Researchers put out a pitcher of lemonade and poured a glass for some boys and girls.
The boys tasted the lemonade and made a face.
“Gross!” said one.
“It tastes terrible,” said the other.
The girls tasted the lemonade.
“It tastes good,” one said politely.
Another girl choked the lemonade down but said nothing.
Unbeknownst to the kids, the researchers had deliberately made the lemonade with salt instead of sugar.
One researcher asked the girls why they hadn’t said how bad the lemonade tasted.
“I didn’t want to be rude to you,” one said.
“I just didn’t want to make anyone feel bad that they made this so sour,” said another.
Be Polite or Be Honest?
Have you ever done what those girls did?
Hid your honest reaction out of concern for someone else’s feelings?
Sometimes, being polite is more important than being honest. You don’t want to tell a friend that her new hairstyle isn’t flattering.
In other cases, being honest is more important than being polite.
You need to say something to your friend if what she’s about to do is a huge mistake. You need to tell your boss if her “great idea” has some obvious holes in it.
The more you want someone to like you and feel good about themselves, the harder it is to tell them the truth… especially when you know they don’t want to hear it.
And that’s why it’s so hard to be honest in dating.
You care about making a good impression.
You care about your date’s feelings.
It’s often easier to pretend that you’re on board with everything your date says, rather than risk a negative reaction by saying what you really think.
For example, what would you do if a guy you REALLY liked said he wasn’t looking for anything serious—and you only wanted something serious? Would you tell him?
Or would you act like you didn’t want anything serious, too, hoping that over time you’d change his mind?
What would you do if a date, trying to be manly, ordered for both of you—and you knew you would hate the dish he ordered?
Would you pretend you liked the food, in order to avoid hurting his ego?
The Need to Please
As a girl, chances are you were raised to be polite.
You were praised for your good manners. You were told to pay attention to how your words and behavior affect others.
Boys are also raised to be polite, but as they enter the rough-and-tumble world of their peers, they learn that politeness doesn’t win them any favors with other boys.
Instead, they learn to tease and boast and challenge each other. They’re rewarded for taking risks and going after what they want.
These boys grow into men who must take the first step in asking a woman out. They learn that subtlety is less effective than directness. They get used to rejection and learn not to let it bother them.
Meanwhile, many women are still trapped in the need to please.
They say yes when they want to say no.
They become what other people want them to be.
They wait to be given what they want instead of asking for it.
And their relationships suffer as a result.
3 Reasons to Be Brave
When you are brave and speak your truth, you immediately see where you are different.
Your differences can make you more fascinating to him, or it can show you where you are out of alignment. Either way, you know much more quickly whether you’re a match.
When you are brave and speak your truth, you signal to him that you’re not willing to change who you are in order to please him.
Good men value straightforwardness. Neither of you have to play games.
When you are brave and speak your truth, you feel good about yourself. You are honoring yourself by refusing to hide.
3 Ways to Be Braver
1. Tell a man you’d like to see him again.
Too many women feel that their hands are tied at the end of a date, because it’s up to the man to decide whether he wants to see them again.
That’s not true.
A man is more likely to ask you out again if you let him know that you enjoyed his company and would like to see him again.
So speak your truth. It’s risky, but it’s worth it.
2. Tell a man you’re not interested.
It’s often harder to say no than it is to say yes.
But seeing someone you’re not all that interested in is taking up time you could be spending finding someone you adore.
You should feel a resounding “yes!” when you think about him. If you don’t, tell him so. You’re freeing him to find the woman who does.
3. Celebrate each act of bravery.
As a dating coach, I encourage all my clients (but especially women) to “speak your truth” with kindness and courage. And it’s not because I think it will always turn out well, but because I want you to keep moving toward your long-term relationship goals.
If you take risks, they will not always work out.
In fact, they may NOT work out most of the time.
But does that mean you should stop taking risks?
Celebrate your bravery, even if the results weren’t what you hoped for.
You’re staying true to your personal values and goals, and that’s always worth it.