The Trouble With Honesty

Honesty isn’t easy… not always.  I want to avoid conflict, unpleasantness, hurting others’ feelings, yelling and crying… I do.  So sometimes I am less than honest.  I don’t always say that I have heard a story for the umpteenth time,  answer the question ‘Do I look fat?’, tell people that I do not believe in religion, say ‘You have bad breath’, or say an idea is no good.  Sometimes I just smile and nod (I learned that from my mother-in-law).  I sometimes say things are interesting when I really want to spit them out and rinse out my mouth.  Or agree to something because I am afraid that saying ‘no’ will be an ordeal or create huge disappointment.

I try to be upbeat and honesty can get in the way.  Because sometimes you just want to tell someone to grow up, get a backbone, quit complaining, be realistic, or appreciate what they have. Sometimes you want to tell someone that maybe they are not thinking clearly or logically.  It is tricky.

But, if you really care about someone you need to be honest.  You need to say what you are thinking and let them process what you have said.  They may not like it… but I have said some things over the years that no one else dared to say… and in the long run those people I said those things to were glad.  Take the risk… don’t be cruel, but be honest…

One thought on “The Trouble With Honesty

  1. “Don’t be cruel, but be honest…”
    I love that line. Being authentic is so important to me, but it is also challenging when feelings are involved.
    I think a good addition to that counsel would be having a willingness to gently ask difficult questions that matter. Sometimes, lovingly and patiently prodding deeper thought can be the most honest and powerful thing one can do. When I have been on the receiving end, it has – invariably – led to good things.


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