What is Transparency?

The dictionary defines ‘transparency’ as “the quality or state of being transparent.” Transparent is defined as “easy to see through, understand, or recognize; obvious.”

How does that correlate to being transparent in a relationship? Ultimate relationship transparency means that you reveal all of your true self to your partner. Nothing hidden. It creates a deeper intimacy as you reveal all of who you are. Does it mean you tell him what you had for breakfast this morning, what you did with your free time? Only if he wants to know that information. Some dominants do want to know every minute of your day. Some even require a written list of everything you did today, everyone you spoke to, every single thought in your head.

But for most, transparency means emotional transparency. It means your partner wants to know your thoughts and feelings, your dreams and aspirations, your beliefs and opinions. It means they want to know if you have questions or if you’re upset or if you’re happy. They want to know if something has hurt or frightened you. They want to know material goods you desire and your dream vacation. Your life dream, you know, the secret one you’ve never told anyone. They want you to tell them the things you desire, the things you like. They want your emotional walls to be gone.

Does emotional transparency happen just because you’ve entered into a relationship? The simple answer is no. Emotional transparency makes you vulnerable in a way you’ve never been before. It gives your partner the means to do great damage to you on an emotional level. So it has to be fostered through creating an emotionally safe and secure relationship.

Creating that space of safety and security requires work. It means when your partner is angry, he doesn’t use your transparency against you in order to hurt you. It means your partner protects your transparency. Ground rules for the use of information have to be set and they have to be unbending. What kind of ground rules?

The information you share that is of your innermost being should never be shared without your permission. I don’t care if he is your owner, he has to respect your privacy or risk destroying your feelings of safety and security. And he has to realize that he can’t put your safety at risk by sharing your innermost thoughts without losing his right to your transparency.

The information you share that is of your innermost being should never be used against you in a disagreement. If the things you share are going to be turned around on you to hurt you when he’s angry, then why on Earth would you share it in the first place?

The information you share that is of your innermost being should always be treated with respect. Your partner should never belittle you or treat what you’ve shared as ridiculous. He needs to acknowledge that what you’ve shared is valid and important, even if what you think about something he did or said is incorrect.

Transparency requires input from the dominant. When you share insecurities or concerns or problems, if your partner just listens but never responds, it can deepen the insecurities or worsen the concerns or problems. Transparency requires that the dominant participate and respond. Why would someone want to share those things that create questions or insecurities if the one with whom they are being shared basically ignores them?

The more consistently the ground rules are followed, the wider the door opens for you to be more emotionally transparent. It allows you to test the waters, so to speak, by being more transparent with each interaction. It gives you a space where you can open a window into your soul just a little more each time to make sure it’s safe to do so. Your partner’s response to that, and the way he handles the information you’ve shared, will help to create a safe and secure space. As each new piece of information is kept safe, it allows you to be more open the next time.

Once you reach a level of transparency where you have no more hidden places, where you’ve given this person the ability to pretty much crush you emotionally, you may find that point where you’ve reached full surrender. Sometimes it’s scary. And I still reach points with certain things where I’m a little afraid of the response. But that’s on me, not him. And I find that when I’m holding something in, it’s because my head is not in the right space – my insecurities are showing and I’m not really in ‘property’ headspace. Once I share, it brings me right back to where I’m supposed to be.

©Beachgurl 2012

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