People manifest dishonesty more often than honesty
Honesty, considered the best policy, can be a challenging attribute to follow consistently. On the other hand, dishonesty is picked up automatically in childhood. Dishonesty manifests in several situations such as:
• Shifting the blame on other people.
• Pretending that we’re perfect people.
• Distracting other people by making false statements.
• Avoiding embarrassment by not revealing the truth.
• Avoiding work or responsibility.
• Minimizing conflict.
To be honest, recognize past dishonesty
Acknowledge all your past dishonest deeds if you’re serious about becoming honest. Reviewing your past misdeeds can give rise to feelings of guilt and discomfort. The best ways to minimize these feelings is to write them down in your diary and avoid revealing the entries to anyone. If possible, admit your past acts of dishonesty to your close friends and come clean. Nevertheless, come clean only if you don’t anticipate any serious damage to your reputation. Otherwise, it’s wiser to continue keeping your prior misdeeds a secret.
Make a list of all your weak areas
Write down potential weaknesses, such as, a tendency of coming up with weird excuses for not meeting deadlines or a complex problem like kleptomania. You can conquer your weaknesses only by striving sincerely to defeat them. They’re not going to disappear on their own.
Face your dishonesty head-on. Understand that your dishonesty stems from fear. Deal with each one of your problems by constantly battling with your undesirable habits. If you’re a habitual liar because you fear disapproval, then you need to learn how to be yourself. Additionally, you should cease being a people pleaser. Admitting your errors empowers you to forgive yourself. Use these positive experiences to strengthen your determination to improve. Anything that you choose to ignore can’t be fixed.
Start thinking honestly
In a world saturated with dishonesty, this suggestion definitely seems absurd and silly. Besides, preconceived ideas and extreme prejudices often blur the truth. However, you should begin thinking and acting honestly in your daily activities. Start by being honest in all your communications with people. Avoid lying or employing half-truths to gain sympathy or favor.
Be tactful and diplomatic
If you’re honest all the time, you’ll end up souring friendships and hurting people’s feelings. Honesty can be wrongly interpreted as lack of support or criticism. A “white lie” is an exceedingly tempting proposition. This is especially true when you’re dealing with young children. Yet, under these tricky circumstances, you should try to be creative in expressing the truth.
Find the right balance between privacy and full disclosure
You don’t need to reveal all your — or somebody else’s — business secrets to everyone. During your conversations, you should only disclose the information that’s absolutely necessary or information that a person is entitled to know. At times, withholding information you know amounts to lying. Hence, it’s important that you find the right balance between privacy and full disclosure.
Determining what a person should be told or not told is an entirely personal decision. Usually, this decision is made on the spur of the moment as the conversation develops. Sometimes, it’s better not to reveal certain facts to some people. Similarly, there are times when it’s advisable to divulge certain facts. In such sensitive situations, for your own welfare and safety, you should follow your gut feeling.
Honesty makes you vulnerable
When you divulge your mistakes and weaknesses, you become vulnerable. At times, truth hurts bitterly. Notwithstanding, honesty builds character, develops credibility, and strengthens trust. All these attributes enhance your relationship with other people and improve your self-esteem substantially.
Therefore, being honest isn’t just a goal — it’s a destination. It’s an unfinished process that not only poses a challenge, but also benefits you all through your life.