You want to implement radical honesty because you think it can make you happier. First of all, you need to define precisely the contours of honesty at the risk of falling into pitfalls you hadn’t anticipated.
Honesty is a skill
Honesty can be learned the way you learn to code. If you don’t make a conscious choice to be more honest, you won’t succeed in changing your condition because human nature tends to be a bit permissive. Without caution, you will find yourself tolerating lies and cover-ups in your words and actions.
Honesty is about intention
Honesty is not about throwing your truth in someone’s face. If you do that, you’ll just be a person looking to vent. Honesty must be mixed with intention. You may not like someone, but you don’t want to hurt them. Your honesty will be at the crossroads of what you really think of that person and the benevolent intention that drives you. Honesty is not just about the intellect, it is also about the heart and soul. You can only say that you feel for someone by taking into account these three dimensions.
Honesty is necessary to be happy
If you can’t be happy, ask yourself if honesty is part of your life. You may be unhappy because you are neglecting something deep inside you. Suppressing your emotions and feelings is contrary to happiness. To be honest is to be one with yourself, to be totally coherent and not to be divided. When you are divided you lose the concentration necessary for peace and inner tranquility.
To find peace you have to look for it
If you are dissatisfied because you do not feel at peace, it is because you have not allowed enough time for this peace to settle within you. Peace comes from introspection, from the willingness to face things that bother us. Peace is the result of mastering your mind and understanding your feelings. Running away from what we really feel prevents us from stabilizing our mental state because it creates a conflict between the various dimensions of our being.
To want to change is to find patterns
To be able to change, we must find a model that we can emulate. To find the change, we must look for it. When something goes wrong, we naturally start looking for a solution. The problem is that we sometimes look in the wrong place (alcohol, organ etc.)
Honesty is expensive, but it pays off
Telling the truth has a cost, you will most likely lose opportunities to get rich or take advantage of an opportunity in the short term. However, in the long run, you will gain the trust of the people around you and that is far more valuable than unfairly acquired gains. Honesty is essential to building lasting relationships with people. If you allow lies to creep into your relationships, you will build an invisible wall between you and the rest of the world. In order to successfully connect with others, you’ll need to bare your soul and be willing to share your vulnerability.
Honesty is a habit
Everything we are is the result of our habits. If you want to change a behavior, you’ll have to change it little by little. If you have a habit of lying, you will not be able to become a person of integrity and trustworthiness overnight unless you undergo divine intervention.
Making the conscious choice to tell the truth in such a way that it becomes our nature is both courageous and difficult, especially if we have become accustomed to hiding things. Think of lying as going downhill; telling the truth is going up the mountain. You will have to show the height you have lost. You will not be able to find shortcuts.
Honesty needs to be tested
Being honest is a bit of an obstacle course. There are a thousand opportunities to be honest every day. Sometimes we avoid being honest to avoid conflict or to avoid facing our responsibilities. If you want to become more honest, you have to get used to the discomfort of it and the humility to accept it. Not hiding requires a certain amount of introspection that most of us are not ready to swallow. We prefer to live under the illusion rather than face reality. It is more comfortable to live a lie than to face a bitter reality.
Sugar and bitterness
No matter how much we want to be true to ourselves, we often prefer a sweet lie to a bitter reality.
There is good in bad and bad in good
Reality is not binary, there is always something good to come out of the bad and vice versa. There may be some truth in some lies and some truth in the lie.
Beware of those who talk about honesty
We will tend to talk about what we lack or seek. Not believing people at first glance is necessary if you want to avoid manipulation.
If you have a bad conscience sometimes, you are on the right track
The problem with this mode is that intelligent people are full of doubt and those who are less intelligent are full of confidence.
In this quote, the word intelligent could have been replaced by the word “honest”. If you feel remorse or scruples, it means that your soul is not totally corrupted. So that’s a good thing. Wanting to always feel good about yourself despite what you do can lead you to act in an unethical way. Conversely, reflecting on your actions and judging yourself in an effort of extrospection is life-saving for you and the rest of the people. If you question yourself often, you are most likely taking the path of honesty.
To please others, you must first please yourself
If you want to be happy in a sustainable way, you have to make sure that what you do makes you proud. You can’t be happy and ashamed at the same time, these are two contradictory feelings. Similarly, you can’t please others if you don’t like yourself. The best way to please yourself is to act nobly and what better way to achieve this than to speak and act honestly?