Honesty is important. That’s a given, right?
Not everyone seems to think so. Lies, deception, and the concealment of truth are commonplace.
But when you actually start to examine the case for honesty, you realize that it’s a far better option than the alternative.
So, here are 12 good reasons why the value of honesty is beyond measure.
1. It underpins trust in a relationship.
Whether you’re dealing with a partner, a friend, a family member, or a colleague, when you are honest with that person, they have a reason to trust you.
If they know that you are a person of honesty and integrity, they won’t need to question what you have to say or look for the underlying motives behind your actions.
They know that you are a straight up kind of person who says what they mean and does what they say.
Compare that to the opposite approach of untruths and half truths which erode trust away, either little by little or all at once.
2. It is easier to understand.
When you are clear in what you truly think or believe, there is no grey area for confusion to grow in.
The other person doesn’t have to second guess what you really mean.
And with clarity comes a better understanding of your expectations of them, should you have any.
They know what you would actually like them to do rather than trying to infer this from the mixed messages you may give when you aren’t being totally honest.
3. You are more likely to get what you want.
The previous point about clarity means that you are more likely to get the end result you are hoping for.
Oftentimes, we conceal our true desires or preferences behind the curtain of “sure” and “fine” and “okay” rather than speak our truth.
But when we are completely honest with ourselves and others, we encourage the right actions that lead to what we want.
When we speak up, the other person is more likely to listen. You may not get your way every time because compromises must often be made, but at least you’ll get your way sometimes or a middle ground will be reached that suits you both.
And being honest is not in any way manipulating people into doing what you want. It’s the complete opposite – it is being transparent and open so that others can take your views and feelings into consideration.
4. It makes space for others to be vulnerable.
Speaking of being open, the great thing about being honest is that it encourages others to be honest too.
And in terms of relationships with other people, openness gives rise to vulnerability and vulnerability gives rise to genuine connection.
Honesty is attractive in that sense because it allows the other person to drop the mask that they may feel they need to wear in life. They are free to be who they are in the knowledge that honesty is rewarded in your company.
5. It shows respect.
When we are honest with someone, we are respecting the fact that they deserve to know the truth.
Not only that, we are respecting the fact that they can handle the truth and don’t need to be told lies just because the truth may be difficult to hear.
Consider the alternative which is to deceive or conceal things from others. That is the very opposite of respect. It communicates that you think you know best what the other person ought to hear, when that’s not your place to say.
6. It almost always leads to the best outcomes in the long run.
Having just mentioned a person’s ability to handle the truth, it is worth pointing out that honesty is not always an easy thing to hear.
It can be difficult to listen to your partner who is telling you that they don’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore. Or a friend who says they think you need professional help for a drinking problem.
Sometimes we lie to ourselves so that we don’t have to face the harsh reality of our situation, and someone else being honest with us can reveal important things we need to address.
Whilst this can sting at the time, it can put us on a different path to someplace better than where we’re currently headed, whether that be a healthier relationship or getting sober.
7. It is simple.
Telling the truth is simple. There is no need to remember what you lied about and to whom. You can be confident that you have said what was true (at least, from your perspective) in the moment you said it.
Now, don’t confuse simple with easy. Being honest is not always easy. In fact, it can often be difficult and uncomfortable when you are telling someone something they might not want to hear.
But because there is no ambiguity in your message, there is little confusion when receiving it. And that makes things much simpler in the long run.
8. It is better for your mental health / inner peace.
Lying doesn’t come easily for most people. When you deceive others, it can feel like you are going against your values or who you want to be as a person.
Not only that, but as soon as you lie, you will live with the fear of that lie being discovered. That’s a mentally exhausting thing.
Honesty, though not always easy, doesn’t carry such burdens. Of course, you may feel slightly bad if you have to tell someone an uncomfortable truth, but that won’t last long.
Being honest means you can rest easy knowing that you have been true to yourself and done what you thought was best in a given situation. And authenticity is a great way to live.
9. It is good for your self-esteem.
Continuing on the mental health benefits of honesty, it helps to make you feel good about yourself.
Your self-esteem is essentially how much you like yourself as a person, and when you are honest, it is a lot easier to like yourself.
Not only that, but when you realize that people like you for who you are and for the honesty you bring, rather than a mask you put on in front of others, it’s empowering.
You can be you, be honest, and still be liked. Maybe not by everyone, but by enough people who matter.
10. It is a demonstration of your character.
There are many other personality traits other than honesty, but positive traits tend to occur together as part of a good character.
When you are honest, it will communicate that you are most likely kind, compassionate, hard working, and reliable.
Consider a liar, on the other hand. They might be tainted with the brush of someone who would cheat or steal or manipulate. Not traits you want to be associated with.
11. It is hard to challenge.
When you aren’t entirely honest with others in what you want, it allows them to challenge you and try to persuade you to their way of thinking.
But when you are honest with someone, they will find it difficult to find the weakness in what you are saying.
For example, if someone asks if you’d like to do something with them and you don’t want to, it is better to state that with crystal clarity rather than say, “Maybe another time.”
Because if your answer isn’t clear, the other person will probably try to twist your arm into doing the thing that you don’t want to do
12. It keeps toxic people away.
Some people live in the shadows of misdirection, concealment, coercion, and outright lies.
Those sorts of people find it hard to ply their toxic trade with those who are honest with themselves and honest with others.
Deception and honesty do not exist well together in the same space, so if you are honest, toxic people are more likely to look elsewhere to get what they want.
You may also like:
- 8 Ways Lying Is Poisonous To Relationships
- How To Stop Lying In 6 No Nonsense Steps!
- 11 Things Only Truly Honest People Understand About Life
- Why Integrity Is So Important In Life (+ How To Show Yours)
- 4 Reasons Why Keeping Secrets In A Relationship Will Come Back To Haunt You
- Why Lying By Omission Is Just As Hurtful And Damaging To Relationships
- Telling White Lies: When It IS And When It ISN’T Okay
- 4 Signs You’re Lying To Yourself (+ 6 Ways To Stop It)