How To Start Trusting People With Your Honest Self

Without even realizing it, we hid our true selves out of fear of rejection. It doesn't have to be that way.

Authentic self Rachel McDermott | Unsplash

Without even realizing it, many of us hide our true selves out of fear of rejection or being taken advantage of. But no one can go it alone, all the time, without having someone to talk to.

When times are tough and you feel out of your power, you must find a confidante, a trusted friend, or a professional to open up to. That requires strength because you need to be courageous to be vulnerable. The trick is to make a careful selection of when to do this, and with whom.


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Here's how to start trusting people with your honest self.

1. Being authentic is one of the most admired and desired characteristics there is. But most of us are holding back.

People who don’t reveal anything about themselves are not trusted. But those who reveal everything indiscriminately and often are thought to be incompetent.

My book, Getting Naked, is not about physical nakedness. It is about being emotionally naked, transparent, and spiritually vulnerable by being willing to expose your deepest truth. I define naked living as the ability to be vulnerable, honest, shame-free, and unburdened.


authentic confidence

Photo: andreonegin via Shutterstock

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2. Learn the power of being courageously transparent with your emotions — at the right time, the right place, and with the right person.

A choice that confronts each of us at every moment is this: Will we allow others to know us as we now are, or shall we seek instead to remain an enigma, wishing to be seen as something we are not?


Throughout history, humans seem to have chosen the road of concealment rather than openness. This strategy all too often results in sickness, misunderstanding, and alienation of self. Being vulnerable is about learning how to be open about your authentic self with the rest of the world, at least those you trust.

Being secretive about yourself can lead to physical, mental, and emotional sickness. Can we try to live healthier by being honest with our fellow humans about who we are and how we are?

Get real. Be authentic. Be courageous. Make contact and empathize.



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3. Trust and disclose yourself, and invite others to do the same.

When you are honest with another and share what you have kept hidden or at least well disguised, it invokes what I call the "unexpected turn" that can lead to a more authentic and meaningful connection.

Every conversation presents the opportunity for two experiences: It can be either common and predictable — with no surprises and little revelatory information — or it can take an unexpected turn. Once you are surprisingly honest with a trusted friend or colleague (or they are with you), it usually leads to a more heartfelt and personally connected conversation.

Granted, many conversations are just meant to be mundane and as expected, but how would it be if you sought out opportunities for self-disclosure? If you asked someone, “What are your life goals or big desires? Tell me something exciting in your life,” instead of our usual greeting of “How ya doing?” that would lead to more truthful and useful dialogue.

An easy exercise to try that can inspire deeper, more meaningful conversations is to ask a trusted person this: "Who in your life — living or dead — has inspired you? Does this person know that he or she had that impact? If this individual is still alive, tell them!"


proud of who you are

Photo: Alberto Menendez Cervero via Shutterstock

4. When life gets tough, don't deny its challenges. Find who you can share your naked truth with instead.

We don't have to solve personal challenges alone; it’s better and healthier when shared with a trusted and committed listener or confidante.


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Dr. Pat Williams is a psychologist, Master Certified Coach, and Board Certified Coach.