While volunteering on a crisis line, a distraught young woman told me that her sister was locked in the bathroom trying to kill herself. I asked the woman if she could go to the door and tell her sister she loved her. There was silence on the line. Then, she answered, “I can’t. Our family doesn’t say things like that to each other.”
“Do you love your sister? I asked.
“Yes, but I don’t know how to say that to her.”
“Then say that, ‘I am so embarrassed and don’t know how to say it, but I love you.'”
Her sister came out.
Often, if we have to say embarrassing or awkward things, the place to start is with total honesty about what we are afraid of. Most people appreciate our vulnerability.
Our humility goes a lot farther than avoiding the truth ever will.