When we show our true feelings as we feel them, we create a basis for a relationship of trust. Only when our words, actions, and feelings align can we get to know other people and allow them to know us.

We often mask our true feelings, suppressing authentic reactions to external situations because we’re afraid of being vulnerable or losing face. In such situations, we have a degree of freedom to consciously create a good outcome if we have the right tools, such as certain communication techniques.

But what if the situation is internal, a limit inside us that allows us to use only some of our feelings instead of the full range? Instead of showing anger or sadness to people who upset us, what if we find ourselves showing apathy or detachment?

We’d give them permission to overstep our boundaries again and again, damaging their ability to understand and respect us. We’d also damage our own ability to trust our feelings and reactions.

Real power comes from expressing our true feelings and setting clear boundaries. Boundaries and respect make trust between people possible.