THE BLOG
10/31/2014 02:35 pm ET Updated Dec 31, 2014

The Joy of Being 100/100

Shannon Fagan via Getty Images

It feels fantastic to be 100/100!

That's when you say something that's 100 percent honest and 100 percent respectful at the same time. More easily said than done, but well worth the effort, I've found. And it creates true joy in a relationship!

Is it hard to be 100/100?
Most people are either very honest, to the point of being rude, or even hurtful -- or they're so careful to be respectful that they conceal what they really feel so they won't upset anyone. In both cases, the true intention of the message gets lost in translation.

I'm happy to share with you -- you can actually be honest and respectful, at the same time, without being hurtful or a marshmallow. It's so worth the effort of thought and practice, I promise!

It's easier to be 100/100 with people you love and respect, with whom you want a deep and close bond. I'll say to a dear one, "I'm so grateful I can be totally honest with you, as you are with me. Even when we don't agree, our 100/100 bond will be strengthened, and we'll enrich one another's lives."

Without a doubt, we'll both win!

The challenge I've found is -- it's hard to find others willing to be 100/100 with you. When you do, you'll know you've found a soul buddy, even if they're not a close friend or loved one.
One caution -- being choosy in your 100/100 selections is a wise move. You may not want to try this approach on your boss, unless she/he is a rare bird. Unhappy results with this person could have more drastic results on your future than you'd like.

Here's what motivated me to write this blog -- it happened to me this week.

I got a letter (Yes, the old fashioned kind) from my cardiologist. My husband brought it to me with a concerned, "Sorry, I know this will be very sad news for you." Boy, was he right!

The letter announced my favorite doctor's intention to retire (Rewire, that is!). Why my instant gut wrenching feeling of loss? Because he was the only professional I'd ever had who was always 100/100 with me, and allowed me to be the same.

As written in a recent Reader's Digest, most doctors won't say to your face what they're really thinking. They're much too worried about their time, lawsuits or hurting your feelings. How sad!

I'd always admired and appreciated my doctor's honest and straightforward approach -- never sugar coating the truth to make it "pretty." Especially when he frequently said, "You know Eve, we just don't know the answer to that question yet. Here's our best guess so far... " I knew I could trust him absolutely. How would I ever find his replacement?

But wait! This is not all about me! I'm actually happy for this outstanding man. He deserves to Rewire and follow his many other passions.

Another important point -- 100/100 doesn't only work for the 50+ crowd. A young student in my LOT (Leaders of Tomorrow) group, I'll call him Jack, told us a story about a classmate ("Billy"), with whom he was having great difficulty. From Jack's sharing of how Billy was treating him, we soon realized this "friend" was being a bully to Jack. Billy expected Jack to follow his every thought, because of course he knew best.

I asked Jack how he felt about this treatment. Not happy, he confessed. I asked why he wasn't being 100/100 with Billy. He replied, "Then he wouldn't like me." I responded, "Jack, if that happens, what have you got to lose? Do you really value your relationship with Billy? Think about this...

The rare times I've bowled someone over by being totally honest, yet respectful, and it led to the cooling of the relationship, I felt they'd done me a favor. I don't want to invest myself in a "friendship" that causes lots of stress and little real harmony. I'd much rather spend quality time with someone who appreciates the joy of true openness and real sharing of innermost thoughts and ideas. Wouldn't you?"

And when you do find a genuine Soul Buddy with whom you can share how you honestly feel, without trying to "win your point" or "come out on top", you've both gained something very valuable -- a real friend who really cares about you and your honest opinions -- and is willing to share theirs.

The freedom of not having to pretend or prejudge how someone will take your remarks because they understand your words come from true feelings, is tremendously energizing and bonding, for both of you. As long as you're prepared for them to disagree about some things, and won't take it as a personal affront, go for it. 100/100 feedback is not about you, but intended to enrich their life, right? And the same goes the other way too!

Now I'll ask a favor of you. If you do try this 100/100 gem, please let me know how it works for you (or not). I keep learning how to refine 100/100, and your feedback would help tremendously.

My hat's off to you, if you "join" the 100/100 Club!
Have fun!

Eve