"Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone - and hurt them to the bone - you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time." ~ Dave Van Ronk

Honesty may be one of the most misunderstood values we humans hold dear. 

While an outright lie or deceitfulness is certainly no way to live (and may even wind you up in jail), all too often you use honesty to avoid the hard work of handling a difficult situation with finesse and intelligence. 

"I'm just being honest!" is said after a person is obviously hurt by a blunt and unedited comment. 

And this response always holds a double-edge sword... it hurts the person AND allows the sender to feel like a good person all in one comment. 

Pretty tempting.

Usually these "honesty at all times no matter what" types are angry and judgemental people who have been taught that they can play judge and jury with full permission by simply labelling their lack of social and personal awareness as "honesty." 

And many stand before them, stunned and hurt, scratching their heads wondering what is wrong with them that they are not receptive to this "honesty" stuff that is supposed to be so hard to come by.

The social reality is that our lower, base, and (usually) private thoughts should be kept in a safe place... our own minds or shared with a therapist, who is trianed to handle this stuff. 

People must learn that telling social "white lies" and therefore editing their ugly and unkind thoughts is a necessary component to our socialization. 

And as an added bonus... it keeps people from slugging each other.

How often do you think you tell a lie or at least a half-truth on a daily basis? 

Twice a day? 

Five times a day? 


I will say a lot more times that.

Answer these questions as you normally would... then answer them HONESTLY.

  • How are you today?
  • Did you have a nice weekend?
  • Don't you just love being a parent?
  • Would you like to go to my church with me? We are having a pot luck for new members.
  • What do you think of my hair? My kids think it makes me look old.
  • Would you read this over and get back to me ASAP?
  • Would it be all right if I shared your office today?
  • Do I talk too loud on the phone?
  • Do you think I am too blunt?
And so it goes. 

We lie all day. 

The first time my son said...

"That lady is fat!" at the ripe old age of three, I immediately taught him that the right thing to do was to lie (or at least to withhold his true feelings and perceptions until we got into the car). 

And do not even get me started on the Santa issue.

So we lie and we avoid and we squirm to avoid this thing called honesty. 

People who do not filter their every thought will find themselves in a much bigger dilemma than someone who tells the socially acceptable lie. 

It is really a matter or which you hold as the HIGHER VALUE.

Honesty or Authentic Empathy... in other words EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE!

Yet cannot these two traits- values live in harmony? 


Honesty CAN be kind. 

And it is rare person that can put these two together. 

More often honesty is just a way to judge someone for not being like you, thinking like you, acting like you. 

What you are saying is.. 

"If you were more like me, I would not judge you... and you are like YOU and I do not like it." 

So often, we will not (or cannot) take the extra effort to find the words within us to show the compassion that will help someone progress in a way that does not insult their current choices. 

It can be done, and there is a deep work involved in creating statements that reflect kindness and empathy. 

"Kindness and honesty can only be expected from the strong," said Mother Theresa.

Most of us just are not there yet.

As a P.S. Scientific research has shown that on average most of us will tell a "lie" at least 18 times within one hour.

It is part of our "survival mechanism."

And as a "side read," an article I have written for one of my other websites...

May You Enjoy a Beautiful day.

Ange Fonce