How to make true friends – Part 3 – The art of honesty

The art of honesty


It’s easy to say be honest and open with everyone but there is an art to being honest.

I remember when I was about 19, I was dancing with a girl in a nightclub, (that was back in the day when you just went up to a girl and tapped her on the shoulder and she was obliged to dance with you). I was talking away to her, just general chitchat. I then asked when her baby was due, as she was obviously pregnant. She looked at me and asked me to repeat what I had said, obviously the music was too loud, I then asked her ‘When is the baby due?’ looking toward her stomach. She glared at me and said ‘I’m not pregnant, I’m just ******* fat’ and she then stormed off. Now that was embarrassing. What did I learn from that? – Never ask a fat woman if she is pregnant! Yep, but I learned to keep my mouth shut until I was sure of the facts else a swift kick between the legs could be on its way. That wasn’t about honesty it was about diplomacy and tact and it ties in nicely with the art of honesty.

Honesty is telling the truth to people and telling the truth to yourself. This is a big distinction to make. Some people lie to themselves and can’t get to the truth, as they are lost in their own self-lies.

Why being honest is important


To gain respect from others and to have respect for yourself it is important to be honest and true to yourself and others. If you are honest from the outset you will gain a reputation for being an honest person, therefore you will gain the reputation for being trustworthy, therefore gaining the reputation of being dependable. Being honest can open so many doors for you.

Practising honesty with yourself


To practise honesty you have to start being honest with yourself.

Are you a lazy git – if so, admit it and do something about it,
Are you fat – Admit it, and do something about it if you’re not happy with it
Are you gorgeous – Admit it and make the most of it
Are you good at something – admit it and keep learning to become better
Do you really want that job – Look for another one and chuck the one you don’t like
Do you really want to be with your partner –

There are many questions to ask yourself and ask you must to ever have self-respect.

Practising honesty with others


Once you are comfortable telling yourself the truth it is time to tell others in a way that is neither offensive or hurtful.

Q. Do I look fat in this?
A. It’s not the kind of thing I would wear, now unless they have a very low IQ they will know what you mean here but without hurting and embarrassing them.

Q. Can you to take on another project? –
A. I would love to work on that, however I want more time with my family and I am already working on ……………This is being assertive which goes hand in hand with honesty once you have practised honesty for a while.

I am sure you can think of hundreds of scenarios where you have to tell the truth but feel a little uncomfortable doing it. If you shy away from telling the truth or standing up for yourself practise little by little. Once you’ve overcome the first honesty hurdle the rest become easier.

My wife always asks me my opinion on something she is wearing, or something she wants my opinion on, as she knows I will be completely honest without being hurtful and she respects that.

From now on…


If you want more respect for yourself and you want others to respect you it is important for honesty in your life.

There are two rules I would use when being honest:

When you are being honest with other people, be tactful not hurtful
When being honest with yourself, be blunt and take action.

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About Steven Aitchison

I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
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Comments

  1. Being honest can also be very freeing, especially as you get older and can’t remember what you’ve said to people anyway!

  2. “””
    Q. Can you to take on another project? –
    A. I would love to work on that however I want more time with my family and I am already working on
    “””

    LOL! just how is this being honest? “I would love to work on that” lmao!

  3. Sometime when I honesty to others,they don’t.I not really believe that in this world still got real friend…

  4. You touch something here. Comfort zone. If you are not comfortable telling the truth to yourself and others, is worth reviewing the thoughts around it, and knock them down. The underlying message is most likely some kind of social imprint of inadequacy with what it is. Nothing to do with who you really are. I am with Naples, personal responsibility goes a long way.

  5. Thanks for this post! The part about being honest with yourself is important. It takes awareness and not being afraid to admit something to yourself – this is often the most difficult step as you may not want to admit something head on. But when you do, you realise that it wasn’t so bad after all, and that you can then change the behavior or the feeling, and move on.

  6. Excellent post once again. Honesty builds respect from others to you and for yourself personally.

  7. Sorry for the spelling error… please correct it for me. ;-)

  8. You idea of tactful honesty makes sense on a broad scope. However, one must always be ready to openly explain themselves in situations that require it. Not doing so would be dishonest.

    All in all, great article! ;-)

    Marc

  9. Hi Steve, great point. Honesty. You touch something here. Comfort zone. If you are not comfortable telling the truth to yourself and others, is worth reviewing the thoughts around it, and knock them down. The underlying message is most likely some kind of social imprint of inadequacy with what it is. Nothing to do with who you really are. I am with Naples, personal responsibility goes a long way. When you acknowledge your actions to people they immediately start respecting you. Yes, you are naked in front of the world…the real strength is in the weakness of being human. Is there any other way to be? After all our thoughts create our reality. It’s so good to have the capacity to change our thoughts.

  10. Hi Dan, You’re absolutely right, always tell the truth as you never forget the truth but it’s easy to forget the lies you’ve told.

    Hi M&S, My wife is the most honest person I know and people seem to be magnetically attracted to her.

    Hi Naples, I think when we are honest with ourselves we will find it easier to be honest with other people.

    Hi Andy, thanks for your comments, always good to see you here.

    Hi magic, thanks for your comments I apprecaite them.

    Hi karl, It’s great that you have turned your life around, I love hearing stories like this. See you over at Copyblogger :)

  11. “Be blunt and take action” is a great technique. I’ve never lacked bluntness when analyzing myself, but I never took action. My inner dialog was terribly negative.

    My life is now great. I use this bluntness to improve my life. When I get down on my writing style I do a little research on Copyblogger to add a new skill. I do this in every area of my life.

    Thanks for the reminder! I think I’ll go check Copyblogger right now.

  12. great post and thanks for sharing. very inspirational. i try to live by these values daily.

  13. Honesty is the best policy! I truly believe in this saying. Just do what is right. And be honest with yourself, that’s the best way to show honesty.

  14. Another area of honesty which could be explored in this article would be accepting responsibility for our actions and blaming someone else. It is so easy to blame someone else for our mistakes – owning up to our mistakes is part of being honest with one’s self.

  15. It’s very hard to build a community of friends around you nowadays. People are just different, but you still have to remain to be yourself! But honesty is one of the ways to get friends! Just be sincere with them, and they will be sincere with you! Thanks for a good post. :)

  16. Great post, I think the most important part of being honest everywhere for me is that it takes up no thought in remembering who I’ve lied to and what bits and pieces of fabrication I have to remember and where. It’s easy to remember the truth!

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