Home » Society: Norms & Expectations » When is Honesty The Best Policy???

When is Honesty The Best Policy???


This is a strange question to ask and you might be thinking; ‘we all know in our hearts and minds what honesty is and how to apply it carefully to any given situation’, but maybe that in itself is being dishonest?

Shouldn’t we be completely open, never holding back, let it all go for all to see all of the time??? Isn’t that the way not to deceive people??

Or, is a direct question then deserved of a direct answer; then we can and will tell the truth??

Are we naturally more honest in some situations and experiences than we are in others, for example; you tell a few lies on the internet as no one knows you really??

I have been considering honesty, the truth or telling people all they need or want to know without holding back. This isn’t the first time I have written about the truth and what it can signify: You Can’t Handle The Truth

So, is learning the truth an epiphany moment or highly detrimental to any human’s ego, idea of themselves, their life and God knows what else??? Is it cruel or kind to be honest, really honest?

I am an advocate of speaking my mind, and can say in my personal life I do when I see it is necessary, but I also think something’s aren’t for me to comment on, and aren’t for to ask or question. Yet, if I am asked a question or for my opinion I give my reply as honestly and openly as I am able to.

Like this blog I write. I have been discussing this very topic with a few people, in fact a couple of people who write on WP. Now, I choose not to be 100% all out there, you won’t get a full picture of me from my writing on here. Why? Well not because I plan to deceive, but because I wish to leave something of myself to myself, a part of me has to stay with me and not be given up to other people. Not everything is for the ‘whole’ world to see, well, not all of the time.

It isn’t anyone’s business unless they ask, or I divulge because I choose to. That for me is the premise of life; you give what you decide to and no more. I only write about what is relevant for me at any given moment, and only include what reflects that moment. I don’t see the need to mention myself perhaps, or indeed my private life and history, if it isn’t necessary. If others choose to do that, then that is their choice and I don’t judge.

Now this lack of complete honesty leads people to assume, but then I am not responsible for people’s assumptions.

As I have already mentioned, I am honest with those I feel inclined to be honest with; friends, family and those valued internet connections (you know who you are). I also appreciate other peoples honesty, but when honesty crosses the line into being cruel I then don’t think it has a place in society.

An example, well, an obvious one that I have asked and I am sure every woman along the way has (an assumption perhaps); ‘Does my bum look big in this’? At some stage in my life I wouldn’t have wanted to hear bluntly; ‘Yes, you look like an elephant stuffed into it’. I may have already thought that about my-self, so I needed to be reassured instead of told the complete harsh and cruel truth. We all need to be reassured sometimes, as self esteem is a fragile thing.

You see we all enjoy some lies, because truth can sometimes be soul destroying to hear or know.

Now to return to my blog; well to admit one thing I would be more candid about myself and my feelings if I didn’t have people I know reading this too. You see my plan was to remain anonymous, but that soon gave way when I invited family and friends to look at my work. You see even with them, and they are close to me, I am not 100% honest all of the time. We all conceal something of ourselves, because those aspects of us are sacred to us.

In fact there are only two people in the whole world I am comfortable being completely honest with. See, there I go again; I can’t help telling a little fib! We can’t ever 100% know anyone. We may know we are editing our words and feelings, but sometimes it is to shield others from the aspects of ourselves we can’t even admit.

So, if I suddenly became Jim Carrey’s character from ‘Liar Liar’ how would that help to free me? Would it help me?

What part of me would be left if I told everyone everything?

So, again how honest is honest and is honesty always the best policy in life?

Well I suppose it is up to the individual to decide. Who am I to make that call for anyone! Yet, when we speak the truth does anyone really want to hear the reply? I think we are not always ready to hear the truth, because again it can be painful, force us to re-evaluate what we believe we know and also prompt us to re-think. People as a species don’t tend to like that much, as we all like to think we are right, we are pursuing the right course, we have all the answers we need, we know people well enough.

Again, this might come as a shock, but to reiterate; we don’t know anyone 100% as that would be an impossible feat.

So, to all my readers, I am sorry to disappoint you, but you don’t know me either, well, you know a portion of who I am; but if I was the write about me and everything there is to know about me, you’d be bored. No-one wants to hear my every little detail, no-one really cares unless my details are appropriate in that moment, and not everyone could fully understand.

So, what is my honest opinion about honesty, well, ask me and I will tell you!

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38 thoughts on “When is Honesty The Best Policy???

  1. Pingback: Get Back to Honesty | Glynis J.Glynis J.

  2. There are times when the truth would hurt the feelings of or damage the marriage of someone. I would hold back anything that would unnecessarily hurt another person. Some things are just personal and I would not share with just anyone. Truth is paramount when it comes to safety, emotional health and trust. We all have to weight the facts of the situation and decide which way to go. There are ways around truth that would hurt someone without having to lie. Life is difficult, sigh…

    • Hi Barbara, thanks so much for your comment on this topic. I completely appreciate your input.
      It is safe to say truth certainly has it’s place and uses in everyone’s life. Fundamental, unavoidable and
      crucial. Sometimes it becomes difficult too.

      Thanks again, Bex 🙂

    • Hi Barbara, thanks so much for your comment on this topic. I completely appreciate your input.
      It is safe to say truth certainly has it’s place and uses in everyone’s life. Fundamental, unavoidable and
      crucial. Sometimes it becomes difficult too.

      Thanks again, Bex 🙂

  3. Honesty..is the best policy.
    Don’t be afraid, but be fair
    Honest people are rearely rude
    for they know honestly, what hurts
    and doesn’t, if they fool
    lies are deceptions that result in depression
    Honesty, is revolution , truth in action
    Actions can be sweet, happy and enjoyable
    try it with a little bit of good timing
    correct words, right people
    and give it away..alone or in public
    feel it as you say, honet opinions are rare 😉

  4. Oops … wrt what you said above:

    There’s only one person in the whole wide world whose opinion of you really matters. Guess who that is?

    (All else is ‘nice to have’. That one person’s opinion is definitely ‘need to have’.)

    • Tact is SO important. Like you said about giving the woman the answer to the “How do I look in these jeans?” question is pretty touchy. It’s important and kind to always think before we speak…and really, how do we know that our opinion is ‘truth’? Often, being honest is not the first thing that pops into our heads, but rather, it is our feelings. Whether those feelings are truthful, honest and tactful depends on our hearts condition. I think that makes sense to each of us.

      • Thanks for your comment on my post, I appreciate the contribution of your opinion.

        Yes, truth is merely opinion – opinions are individual, so who can say what is truth and lies. Only we in our hearts know our motives and reasoning. I like to think who I would feel in the situation, and treat people accordingly. I hope others would be the same too.

        Thanks again for your input,
        Bex 🙂

  5. Too often honesty triggers a defensive counter-attack. Things escalate and friendships can be lost, wars started.

    But if a simple untruth makes someone’s day and nobody is hurt, why not? How often have I said “Yes Dear” (okay, words to that effect)(being honest here, my favourite endearment is ‘Weird Wench’) in order to save a few hours before driving in to town? And (still being honest) she looks pretty good in anything—but don’t ever let her know I said that … that’s being just a bit too honest.

    • Yes indeed, honesty can be often taken the wrong way or spark troubles.

      I see nothing wrong in a simple untruth, everyone is ‘guilty’ of these at some point!

      I won’t tell on you, but maybe you should admit she looks good in whatever!!!!!!!!

      Bex 🙂

  6. this is a tough one i think. becasue sometimes being totally honest hurts people. i guess it depends on the situation. i try to be as honest as i can be. and i teach my eldest the same. i think the way we word the way we say things has a big impact aswell.

    • Yep, total honesty all the time could be dangerous, also exhausting!!! We are by nature, well, most of us – nice and want to save people’s feelings and prevent pain. Truth is varied depending on the situation too; and of course as you have rightly stated in your response – how we say things has huge impact. Truth can sometimes be meant to hurt not enlighten.

      Bex 🙂

  7. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » Lose Your Honour, Lose Yourself

  8. Pingback: You Want the Truth?! You Can’t HANDLE the Truth! « The Musings of Lady Gwendolynn

  9. You know I’ve heard this phrase my entire life and I know I don’t agree with it 100%. I grew up learning that trying to be honest all the time often hurt people or could very well hurt me too at times.

    Though my blog I write the same way, I write to share what is relevant and I try to be as honest as I can be. Sharing what experiences I can with my readers in the hopes it can help someone out there some where. I fib sometimes about who the “sources” of that information comes from though.

    But you are right, no one can know you 100% unless you were to tell at least one person everything about who you are, dirty little secrets included. I certainly don’t write everything about me on my blog, but I use just enough. As Alan Moore said, “Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” So I think lies have their place.

    By the way, I found your blog because I was writing a new topic about “Truth”. You might find it interesting. 😀

    • Hi Lady Gwendolynn! Many thanks for your considered input, and point of view on this topic. I appreciate you stopping by my blog, and choosing to follow me.
      Honesty is a tricky one, and often difficult to juggle. I feel no-one can be honest 100% of the time; if anyone insist on being that then they set themselves up for failure (and others too). As you mentioned, I wouldn’t want everyone to know everything (dirty secrets and all)! I think something has to be sacred, especially on a public blog.
      I like the Alan Moore quote; I concur!!!!
      Just had a quick look at your post, but I shall read your it fully, and leave a comment.
      Thanks again!
      Bex 🙂

  10. Pingback: Masquerade « tolufalae

  11. Pingback: Truth | Haven't We Done This Before?

  12. Pingback: Is Honesty Always The Best Policy? | Something More

  13. Hey Bex!

    I think you can be honest without telling spilling your entire soul to the world wide web, you know? Of course this is your blog so do what you wish! But maybe as a suggestion, write about what you feel you can be completely honest and forthcoming about, and maybe shy away from the things you would rather not disclose. Nobody is forcing you to spill the beans on all the inner workings of your mind, although I for one would be curious as to what they are 🙂

    Also, with the friends thing, I know what you mean, but also maybe consider this: Are these people really friends that if you wrote the truth about things they would not leave you or whatever? that wasnt phrased very well but i just mean if they are decent friends, they should be able to take the honesty!!

    Best!

    -Paul

    • Hey Paul,
      Thank you once more for your thoughtful response. I am grateful for your input!!
      Yes, I can be honest, but I remain guarded!! I suppose that is my nature, maybe being online does that to me too! I am careful what I say and to whom.
      I hope I am candid about what I write about, I do try to be. I only write about what I believe in, and have passion for. I do feel some topics would be good to cover, that I could relate to or relate my experience to, but still I won’t go there!
      I know what you mean about friends understanding; they should and accept regardless if they are truly friends. I agree! Yet, I still don’t necessarily want them to know it all!
      Again, I am quite cagey and private. Although, I will answer questions if asked of me! I don’t like to lie.
      Let me say if only more people were like you and just open to hear everything!!! I think you must be a rare breed to be interested in the inner workings of a mind, especially mine!!! I thank you for that though, it is a vote of confidence that I have something interesting to offer in spilling my soul!!!

      I hope the response isn’t too non-committal?!

      Take care, Bex 🙂

      • Haha Bex youre funny! RELAX! I know this is sometimes easier said then done. Just write what you feel compelled to write! What interests, or bugs you as your subtitle says. You are in charge of your own blog so dont feed into others expectations maybe? I wouldn’t worry about this, just do what feels right!

        -Paul

        • Yeah, I think the lack of sleep tends to make me a little highly strung! I know, I understand and see your point; I have felt pressure to fulfil an expectation. There was actually something that prompted me to feel I should say more. Long story! This has made me paranoid that I am not perhaps giving enough of myself, to clarify myself fully?! I think I am over it now, I do what suits me and I can’t please everyone!!!! You are right!

          Thank you!!
          Bex 🙂

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