Deep friendships are hard in this world. You never know if you can trust people. Thus, it’s much easier to be surface-level with your friends. It’s much easier to talk about politics, sports, or TV shows.
But transparency is important. We need to be able to open up to others and let them into our secrets. It’s the only way our secrets get better.
Unfortunately, you’re probably going to need to be the one who makes the initiative when it comes to transparency. You’ll need to open up first before others start opening up back to you.
Here are three signs it’s safe to start being transparent with someone – basically a go-ahead to initiate this type of deep friendship.
1. They don’t talk negatively about others.
Hang out with someone for a few days and you’ll quickly see how they talk about other people. Are they always complaining about others or criticizing people? Even people who might deserve it? That’s a bad sign.
If they’re quick to criticize other people to you, they’ll probably be quick to criticize you in front of other people.
Instead, those who hold their tongue, or much better, speak positively about others, will probably be the folks who will speak positively about you to others too.
2. They are quick to forgive.
Forgiveness is a sure sign of grace in people’s lives. If they’re quick to forgive you or others when they’re wronged, it means they probably have a healthy understanding of how much they need grace and forgiveness too.
You want friends who are gracious – especially if you plan to be transparent with them. If they’re quick to forgive, that’s a good sign.
3. They are encouragers.
When you tell someone your deep, dark secrets, you want to make sure they know what’s next. You need encouragement. Yes, you need advice. But you already probably know what you need to do. You just need someone to encourage you to take the necessary steps and hold you accountable.
Encouragement will be the key to turning that transparent relationship into a healthy transparent relationship.
Alcoholics Anonymous says “you’re only as sick as your secrets”. Find someone you can be transparent with. Open up. It’s a key to healing and to being ready to be used by God the way He wants to use you.