- Others Know Where you Stand and Where They Stand with You, Credibility: Being honest in every situation helps for you to build credibility. When you have credibility people feel more at ease with being around you and with what you say. You don’t have to explain yourself, they just know that if you say “it’s ok” then that is what you mean.
- Never Have to Look Back, There is Freedom in Truth: When you tell the truth you never have to trace your steps back and wonder “did I say that”? You just know, if it isn’t the truth, I didn’t say it, and if it is the truth, it’s possible I said it. There is freedom in being able to live without wonder of who you told what to.
- It’s More Simple: Being honest is about as simple as it gets. There isn’t any “what should I say” or “what story should I tell”. You just tell the truth. If you don’t want to share, you just say I don’t want to share. It’s that simple. No guessing games, no creativity needed. Just raw honesty.
- You Never Have to Wonder if People Really Love You for You, Confidence: Being honest helps to build confidence because you end up realizing that people love you for who you are. AND if they don’t you begin to not worry too much about it because there is nothing more you can do but be the best you that you can be. If you are a honest then you know they know you, and they know they know you. Everyone is on the same page and any amount of approval or disapproval is real and is valuable.
- Caring is Being Honest: People who really care and choose to encourage and build people around them up are honest. First of all, you can’t trust someone who isn’t honest with you so how are they supposed to value anything you say or do if they can’t trust you? Second, you are only doing people a disservice if you are not honest with them about certain things in their life. People that care about others help them by being real, and by helping them to confront things that shouldn’t be brushed under the rug.
Things to note-
- Don’t Over Share: When we talk about being honest it is important to keep in mind that there are times when you can be honest without saying everything. I am not referring to telling only half the truth, that is the same thing as lying. I am talking about telling the truth but doing it in a way that does not brutalize the person on the receiving end. For example, lets say your best friend and you are shopping and she tries on a dress that instantly adds 30 pounds. She asks you if you like it. You don’t say “No, that dress makes you look 30 pounds heavier”. What you might say is “You know I liked the first two that you tried on better and I think we can definitely find some others that flatter your figure really well”. Both of those statements are the truth, however one didn’t make your friend feel awful.
- Don’t Persecute Yourself: For those of you with an over active guilty conscience consider whether you should be sharing all that you are sharing. Throwing yourself under the bus for some people is way to “earn” forgiveness from people who ultimately weren’t involved and don’t need to know. Someone you just met doesn’t need to know about things you regret doing from 10 years back. Wait until there is a time when you know they need to know. If you feel bad about choices you have made in the past punishing yourself by throwing yourself under the bus does not solve that issue. I would recommend looking into that and sorting out why you feel that way.
- Assess Who You Are Being Honest For, What Motivates Your Honesty?: Sometimes people can have a tendency to “be honest” and share information that ultimately didn’t need to be said and was only said for their benefit. Before you say something in a moment of truth, consider who you are saying it for. For example, let’s say your husband just came home and he has had a rough day. He isn’t in a great mood. He doesn’t acknowledge the dinner you made, or the new hair color you had done, he doesn’t even ask how your day was. The honest truth is that you don’t like that very much, but why would you be saying that? Is that for you or for him? I’m not implying you let people walk all over you, but I am saying that if we take a moment before sharing all we might find that sometimes not saying anything is the best option. By the morning he will be back to his thoughtful loving self and you will have forgotten all about your “neglect” the night before. If you aren’t saying it out of love, don’t say it!