The Price of Honesty: Are We Prepared to Pay?
For many of us, it is important that the people around us are honest. We want to be able to trust what we hear. Conversely, when we are around people that we don't think are honest it can have a big effect on us. However, are we really ready to pay the price of honesty?
We say we want honesty…
To live in a world where people are honest with each other is an ideal that many people aspire to. They have been betrayed, lied to and misled at times in their life and this often causes great pain and damage. It also causes the erosion of trust so that it is harder to trust people in the future.
For many people, this is the greatest loss they suffer through the dishonesty of others – their ability to trust others.
… yet we find our own honesty hard
The first consequence of living in a world where people are honest with each other is a requirement for us to also be scrupulously honest. This is a hard standard hold yourself to. This means no more gilding the lily, little white lies or protecting people from the truth. It means saying what is true even when it's hard and even when it only makes things worse (it is not, however, a license to always give your opinion. Truth and opinion are not the same).
We need to be brave to hear the unvarnished truth …
The second consequence of living honestly is being brave enough to hear the truth. This means opening ourselves up and being resilient. Only when others see that we can bear honesty can we expect to hear it from them.
… and determined enough to seek it
The third consequence of living honestly is being brave enough to seek the truth. When we start to seek the truth, we don't know what we will find but we must be prepared for anything. We may be less comfortable with the truth than we are with the lie but at least the truth gives us something to work with.
Therapy is a close encounter with the truth
Starting a process of psychotherapy is starting the process of being truthful about yourself; of seeing yourself as you really are, of responding to what your real needs are, and of seeking the truth in others. It's not easy, but it has the potential to be immensely rewarding. The price of honesty is high, but so are the rewards.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Now read about four practical ways to help someone grieve.
– Tim Hill
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