Don’t worry; you look great. That sounds like an awesome idea. It’ll be ready in a week. I’ll be there at 10:00 sharp. I really had fun tonight. Of course I remember!
We all say things like that without meaning them. Stretching the truth can help you save face, fit in, protect a loved one’s feelings or get out of trouble.
It’s also a huge drag.
Honesty is both easy and rewarding
Being tactful isn’t enough in modern society: you’re conditioned to be nice and polite to the point of dishonesty. “Oh, I’m great today, how about you?” Say this; do that; hide your thoughts so nobody gets offended: it’s suffocating.
Sometime last year, I decided to see how honest I could get away with being. I half-expected to screw up relationships, first impressions and career prospects in the process.
Only I didn’t.
Being honest is awesome. You get to do and say what you want, others respect you more and it requires very little thinking. So let’s talk about what honesty can give you and how you can make your first steps toward it.
Being Honest Makes Life Easier
If you don’t lie, you don’t have to remember anything – selfMark Twain
That’s my favorite quote about honesty, and it’s true.
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. There are no lies to stay on top of as I go about my day. Being honest makes life real simple: I am what I am, take it or leave it!
This might make me sound like a jerk, but I’m not: I just don’t say “Yes” when I’m thinking “Hell no.” It’s not hard work: all you need to do is relay your true thoughts to the outside world!
With a little practice you’ll see how much simpler and less stressful life becomes when you stop trying to cover up your real self.
The Importance of Integrity
Of course, very few people lie for the hell of it; we do it because of external pressure. We feel that lies and half-truths protect and help us.
In fact, you might be thinking: “This is all great in theory, but I won’t do this. Being honest will make other people upset with me.”
In that case, you’ll be surprised to find out that being honest will improve your relationships with other people. (Until you try to shove your honesty down someone’s throat or tell your friend she looks like a slut in that dress).
After all, all good relationships are built on trust, and you can’t trust someone who isn’t being honest. A trustworthy friend is more valuable than a yes-man. This is especially true around girls; they’re used to guys agreeing with everything they say just to get into their pants, so you’ll stand out.
At the end of the day, you can try to please everyone. Or you can win over lots of people – while losing a few – by simply being your honest self. I’d rather be liked and respected for who I really am; how about you?
You don’t need to approach every part of your life with radical honesty. Start with a few small things. Here are a few ideas that will help you kick all kinds of ass with the power of honesty:
- If you want something, tell others about it. You can’t get what you don’t ask for. Worst-case scenario: your friends or partner will disagree with you and you’ll have to compromise.
- Don’t make promises you don’t plan to keep. Other people won’t trust and respect you if you don’t stand by your word.
- Don’t be afraid to say “No”. If you don’t protect your own interests, who will? If saying “No” is too hard, build your courage up by rejecting small requests from people you’re comfortable with.
- Disagree with another person’s opinion? Tell them about it. A little disagreement can be fun. Nobody will hate you for having a point of view, seriously!
- Allocate more time to the things you want to do; be honest with yourself. If you want to go to a club your friends hate, find someone new you can go with or do it alone. It’s worth it.
- Only weak men backtrack on their own words to avoid disagreement. Once you’ve said something, that’s that: don’t disrespect yourself by going back on what you said. If you were wrong, just admit it and move on.
- This is a big one: if you like a girl, don’t tell her you don’t. There’s nothing wrong about wanting a woman: it’s natural. Act like you just want to be friends and she’ll throw you into the Friend Zone.
- Being honest doesn’t mean saying everything you think: sometimes, it’s better to say nothing. If you feel uncomfortable about saying the truth, you can always explain yourself and change topics.