? What is with the caretaking that so many men do, specifically in close relationships?

Well, ask yourself, why am I so nice? What do I get out of being “good?” And, why do I hold back my truth from those I care about the most?

Then ask yourself, “what would be the cost if I just came out and told the truth?”

Answering these important questions will help you begin to untangle the sticky web you have created for yourself.

For example, you might have uttered the words, “I don’t want to hurt her feelings” or “I don’t want to rock the boat” or “I didn’t want to upset him, he’s already got so much on his plate.”


Why do I hold back my truth?

Up front you might think you are doing a service because if you told them how you really feel, the “cost” is that you might really upset them.

But dig deeper and look at what is really going on here. You are simply protecting yourself. That’s right.  You are the one who does not want to feel upset, seeing another person upset. It is about YOU. YOU are the issue, not her and not anyone else.

If someone gets hurt or upset by what you say, especially if you are coming from a place of love, care, and service, it is their problem, not yours and you can’t do anything about their reaction.

In your seemingly noble guise to “protect” her or someone else, you are really selfishly protecting yourself.

You are actually robbing him or her the opportunity to grow having received your truth. You cut the legs out from under someone by assuming they can’t handle what you speak, share, or communicate. You disrespect them.

Since when are you the authority on what another person can or cannot handle from you?

When we men act like this, chances are we have a care-taker in us that wants others to feel okay. Why? So that we can feel okay. This is called enmeshment or emotional fusion.

When you behave like a care-taker, your relationship style is enmeshed, co-dependent, fused, merged, or confluent. Essentially, it is a higher priority for you to protect yourself while you care-take the other person, rather than to speak the truth.

This is an emotionally immature way of relating to others and we become completely dependent on others for approval and they become THE barometer for how we feel.

The Goal: Individuation

As we grow ourselves up, specifically in adolescence, we mature and become a separate individual—-hopefully! Sadly many adult men are still stuck in adolescence due to emotionally immaturity and an unwillingness to stand in their own integrity.

An individual can stand on his own two feet and stand up for what is right in his eyes, no matter the cost. A dependent or enmeshed person, worries about what others reactions might be, so he tries to placate and manage the relationship so as to selfishly avoid conflict or upset within himself.

In psychology jargon when we learn how to stand on our own two feet in our own integrity as a separate person, it is called differentiation or individuation.

This is most commonly seen in intimate relationships. When two individuals are enmeshed, one loses himself in the other. The merging that happens in relationships is fairly unhealthy and leads to less freedom to be oneself due to the other person being upset every time the other rocks the boat by doing something unpredictable.

What’s possible?

Separate AND connected

In an intimate relationship where unconditioned love and acceptance is the practice, the goal is to let the other person be who they are while staying connected. The connection stays strong between the two of you and you are free to be yourself and do as you wish within the agreements of the relationship.

In an enmeshed relationship, two become one (as the classic Jerry McGuire quote goes, “you complete me.”). While in a healthy, individuated relationship, two stay two and co-create a powerful connection that inspires individual growth.

In friendships, it is no different.

So, what should you do?

  1. Know where you stand and stand there.
  2. If you don’t know where you stand, take the necessary time to find out.
  3. From an open heart and with compassion, have the courage to tell the truth
  4. When you are too scared to tell the truth for fear of their reaction or your own discomfort, take responsibility for being scared. Own up to it.
  5. Notice all the areas where you are still colluding with others. Pay attention to where you abandon yourself in service of being nice and not rocking the boat.
  6. Commit to the process of becoming your own man—separate from others.
  7. Hire a coach or therapist to help you work on your enmeshment patterns.
  8. Join a men’s group to practice telling the truth in a safe container.
  9. Make the following commitment to yourself and pin it on your forehead:

Commitment 4 – Relationship

I commit to getting my relationship life handled. This means being willing to set boundaries, not shying away from conflict, having the balls to be truthful with others, learning deeply about my sexuality. I commit to finding a mentor, doing therapy and/or coaching, participating in a men’s group, and whatever else it takes to have deep, meaningful relationships. I choose relationships that push me to grow.

Be sure to review the 10 commitments to Manhood.

Remember, this is a practice. You will make mistakes by holding back, playing nice, and care-taking. Notice it, call yourself out and get back to living your truth.


  • Scott

    Reply Reply October 1, 2009

    Thanks, Jayson. This really hits home for me. What a great challenge.

  • Ken

    Reply Reply October 6, 2009


    Just wanted to thank you for this post. It’s exactly one of the things I’m addressing in myself in my pursuit to get more solid and grounded in my being.

    • jayson

      Reply Reply October 6, 2009

      You’re welcome Ken. Stay with it….

  • Doug

    Reply Reply October 6, 2009

    Good stuff J, great reminder for me.

  • sweetdreamstina

    Reply Reply February 9, 2010

    men are not” nice” all the time. most men know how to assert themselves when being disrespected. I love men just the way they are, I couldn't live in this world if there where no men! woman complain and and gossip with other woman and talk about how bad the man are. Yuck!
    I'd rather be with a guy who will be open and talk about what he wants from me and trust that we can make things better. I love you all .stay sweet, stay strong! and by the way ladies act like ladys and stop putting men down! we need them!

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