January 20, 2017

Being Honest


There are lies everywhere. All around us. We are lied to constantly. Our politicians lie to us. Our media lies. Marketing is nothing but half-truths and lies. That lipstick will not make you the life of the party and that protein powder will not make you ripped and shredded at the beach. Even our breakfast cereals make promises that are mostly unkept. Friends and family too often don't tell us the whole story. Sometimes, we're not even honest with ourselves. 

That's why I like honesty.

It's unexpected. It catches people completely off guard. Knocks them back on their heels and throws them off balance. It catches them by surprise. Half of the time, people aren't even sure what to do with it. They were expecting dodges and excuses. They can't quite process it at first because they're not used to hearing complete, unvarnished, truth. 

I find when confronted with a hard question, accusation, condemnation, or embarrassment, the truth is the quickest way to diffuse it... 

"Yes, I broke your favorite lamp."

"Yep, I ate the last of the cookies."

"Yes, I was flirting with the server who took our order."

"Yep. I did that. I regret it. I was wrong. I'm sorry. How can I make it right?"

There may still be anger. There may still be hurt feelings. But unlike shouting, denial, fighting, and frustration, there will be an open door. A way out. A way forward. I will have opened that door and now, it is my accuser's choice to either stay angry, leave, or walk through that door to reconciliation. They have to choose what, exactly, they want to continue fighting for. For being right? I just told them they were. For being vindicated? There it is. For being happy again? Well, I just offered to fight that fight right along side them. 

Honesty gives each party power. Power to fix it. Power to choose the next action with all of the available information out in the open.

Lies take so much work, too. You often have to tell other lies to support them. You have to defend them. You have make excuses for them. It's so much easier just to tell the truth and be honest. The truth just is. Honesty speaks for itself.

Be honest. It's the best policy.

Sincerely, me.