Is Honesty Really the Best Policy?

    August 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Honesty is the best policy; that’s what my grandmother says. That’s what a lot of old people say. But is it really true? Isn’t lying often a lot easier and, let’s be honest, often more beneficial to all parties involved? The answer to that two part question is yes and then no, and here are some reasons that you should be brutally fucking honest regardless of the consequences.

    Before we get into all the dopey reasons why telling the truth is the best option and the right thing to do, you should know that the consequences of being honest are pretty severe. Not only do people dislike honesty, but they will dislike you as a person for trying to adopt it into your life. To put it simply: you will be fucking despised just for telling the truth.

    What’s everyone’s problem? Aren’t you just trying to do the right thing? Maybe, but people don’t really care about that at the heart of things. People want to be placated, comforted, appeased. No one wants to hear the negative side of things, even if it is the truth. And many people aren’t all that interested in taking the hard road of self-improvement; instead, they would rather sit complacently inside the shitty little bubble of…well, shit, that they have created for themselves.

    Here’s an example. Your friend comes to you for advice; let’s call them Brungle. Brungle gets into a fight with his girlfriend over something that is sort of his fault. He’s a jealous guy and he’s overreacting. He’s clearly upset about what happened with his girlfriend. Do you listen to his problem, nod like one of those little wooden birds that is designed to stand precariously over a small glass of water, nodding forever, or do you break out the truth about his insecurities and hurt his feelings a little? The right thing to do would be to engage in the latter and tell him the truth about the situation as kindly as you can. You have to prepare, however, for backlash. Brungle may not want to hear about his shortcomings. He may not care to change them, and he may be upset enough already to turn his negative attention toward you after your gentle criticism.

    That doesn’t always happen. A lot of the time, a person will be pretty receptive to what you have to say and your relationship with them will only improve from that. But sensitive people, strangers and large crowds often balk at honesty, whether it’s talking about your opinion regarding a specific social situation or your thoughts on a large, controversial issue such as religion or politics.

    People are afraid of offending other people, but you should be more afraid of allowing yourself to live in a world of tiny lies all glued together to create some shitty beehive of dishonesty and convoluted relationships. Not only will you feel better and less burdened just by being honest, but those around you will respond in ways you never imagined. Sure, people will get upset and begin to distance themselves from you. But that will only make room for more genuine, honest, caring people who appreciate your transparency and want to keep people like you around at all costs. Because you’re hard to find. Liars are commonplace.

    So sit back, relax, and begin telling the truth to those around you. Just try it for a week and if you haven’t irreparably damaged your relationships with all the lying cowards around you, examine the week’s progress to decide if honesty is really for you. It’s a long, hard road that never ends, but the perks of being honest greatly outweigh the persecution and alienation it comes with. Just remember: Plato died for this shit.

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