“Can I be honest with you?” I always wonder when people start a conversation with that phrase if that means they are not honest all the time? I was brought up to tell the truth even if it meant I would get into trouble. I was taught that honesty is the best policy. I learned to be honest because then you do not have to work so hard to remember what you lied about. So why would we need to ask if we can be honest?
I once had someone tell me that they had not lied, the simply left out the things they thought did not need to be shared. Lying is not just about commission it is also about omission. Telling the truth means the whole truth no matter the twists and turns it might take. There are not versions of the truth or sections to leave out, tell the whole thing and be adult enough to deal with the consequences.
Honesty is such a lonely word…how true, how sad, how shocking when you find out that someone is no longer telling you the truth. How very deep it cuts when you find out that you have been lied to more than once. How disappointed we are in ourselves when we lie and the other person realizes their trust has been betrayed.
There are enough terrible things happening in this world – terrorism, rioting, hunger, crime, cancer, death – why add more pain by not being honest? That means we have to be honest with ourselves, our families, our colleagues and anyone who is in our life. A true friend tells you the truth even when it hurts you both. When we are honest we have a clear path forward, we know the facts and can deal accordingly. Life is too short to have to ask if you can be honest, just be honest…it’s what people need from you.