Honesty: The best policy
"There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness."
We learn at a young age that honesty is the best policy. It makes sense. I'm not referring to spoiling Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy for kids. I am referring to the ability for us to be truthful with each other and ourselves. We may even think that lying to spare someone's feelings is the right thing to do, until it backfires on us for one reason or another. Maybe we don't want to come off as cruel or unsupportive, but we may end up causing more harm than good in the long run. Although, there is a difference between being honest with someone and just being a big jerk!
I was a liar in my youth. I own that label. I lied to please people and get my way. I lied to make myself look good and others look bad. It was my worst quality, besides being a major asshole at times. I feel like part of me wanted to create my own narrative to make myself feel better. I also feel like lying inflated my sense of self-worth and painted a false picture of me since I did not care about facts. I made up my own. Looking back, I realize how damaging it was to my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.
I would lie to myself about my mental health and think there is nothing wrong with me. However, a small part of me knew I was not doing myself any favors by avoiding treatment and pretending everything was ok. I would also lie to others to spare their feelings, even though a dose of honesty could have helped much more. Conversely, I would also be very blunt with people, but it lacked tact. That's when my asshole side would show up. I have learned to use more grace in my honesty, but I can't prevent people from being offended or upset by the truth. Now, it's much easier to be honest with myself and others.
I found when I ignore the facts, all I am really doing is kidding myself and others by living in a false reality. I am grateful to have reached a point in my life where I take pride in being honest and open with myself and everyone I interact with. It's so freeing to not have to hide from the truth. I embrace honesty, even the messiness the truth sometimes exposes. I sleep easier. I don't have to remember who I lied to. People respect me for being honest with them. I take better care of myself. It feels good being honest and I truly believe it's the best policy. How has your ability to be more honest with yourself and others evolved over time?