Why We Don't Have Honest Conversations

Jul 10, 2023

Self-honesty and the ability to express that honestly is a game changer in life. Yet we avoid telling some truths, both to ourselves and others. Why is that? Is it because we downplay how critical it is? Is it because we aren’t sure how to express ourselves without seeming rude or cruel? Is it because we are–at the heart of it–afraid?

In this episode, I touch on why we don’t have honest conversations and how we can change that. As you listen, I encourage you to examine your own approach to honesty. After all, pure honesty must first begin with being truthful with yourself. I also encourage you to consider going much deeper into this self-awareness through my LEAD FOR WOMEN program. In it, I and my team can work with you personally to root out why you’re afraid of speaking your truth.

“If we had a core belief that we were strong enough to handle whatever happens on the other side of an honest conversation, what might we do differently?” – Kris Plachy

What You’ll Learn

  • What we’re afraid of
  • And then what 
  • What if you’d be okay
  • Releasing the toxins
  • A painful cocoon
  • Leadership conversations you’re not having

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

  • LEAD FOR WOMEN: Registration is now open. LEAD FOR WOMEN is THE curated Leadership Development, Training AND Advisement program for Elite Visionary Women seeking to upgrade their skills leading, managing, communicating with, and inspiring the people you pay to achieve results in your business.
  • The Moxy Sage: Join with a paid subscription to hear more about this topic and others. Kris shares more in depth content every week and hosts a private podcast. 
  • Hawaii Retreat with Kris: September 22-25, 2023. A few spots are still available. This retreat is open to all women. See all the details and register at krisplachy.com/hawaii. 
  • Get a FREE Month of Coaching on your Business Edit. Go to thevisionary.ceo/theedit to access everything and learn more.

Connect with Kris Plachy

  • CEO Boutique: Digital Clinics offered by Kris Plachy: Essential Practices for Women Who Lead + the Advisory Hotline + Kickstart. Shop what’s available, including Kickstart Team Ops, Team Audits, Dealing with Difficult People and much more!
  • You can help me make a difference in the lives of other women (and men, too). Please take a few moments to submit a review of Leadership Is Feminine to your favorite podcast platform (or two). It really does help boost the recommendation frequency to reach new listeners. THANK YOU so much.


Email: [email protected]


Welcome. I'm so glad you tuned in today. I actually have a podcast for you that I'm excited to share. It's one that I recorded when I was in Hawaii a few weeks ago. And sometimes I record those while I'm on my walks and I'm never quite sure if they're that good. And I went on a walk today and listened to my own podcast and it's really good. And so I wanted to reshare it and I wanted to put it into context as well.

So the podcast is about how to have, or why we don't have, honest conversations. And in our new signature program that we are currently registering for Lead, being able to become a woman who lives with a new level of self-honesty. And then the ability to express that honesty, from my perspective, is a game changer. And so while this podcast is 14 minutes of touching on the importance of honest conversations, I can't emphasize enough the critical importance of you stepping into the environment of Lead and learning really how to do this on your own.

You know, there's only so much I can do through the lens of my podcast. And what I wanna do is have the impact, a bigger impact with more of you, as many of you - 20 million of you - as we can. Because I think the more that women can be honest with themselves, the better they get at being honest with others. And the more honest you become without cruelty, without selfishness, without rigidity, just being honest, being able to teach yourself, and ultimately others, how to be honest with what it is that you think in order to advance communication, results, relationships, connection, all those things. I do believe it's at the core of so much of the work that we all need to do as women who are business leaders.

So I really hope you'll love this podcast. And I also want to extend the invitation to you again to go to thevisionary.CEO/lead and let's step into talking. Taking this conversation further about how we can work with you personally to make the difference that I know that you wanna make in the world that you are shaping. Okay, here's the podcast.

Hey, so this is me again. I'm on my walking retreat and I'm still in Hawaii. And I was leading my first session yesterday. And not unique to this session, but very consistent to all of us, the first day is often spent talking about the truths that we believe are true, that aren't the truth, that we avoid telling ourselves, and the truths that we avoid telling other people. And on my walk this morning, I'm just sort of wondering, why is it that we don't have more honest conversations with one another? Why do we wait for so long to speak our truth?

And I have myself in this story just as much as I would imagine you do. And so I've been thinking about myself and how many conversations I have not had out loud, but have had in my mind. And it's so easy to see with other people when there are conversations, there are words that must be said. Because if you don't say them and you don't speak what's true for you, it creates a toxic black shadow inside your soul.

And I don't mean to be dramatic, but I do actually think that that's true because I witness it. And so I'm just deconstructing, why is it so hard to have honest conversations? So I think the most obvious answer is, of course, we're afraid, but let's take that further. What are we afraid of? We're afraid of being left. We're afraid of being told something else that we don't wanna hear. We're afraid that what we think or feel is wrong. We're afraid that who we tell our truth to will misuse it. We're afraid to be seen for who we are in that very emotional needy, right? That's that vulnerability space.

And what's interesting, of course, is it's not always just the bad stuff that we need to be honest about. It's also amazing things, how much you love someone, how much you respect someone, how much you admire someone. These are also honest conversations that go unspoken for a lot of the same reasons. What if I tell this person I love them and they don't love me? What if I tell this person I admire them and they don't care about me? All of that could be true.

So that's kind of the primary thing. And I think it's often the reason that we don't speak, at least that first reason, but let's take that one step further. So let's say you speak your truth to your partner. It's usually those who we are most intimate with, that we have the hardest time being honest with, which is ironic, right?

But let's say it's your partner that you know you have words to say, you have thoughts, you need help, that they would understand. And let's say they do leave. Let's say they don't agree. Let's say they blame you. Instead, let's say they tell you terrible things about what they think of you. I don't know.

Let's go there and ask the question. And then what I think what's on the other side of that is what you're the most afraid of. And what if, instead of being afraid, that what? I don't know, right? Like, we do have this fear that we will be left, we will be isolated, ostracized alone, and lonely. But in my experience, there's a lot of people who are in relationships, quote unquote, who are not being honest with one another, and they're incredibly lonely.

So I'd rather be lonely with someone sitting next to me than alone and lonely. What's the difference? Optics. So if we had a core belief that we really would be okay if we had a core belief that we were strong enough to handle whatever happens on the other side of an honest conversation, what might we do differently if we believed we were worth being held, and loved, and seen, and honored? If we believed that in our core, and we discover that we are with someone who doesn't share that belief of who we are and our value, isn't that good news? Isn't that good news?

Even if that means you're gonna be alone, because your worth is so much more important then false companionship. And there are so many people living unhappily for fear of living unhappily, and I'm baffled. And I'm watching myself too, thinking, "Gosh, that's so interesting. I'm so much better now."

I used to not talk because I didn't want to burden- I, you know, I've had a lot of disappointments. I have a whole story about, "Why bother? Why bother telling people how I really feel? Because it's not gonna change anything." Right? That whole mantra. But see, the thing about an honest conversation isn't about changing anything. It's about being honest. It's about allowing whatever that toxic is to come out of you and help you speak truth.

Now, there's a difference to me between yelling and screaming and having a tantrum and blaming other people for your feelings and telling the honest experience you have, which is, "When this, this, this, this happens, here's what happens to me. Here's what I make that mean. I don't need you to change because you changing is your business. But what I do want to tell you is what I will do. What happens to me when that happens and what I will do if it doesn't change. That is what I want to tell you, honestly."

I wish we taught this to everyone. I wish we taught conversational maturity, how to express yourself with positive intent, despite the fact that you might feel injured, that we tell our truth not to lash and injure again, but to stop it, period. Because what is most true is when people are hurt - you've heard it - hurt people, hurt people.

So what's most true about these conversations that we're all having is we might think we're telling people the truth, but what we're really doing is trying to one up them in the pain threshold. Like, "Oh, you hurt me, so I'm gonna come back at you", or "I'm gonna shut you out, period."

This doesn't help you design an incredible life. It just doesn't, it only helps you design a painful cocoon. And then you come to an experience like this and you put it out in the world cuz you're so tired of carrying it, but you're also so committed to why it is real and why you can't do anything about it. So we can't harbor the desire for other people to change if we are unwilling to even invite them to the option. Cuz otherwise you're just in the negative spin cycle and you're perpetuating your own suffering.

So in the Moxy Sage podcast, I'm gonna dive into this deeper with more specific examples. But this also of course applies to you as a leader. The honest conversations you're not having with people who work for you, you're not addressing performance issues, you're not addressing mistakes, you're just taking care of it. You're not talking to someone, you're talking about them. All of these same things are true. There's people you need to fire. You haven't fired them because you don't wanna have a conversation.

And you've gotta understand yourself, love. Why, what do you tell yourself will happen? And then let's really look at it like what's the real truth there? Like I've said before, if you are in an unsafe environment, if you have someone in your life who is dangerous, I understand that, listen, that's a whole other set of support that you need. That is not me, and it does become dangerous to tell someone the truth. If you have fear, that you will be physically harmed because you're with someone who can't accept anything other than their own blameless behavior. So that's not what we're talking about.

We're talking about emotional strength, emotional resilience, and self-identity, and you telling yourself who you are, and how strong you really are and capable you are to deliver on your own life that you want to live. I do believe that unhappy companionship is worse than alone, loneliness. And I also believe having a little too much work to do in your business for a spell, because you were honest with someone and you let them go, is also so much more worth keeping unspoken words in your business.

So if you haven't popped on and joined with a paid subscription to the Moxy Sage, I'd encourage you to do that. Because I'm going to do a podcast that takes this further where we do more examples of how to have those conversations. Talk to you next time.

Lead for Women is now open for registration. If you're a woman and you are also a visionary, somebody who sees the world differently than it is, and you are eager to achieve that through your work, and by leveraging the hearts and minds of others, then I invite you to go to thevisionary.CEO/lead and learn everything you can about our Lead program.

While it's not for everyone, it really is for you if you are a woman who is ready to learn how to think better so you can lead better, and you can live better. You have a legacy to leave here and I wanna help you leave it by enhancing and improving how you show up as a woman who leads. Join us there.

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