Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Rules Of Living: Honesty

Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you.

So sang Billy Joel. He was referring to truth within a relationship. Honesty has various facets and they are all important in our dealings with both our self and others.

1) Not taking what doesn't belong to us. That can mean stealing items, ideas or intellectual property, time from an employer or credit due to someone else.

2) Telling the truth. No one likes being lied to. Sometimes the consequences of owning up to something can be painful, but better in the long run to be honest. Creating a wrong impression by omission of detail or using misleading language is not being truthful, but rather cunning.

3) Be honest with one's self. People can 'self deceive' into thinking what they are comfortable with. Being totally frank with ourselves can be a difficult thing to do. Some of this can be about past issues we have never resolved (professional help may be required to get past this one). For others, pride gets in the way. What I have found is that self deception can hold us back from personal improvement.

4) We can be too honest. If we lack tact or cannot be trusted with confidential information, then a strength has become a weakness. Being brutally honest should be a last resort, not a first port of call. Also, telling what is not necessary - or kind to reveal - shows lack of common sense, a desire to hurt others or wrongly thinking it makes us look good.

As we can see honesty has many aspects. These are some that came to my mind, and you may be able to think of others. When used properly, honesty gains us the respect of others as well as self respect. The latter one is especially important.

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