Hidden Agendas

By: Tim Connor
Posted: 07/02/2007

Hidden agendas could be killing you.

               Words of wisdom: "
Forgiveness is man's deepest need and highest achievement."  Bushnell

Every relationship has a certain degree of hidden agendas. Stuff that you don't share or can't talk about because you hope to avoid conflict, you don't want to hurt the other person's feelings, or you just don't want them to know what you are really thinking or feeling.

Many people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say.  They hide their true attitudes, responses or issues beneath the surface. In a sense, they stuff what is really going on inside of them. Why do we do this?

If a relationship isn't emotionally safe, meaning that you can't share what is really going on inside your heart or mind then you will tend to edit your verbal messages behind a veil of secrecy. Seldom however can you hide it non-verbally, but you will use words that avoid dealing with the real issue, fear, concern or attitude that may be causing fear, guilt, anger, blame or any number of other emotions. 

Whether in a business or a personal relationship, too much hidden agenda is a sign that the quality of the relationship is heading for trouble or already is in serious trouble. Here's a clue - If the things you can talk about which are difficult for either of you to discuss for any reason are increasing, the relationship is most likely getting better.  Unfortunately the opposite is also true.  If the things that are difficult for either of you to talk about for any reason are decreasing the relationship is losing it's integrity, honesty and intimacy.

Relationships are either getting better or getting worse.  They are dynamic, they can't just sit there and not change.  Why?  Because people are continually changing.

Why would you want to get rid of some of your hidden agendas? It's simple they may be killing you!. One of the major causes of stress is stuffing feelings that need to be expressed - so you don't carry them around all day everyday letting them negatively influence the other areas of your day. 

I have seen hidden agendas in the business world that have destroyed companies from the inside-out a lot faster than any of the outside issues or challenges. 

What is a safe environment? It is an environment in which you can be perfectly honest without fear of judgment, ridicule, criticism or later retribution. If you are fortunate to have relationships that are very honest, open and sharing, consider yourself blessed. Most relationships have some areas or topics that are avoided to avoid another argument or hurt feelings. This situation, these hidden thoughts, feelings or attitudes can be acceptable as long as they are not critical to the overall success of the relationship.

The best policy is to get it off your chest sooner, rather than later. Men tend to have more hidden agendas than women because women tend to be better at expressing their feelings - however not always ladies. And, this doesn't mean they always express them in a positive way, but they do get a lot of this stuff off their mind and out in the open.

If you have a lot of suppressed stuff with someone you are in a relationship with, I urge you to let it go, express it, or walk away from the relationship before it becomes too destructive on your emotional well being and health.

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