Are You An Open Book?
I'm a reasonably open book.
I like to think that I'm pretty transparent about what I think, how I feel and what I believe.
If I like something, I'm not hesitant about sharing my love for that thing. If I don't like something, for example, how an individual is behaving, I'll say that as well. (I'll try and find the right time and approach, of course, but I generally prefer not to leave things unsaid. Particularly if they are someone I need to have some sort of relationship with.)
I'm certainly not one of those who can say one thing and then behave completely differently. I know people, some I've known for many years, who can say one thing to your face and then do the diametrically opposite. They think that's an asset. I think it's a cancer. Especially when it's the normal course of how they operate, which it was. They were the best of actors. You never knew where they stood on an issue. You never knew if they were aligned with you. You couldn't trust them.
But trust is key. Trust is central to human relationships. To be able to trust requires an openness. It requires (reasonable) transparency. It requires vulnerability.
And that's the hard part.
To be vulnerable, is to expose, to allow others in, to risk being hurt. If you don't, if you believe some sort of pretext, a veneer, is always needed, then you'll never experience real relationships.
I don't believe in that. I'd rather be an open book. I'd rather let people in. Yes, there have been times when I've been let down, when I've been hurt. That's part of the price. The alternative is to shut myself off and I'm not willing to do that. I'll give the trust, and if I'm let down for no good reason, then you're out.
The truth is, that those who see vulnerability as a weakness, are the problem.
So choose your relationships (personal and professional) wisely. If those around you are unwilling to be as open with you as you are with them, then it's time for you to make a decision.