Honesty is, quite simply, close to divinity. We say that, even though it’s quite a dramatic statement, because honesty is the most important policy in life. Of course, sometimes we might decide to bend the truth to our whims, such as when we might tell our friend their new haircut looks great, even though it doesn’t suit them.
Yet there are also schools of thought that suggest being honest, even if it causes you harm, will lead you to a better result than if you lie even with good intentions. We’re not here to define the answer. But we can talk more about honesty and just how redemptive it can be, particularly if you’ve spent a good amount of your life hiding from it.
How can being honest, or more honest, have a profound impact in your life? It’s worth asking this question, because being honest is hard. It takes effort and care to get there. So – why focus on it? Let’s consider these questions below:
Have A Bad Memory? Stay Honest!
Mark Twain once said “a man who tells the truth need not remember what he said,” which is quite a freeing and liberating aspect of staying honest. When you speak your truth, you don’t have to keep fully consistent with lies or mistruths you may have told in the past. Of course, we all change and believe different things.
You might have told a friend two years ago that you liked their favorite movie, because you really did enjoy watching it with them, only to rewatch it years later and have your impression changed. That doesn’t mean you lied. The cognitive hygiene of knowing the difference between exaggeration and consistency in your views can help you feel more comfortable in a social setting, and more like yourself. This kind of authenticity (with certain caveats) is of course the best way to feel like you are who you are, without apology. That’s how you make real friends.
Accepting & Expressing Your Needs
Being honest to others is sometimes secondary to being honest to yourself. You need to be honest to yourself. Otherwise, it’s easy to mislead yourself and to forget what your actual opinions are. For instance, it might be that you really need your partner to pay you more respect and to treat you more fairly. It might be that you’ve accepted that this will never happen, even though you haven’t actually asked.
You may have convinced yourself that this is okay, and that’s just what your relationship is. For the fear of conflict you have lied to yourself, and have prevented something very necessary to your continued, healthy relationship. It’s not hard to see how people become bitter and tired in these scenarios, and that can lead to a worse result than the earlier conflict.
Admitting When There’s A Fault
One benefit of staying honest is that you’re more able to actively discuss or express difficult situations, because you’ve already done the work by understanding the truth isn’t such a bad thing after all. For instance, it might be that you’ve been struggling with an addiction or alcohol problem. This problem will continue precisely as long as you’re unable to admit it’s part of your life.
By admitting it, you immediately open the door to recovery. You may find yourself in a nurturing drug and alcohol rehab center as a natural consequence, helping you restore the life you once loved and once again finding your new, healthier normal. Admitting when there’s a fault can quite literally open your mind, heart and eyes to a new, better tomorrow, no matter where that fault may lay.
The Truth Comes Out In The End
The truth always comes out in the end, anyway. It’s impact can be devastating or expected. It will stop eating at you. For instance, consider how many people are actively coming out of the closet or expressing who they are with much less fear of recrimination thanks to society’s accepted standards in 2020 and beyond. We can only imagine how difficult it must be for some people who wish to accept themselves but struggle to.
That truth will remain with them for as long as they live, and so it’s best for them to understand being LGBTQ – to use an example – is in no way an admission of being inferior, and in fact, is quite the opposite. It takes courage and the willingness to speak up and stand your truth. This movement only gained acceptance thanks to fearless and incredible individuals who decided to make it so, when the consequences for coming out were much more difficult. They aligned themselves with the truth. We now see the impact they had.
With this insight, we hope you too can utilize the power of honesty in all areas of life!
Thank you for reading!