“Just be honest”. That’s what they say, but is that really that easy? How many people can handle pure honesty? How many people can deliver it in a way that is direct but tactful? Honesty is one of my central values, and this essay takes a look at it.
As you read this writing, ask yourself…How honest are you, Are you just as honest with yourself as with others, and How can you be more honest?
The frankness of honesty.
To be honest is to be truthful, sincere and frank in everything you do. One who is honest is also considerate. The act of sincere honesty does not seek to harm, it seeks to set free, and the art of honesty is delivering it in the most compassionate terms. Whether the truth is cheerful or challenging, I believe one should take care, and be direct, and balance it with tact.
The Strength of the double edge.
The strength of honesty is when we are honest with ourselves. We cannot be truly honest and genuine with others without first being truthful with the one it comes from. The mission of honesty can be a hard one. It requires that we look at ourselves, clearly identify the person in the mirror, and then own what we find.
Honesty requires the drive to find it. The truth seeker seeks it inside and out. It requires openness, acceptance, and humbleness. Without these elements, we would run from ourselves, live double lives, and hurt others. We must live in honesty as well as speak it.
When we live each day in an honesty lifestyle, we live with self-respect, lower stress, and better relationships with others. We build trust, consistency and happiness among other benefits.
Things to remember when building an honesty lifestyle.
The idea of white lies is a lie.
The one main thing I would like to communicate is that there is no such thing as a “white lie”. Many people argue this point. To most people, a white lie is meant to communicate that they consider it small, insignificant or inconsequential.
However, if we are to build an honesty lifestyle, understanding that a lie is a lie is crucial.
- 1. What may be a small lie to you, may be a big lie to the person you are saying it to.
- 2. White lies give you an excuse to hide from touchy topics instead of working them out with the person and within yourself.
- 3. The same lie we tell to others would upset us if somebody fed us the same kibble.
- 4. A white lie is by definition, not true, and contradicts the intention of living an honesty lifestyle.
While telling so called “white lies” does not, over all, make you a bad person, the challenge of being authentic means that you hold yourself to the standards of your best self, and use tact in your honesty.
For example, the tried and true question, “Honey, do I look good in this dress” does not have to end up in a “yes dear” if the real answer is no. Re-frame it to “I think you would look even better in the blue dress with the pink cats clawing at each other down the sides”.
Yes, like all of us, I have lied. I have told lies that to me seam small, or to get me out of an uncomfortable situation, but being proactive about living an honesty lifestyle is more in line with my authentic spirit.
3 ways to start being honest with yourself.
1. Acknowledge both the good and bad in your life
In order to be honest with ourselves, we must be willing to look at the hard truths about ourselves, both good and bad.
On my road to authentic person-hood, I had to face the reality of how my ego controlled my personality, how I was playing the main roll in limiting my social life, and other honkers. I also got to look at my talents as well, and be real about what I could and could not do.
Remember, this is not an excuse for you to laps into judging yourself, this is so you can objectively look at yourself, and move forward with that knowledge.
I want to see you be brave!
2. Admit it when you make mistakes
Nobody wants to make mistakes, but we all do. We need to go ahead and just get over the fact that we all make them. The best use of a mistake is to learn from them, then apply. This can only happen if we are honest about what they are in the first place.
I made a mistake by worrying what people thought about me. I make mistakes when I over commit to too many projects. What can I learn from that? Go ahead, try it…
3. Know what you don’t know
It makes us feel good to know that we know what we are doing/saying, but sometimes, we do not know. Being honest with ourselves means that we accept what we know, and know what we don’t know. Then, we get to choose whether we learn new things, or say screw it!Being honest with ourselves means that we accept what we know, and know what we don't know. Then, we get to choose whether we learn new things, or say screw it! Click To Tweet
This is not a fault finding mission, this is looking at our full selves, and then, we can be honest with others.
3 Ways to be honest with others
1. Be honest with yourself
You first must be honest with yourself (see above) before you can be honest with others. Nuf said….
2. Stop trying to be somebody else
One of the main reasons why we lie is because we think we have to be somebody different. I once had a friend who lied about different things in his life. How many kids he had, how far he got into the entertainment business, and so on. He was not a bad person by any means, but he felt that he did not do enough with his life. This feeling caused shame, so he boosted his life up to be more of what he wished.
The truth was, that people liked him for him. You do not need to be anybody but you. You do not have to have a better life than the dude that scored with 17 chicks in your 10th grade class. You just have to be you. Share things about you that reflect who you are, what you love, where you want to go, and what you like on your pizza.
3. Figure out why you lie, and to who
Sometimes, we lie to specific people, or about very spacific things, while otherwise being an honest person.
To lean more into an honesty lifestyle, figure out why you feel the need to lie to this particular person. Do you feel that they can be judgemental? They can’t keep a secret? If that is the case, don’t lie, just don’t tell them information that they will use for nonproductive purposes.
If its an issue you lie about, what may be the reason. Was it traumatic? Is it something you feel shame around? If so, remember, you do not have to tell people anything you do not want to, also, you can work to resolve the guilt or shame around it.
Leaning more into honesty, and being an AMPed man is challenging, but you can meet the challenge if you want. Lets see if we can work together!