– Why Honesty is NOT The Best Policy!
What sort of person wants to read thoughts on honesty? And why would my honesty thoughts influence yours? (I’d like you to honestly ask yourself that question). Or… or, you could just skip your honesty thoughts and hit the quotes about honesty, instead…
[Last updated: Aug, 2017 – post summary]
My Thoughts on Honesty: An Introduction
Disclaimer. This post came into being because I was interested in sharing several “quotes about honesty”, “quotes on honesty”, honesty definitions and honesty synonyms.
But I talk about the Inside-Out Understanding of the human experience (aka The 3 Principles behind life) these days, because these days that is how I see life.
So this post quickly morphed into a useful honesty essay, instead (why honesty matters, and why most people aren’t as honest as they’d like to be – including me). And, it’ll finish with an honesty quote by William Shakespeare, no less… (Would I lie to you?)
Yes, there’ll be several honesty quotations, too – hand-picked to make my point. (Ahem!)
(And, elsewhere – because of this post – I share more thoughts about feelings.)
My Surprising Thoughts On Honesty, Then…
Firstly, for those of you that don’t know me, I am far, far, far too honest for my own good. My Mum’s told me this “Steve, you’re too honest for your own good!”, women I’m trying to date have told me this, I’ve even told this to myself (on several occasions).
“Stop being so honest!”
I know, I’m sorry, I just can’t help it.
Yes, still, honesty is my best policy. It seems.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here, what do I mean about honesty?
What Does Honesty Mean?
Well, the obvious honesty definition is to tell the truth, to not lie.
- Don’t lie,
- Don’t withhold,
- Don’t be evasive, etc.
This is a simple – gotcha! – definition of honesty that politicians, celebrities and even ‘real-life’ folk fall foul of, day after day after day.
Whilst I’m usually a fan of simple, this is not one of those times where ‘simple’ works…
My new honesty definition, then, a la my Inside-Out understanding :
- Be yourself
- Be true to yourself
- Let go of wanting to control
Honestly, if you’re being honest then you’re not going out of your way to be polite, and you are definitely not a politician (being expedient with the truth), and you are resisting society’s confused, and serving no-one, tendency to ‘political correctness’.
And, so, my new definition of dishonesty goes a little something like this:
- Dishonesty is pretending – not telling it like it is; dishonesty is giving a false impression; dishonesty is not being completely open, honest and vulnerable. (Wow!)
Dishonesty is wanting to control the outcome of a situation. (Yes, really it is.)
Can you see how honesty could never be the best policy in a world that believes it has to control what happens next? (Can you also see how I might think it’s okay to be honest, and how it’s also okay to be dishonest, too – that we’re all just doing the best we can, in any moment?)
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More Thoughts On Honesty: Why Honesty Is Not The Best Policy
Well, okay, honesty IS the best policy. But only for the reasons I state above – the reasons of living life as it is meant to be lived (as if we are okay with everything that happens to us – and, y’know, this way of being in the world is not as impossible as you think it might be (find out for yourself?) ).
For everyone else, though, honesty is NOT the best policy for this very simple reasson:
- You can NEVER tell what someone is going to ‘make’ of your honesty
Repeat: you can never tell what someone is going to make of your openness, your vulnerability, your honesty.
As a control mechanism, honesty sucks.
(And we live in an Outside In prevailing paradigm where wanting to control is pandemic. Those that have no control yearn for it. Those that exercise great deals of control want to hold onto it. We try and control via money, sex, humour… yes, even witty words are often put here to ‘influence’.)
Honesty doesn’t serve ‘the control agenda’ unless you can “spin it” accordingly.
And maybe that’s what I’m doing right now, hmmm. Or, maybe I’ve finally decided to share my thoughts on honesty: talk about one of my strong points. (Assuming before, mistakenly, that it’s everyone else’s strong point, too, when it plainly ain’t.)
How I Am Honest, Then. (Why I’m Writing This Honesty Piece.)
Hmm, well I am the most ‘transparent’ person I know.
- I record videos where I share my innermost thoughts (and my reaction to them)
Steve's Inside Out Understanding of Himself (TMFI?)
- I write blog posts about my best date ever (that didn’t end well, for me).
- And I tell prospective clients how many existing clients I have, how much I’ve charged them, and how good I think I am as a coach. (Sometimes, anyway.)
I could go on, but won’t. I am honest (like this) because it just makes sense to be like this.
Even though there are much, much easier paths to take.
I Am Not Always Honest, Though (Neither Are You)
So I’m a big fan of honesty, I really am. “Too honest” could be my middle name, it really could (just ask anyone who really knows me). But to misquote the wonderful Maya Angelou, “Still, I lie”.
- I have lied (several times) to lovers and girlfriends
- I can think of several distinct times I outright told a lie
- I have ‘honestly’ not shared all I know about a subject because… ‘they never asked’. Etc.
I know how to lie. I know how to share as much of the truth of a situation to make that lie work. (I would never lie here, though.)
Why have I lied, then, when I’m such an honest, upstanding man? (Hah!)
Well… because I forgot I was unstoppable, that I was OKAY, okay with whatever comes my way – forgot that there was no need to want to control life, no need at all. (Well I forgot, or nobody ever bloody told me.)
And, honestly, I’ll probably lie again. And again. But that’s okay. Because making mistakes – forgetting Who I Am – is all part of the game of life.
And Finally – Some Quotes About Honesty
Finally, the bit you all wanted to read – the quotes on honesty you can cite to that ‘nasty’ friend of yours who’s always telling fibs.
Always tell the Truth. That way, you don’t have to remember what you said.
– Mark Twain
The Truth needs no rehearsal.
– Barbara Kingsolver
Every lie has a consequence…..you cannot escape that.
– Gary King
Every truth has a consequence, too. You cannot escape that, either.
It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.
– Noël Coward
Honestly, I can’t tell you to be more honest. I can’t insist that this is the higher consciousness way, I just can’t. I can just tell you that, for the most part, honesty is my way (see how I lie, above). And, as I am dishonest to the outside world, I am dishonest to my inside world (as are you).
If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.
– Virginia Woolf
And, saving the last quote on honesty to the end, words by William Shakespeare, no less, that might ‘justify’ my journey:
No legacy is so rich as Honesty
– William Shakespeare
- Do you disagree with my thoughts on honesty – let’s talk!