Why is it so hard to be honest?

Where I grew up, honesty was prized above all else. Your word was your bond; if you made a promise, you kept it. You followed through with the things you said you’d do. You told the truth, even when it hurt. Lies were despicable, the most shameful thing you could possibly do (aside from breaking one of the Ten Commandments). I grew up in a home where if someone asked you a question, you told it straight.

I find myself increasingly disgruntled with society. Proprietors string me along with promises to call me back or hire me next week that they never keep. People who claim they are really close friends never call or write. Others say one thing when they mean entirely another (and then get angry because I don’t “get it.”) Politicians make all kinds of promises that are no better than outright lies and no one bats an eye.

Why is it so hard to be honest?

If I knew you weren’t interested in hiring me, I would stop wasting your time (and mine). If you never liked me in the first place, stop pretending for the sake of my feelings. I’m a big girl with lots of practice at rejection; I can take it. If you state things like they are, I won’t be so confused and I’ll stop asking you questions.

I expect nothing more from you than I, myself, am willing to give. What you see of me is pretty much what you get — a soloist who writes and performs simple music. I’m a girl who often can’t decide what instrument she wants to play, who wishes she were more polished and flashy but remains most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. I’m a girl who sometimes thinks she’s useless, but feels confident on the stage, a girl who hates being a radio and yet isn’t sure she can stand the scrutiny of being famous… A girl who is far from perfect, but who always tries to speak her mind, not string anyone along, and who doesn’t make promises she knows she cannot keep.

Why is it so hard to tell it straight? Why must so many feel compelled to hide behind vague assertions and uncomfortable omissions? They only drag the awkward moment out, day after day. Why not just “spill the beans,” deal with it, and put it all behind you? Is society truly so cowardly that they can’t even speak something so simple as the truth?

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7 thoughts on “Honesty

  1. I think honesty is a great thing, but how you tell someone something, is also important, to be really blunt is hurtful, but yeah, I don’t see the point in peope wasting other’s time. What I hate the most are those two-faced people, who say one thing to you, then turn and say the opposite to someone else. If I don’t like someone, I just keep my distance, or just keep the conversation to the minimum (like I do at my day job for example.)

    1. oh, exactly, I’m not advocating being cruel or hurtful even if what you say is true… there are right ways and wrong ways to tell the truth… I’m just saying that telling outright lies, making promises you can’t keep, etcetera is not right.

      I don’t like two-faced people either. They make life… difficult. 😛

  2. I think most people lie out of fear of judgment, whether there is any or not. Mostly that judgment comes To them , From them, and sometimes in order to maintain a lie one is telling Self. Most of the time they don’t even realize that is what they are doing.
    I agree with what you are saying 100%. And people who waste my time have a special place in my heart .. a dark, dark place. But I have to ask myself why, and try and put myself in their shoes to figure it out. In Most cases, I have found that they don’t mean to do any of these things .. lie, make me wait unnecessarily for something that will never come, tell me things that aren’t true to ‘spare my feeling’ or at least what they perceive to Be my feelings, etc. It’s frustrating. I remember having to teach my daughter about lying, and truth saying and I did it in a very non traditional way, and I am very glad I did the Mean thing I did that showed my daughter the power of a lie and how they affect people. Including her! That turned her into a girl I then had to explain about life’s little freebies .. we can talk about that later.
    I will say this, though, Heather. Most people .. and I do mean Most .. are nowhere near as strong as you and I are. And fear of being a disappointment, or of hurting someone, is Very powerful. And to get past that, [one’s own insecurities and Self disappointment] you have to be very strong.
    Sometimes, you can take a person by the shoulders, and in private where there is absiolutely no chance of being overheard, and calmly explain to them this: All those horrible things you think are going to happen if you just say it like it is, aren’t going to happen. If you know what you have to say my hurt someone or make their life uncomfortable, suggest that they just say That. There is a formula for that. 1) Acknowledge thier feelings. 2) Tell them what you have decided you must do. 3) acknowledge that your truth is going to make their life difficult. 4) Ask what you can do to make that less difficult for them 5) Tell them you are glad you got the chance to talk about it now 6)Let them know you’re still there. And go.
    ie I know you have really been looking forward to this event you have worked so hard on, I would love to help, but I simply cannot as I do not have the time. I must plan these things far in advance to fit them into my busy schedule and I simply can’t do it without causing problems with other things. I know this is going to put a hitch in your program, and I’m sorry for That, but maybe there si something esle I Can do. What can I do to make this less difficult for you? I can give you phone numbers for some other folks who may be able to do it, for example. I’m glad we talked about this now. Hope we get to chat soon so you can tell me how awesome it went.
    Blah blah .. you get the idea.
    The scope and magnitude of fears people have that encourage them to lie is epic. And most of them are not born out of anything malicious or horrible .. just fear.
    My $.02 for the day. SO far anyway. lol

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