This is something I'm still learning. Rationally, I know it, and I'm improving at putting it in practice. Often, I made mistakes due to psychological issues, and I kept thinking: "How can I expect them to be understanding, when I don't even understand why I acted the way I did", and so I avoided confrontation at all cost. Ignoring messages, and avoiding contact, leads to even more anxiety, because you know that at some point, that confrontation will come. And as you said, people appreciate honesty.
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