As a person who used to refer to herself as “brutally honest,” I seriously value the truth. I don’t want to hear the sugarcoated bullsh*t; I want to hear what you really think and how you really feel.
Lying to me won’t help me now or ever. When you lie to someone, you aren’t doing anyone any favors. It is sad and pathetic how difficult it can be to find an honest opinion.
People do not ask you for your opinion only to hear a bunch of fluff in return; they need you to communicate openly and sincerely.
Being honest does not mean being rude, either. There are certain ways to phrase whatever needs to be said without diminishing your point.
The cliché goes that “the truth hurts, but lies kill.” Lies do slowly chip away at a person and can make it hard to trust people.
I believe that the truth is easier to accept once it hits you in the face, whether it’s a light smack or a blow to the head. Conversely, little white lies are okay and even essential for getting through life, at times. But, what is "little" and what is not is up to each person’s discretion.
Because of my honest nature, my friends appreciate me more because I am the one to whom they can turn when they need to hear something real.
However, being honest starts with us. You must always be real with yourself before trying to do so with others. It may not be a big deal to ignore those extra 10 pounds you gained on your hips or that F you got on a test, but how can other people trust your judgment if you can’t be a good judge of yourself?
I don’t mean to say that we should be overly critical of ourselves, but we should all aspire to keep the communication lines open.
We are the only constants in our lives, so fine-tuning your relationship with yourself will help you in the long run when it comes to figuring out what and who you love, as well as your goals, feelings and whatever else.
Oddly enough, I’ve experienced a lot of honesty from total strangers; people who don’t know you generally don’t care so much about hurting or even affecting your feelings.
A perfect example of this is that when I go shopping by myself; I always ask a fitting room attendant’s opinion. Sometimes, I venture out to the triple mirror that shows multiple angles and someone will compliment me on how something looks; even compliments are genuine from total strangers. Strangers have nothing to lose.
I would rather hurt someone with the truth than deceive him or her with lies that will sting down the road once he or she realizes that I wasn’t forthright in my opinions.
It is also important to acknowledge that our actions, in addition to our words, can be deceitful and hurtful. This is called cognitive dissonance.
Making excuses and blaming external causes regarding what happens to us is not okay. If you say you’re going to stop drinking so much but still comfort yourself with a bottle of Merlot after a rough day, maybe it is time to sit yourself down and reflect.
Honesty really is the best policy.
Photo via Favim