Honesty is a tough nut to crack. You have to not only be honest with yourself but with those you care about and those that barely know you. There are many levels of honesty that can have a real impact on relationships and how we engage with the world when they aren’t handled properly.
Over the last few years, I’ve been striving to be more and more honest. That doesn’t mean I’m going around and spouting out rude comments and harsh words wherever I see them. That’s when honesty can go vastly wrong. You can be honest without being brutally honest. Being more honest is hard in a world that invariably tries to get us to be less honest; by wearing make-up to hide ‘flaws’, to be another version of ourselves on social media and to basically not say what we probably should be saying because it ‘makes things easier’. It doesn’t.
Start at the Beginning
The best way to start being honest for the better is by being honest with yourself. Why are you lying to yourself? How could you be more honest to yourself and what good would it would do? It can be a small thing like stopping telling yourself you only had a small lunch so you can have the whole fucking bar of chocolate to bigger stuff like am i really happy with my job/where I live/life? It sounds scary and like it might spiral down a pit of despair but you can’t knock honesty and the best way to approach it is to not just call yourself out on the bullshit but to do something about it.
Make a list
How can you change yourself for the better?
This list might change and evolve as you go on and that’s a good thing because goals always shift as a plan unfolds. Lists can order your thoughts and make the scary things easier to deal with. When there is chaos around you; step back and make a little order. You can make honest changes but you have to know where you’re starting off before you can go forward.
Be honest with those around you and see what happens. The world won’t end if you word it correctly and pick the right moment. I was once told about a theory called “The Shit Sandwich” idea when you’re critiquing. You present them with some good, then the shit, followed by another positive. People are more willing to hear the bad if it’s wrapped up in some good. Don’t just hurl out negatives with offering up some positives. No one likes to be rained on without being offered a warm, fluffy towel to dry themselves off with afterwards.
Embrace Honesty when you see it
Being more honest in my life has made me more open-minded about hearing honesty from others and I’ve also found real joy at embracing honesty when i see it in other forms. Blogs, books, films, music. Doesn’t matter the medium; honest is honest. One excellent example is my newly-found obsession with Deacon Blue. A fab band that turns 30 this year and their latest album, Believers, is a treat for the ears. The lyrics are, at times, brutally honest but the music makes it digestible in a way that ordinary words find difficult. Well worth checking out.
Take a step back and question the words you use, how you use them and the words around you. Not everyone will be honest but, if you can see it happening, you can understand the best reaction is pure honesty. It’ll throw people off course when you’re honest and might feel strange at first but the relief at not being a Fake You is pure bliss.