The difference between reporting and revealing

These past weeks I have been struggling. First with pain, as I had my wisdom tooth removed, and then emotionally, because a lot of things got stirred up. I really went through the ringer, both personally, and in relationship.

And I realised this week (while I am still recovering) that one of the things that got me through it was being really honest about my own experience and communicating it.

Yet there are different ways we can communicate our experience. We can talk about it  – reporting –  or we can speak from it – revealing.

It is a massive difference. It is the difference between what we show of ourselves: the report full of data, or our hearts, rawness and vulnerability. It is the distinction between where we speak from: our heads or our hearts. And it impacts people differently: it touches their minds or their hearts.

It is basically the difference between inviting people into your world or giving them an update. It is also talking from head to head or from heart to heart.

There is nothing wrong with updates: in certain contexts those are highly relevant (think work or training or any other place where a data exchange is what you want). Imagine showing your raw experience during a finance meeting. That feels achy right? There is a time and a place for everything.

Yet, if you want to create deep connection, you have to go down there, drop into your heart and reveal what is there. This can be scary yes, and vulnerable, for certain, but it is al also real. And powerful. If you want to create connection, you have to show a part of what is inside you, so people can know you there, and be impacted by what you share. And often in my experience, when we start revealing, we give others permission to do the same. It is powerful stuff. Powerful, raw, vulnerable stuff.

And with all these things, it gets easier the more you do it. I remember the first time I revealed something vulnerable about myself. I literally thought I would die (at least it felt like it). I did not. I survived, and got to see that my experience actually got received. And that was massively healing to me. So in revealing more and more of ourselves, we also learn that a lot of the stuff we keep bottled up inside is not that bad, shameful or needs to be hidden. It tends to get received with care, tenderness and love.

Because we are all beautifully, flawed, exquisitely human and it often takes another to come more to terms with ourself.


PS: Massive shout out to Kendra Cunov who first introduced this distinction to me.

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Coach, trainer & lover of all things human and relational. Supporting you in finding a deeper connection to yourself & others, so you can truly lead, wherever you are.

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