In the world we’ve created for ourselves, everyone wants to be liked. We want to be popular, get attention and be worthy. So, most people try to get this by pleasing everyone around them. When you please everyone all the time, then you’re definitely lying regularly.
When you lie as a daily habit, speaking the truth becomes alien to you. I have nothing against lying. It can be a great social tool when it serves a greater purpose. But such great purposes do not present themselves everyday.
You may think that people would respect and like you when you lie and appease them no matter what they do. Contrary to your hard held social beliefs, pleasing everyone makes you appear fake, untrustworthy, dishonest and without individuality. When you appear too optimistic or encouraging to people whom you do not believe in, they’ll know it subconsciously, and you’ll lose their respect.
Sure, you may have a lot of friends when you help everyone out, but reflect on how many of them actually care about you when you really need them. In reality, those who you least expect, who everyone rarely expects, stand up for you in any way they can.
Honesty feels like a dead value in today’s society. And this isn’t due to social media. We lie to whoever we meet most of the time due to the socio-cultural conditioning that we’ve all faced. And this is by default due to our psychological programming.
By lying, what I mean is not expressing what’s really going on in your mind. We all have have a filtration system that transforms, regulates and censors our free thoughts before they are expressed openly in words or in actions. This is good in many ways. This keeps us civilized and maintains order. But it also creates a pseudo reality that we experience.
If we as humans are to be really honest and express our thoughts into reality a bit more, I imagine that we’d all experience a more liberating version of free will in a less shackled society. But the downside is that this type of a society can easily collapse into anarchy. My personal belief is that everything, including freedom and real honesty, must be allowed in the right amount of moderation.
I have been experimenting with lies and honesty in extremes in the two decades that I’ve lived so far. Now, as a practitioner of real honesty on most situations, I wish to share what I’ve learned from this experience.
Being real and honest doesn’t demand you to always offend anyone you dislike. It does involve not pleasing them with fake interest and positive vibes that you do not believe in. When you do not want to do something, you have the choice to do what pleases you. You have the choice to speak with only those whom you like and you can choose not to pretend to like something that you clearly do not.
When you want to avoid something, you do not need to put it down and offend those interested in it. A certain level of empathy comes in place.
Saying whatever you want to whoever you want, whenever you want does constitute real honesty. But there’s a guideline. A certain level of filtering helps a bit. A rule I try to follow is:
Be the first to compliment and the last to offend.
Sometimes when my levels of honesty flow unregulated, this above point is a cumbersome challenge. What we can try is to walk away from things that displeases us and support matters or people who help us. Everything that comes in-between must be viewed contextually.
The problem with honesty is that all of us as humans misunderstand, misjudge and sometimes take things out of context. Honesty is always a matter of perception and not factual. So when our mind gets the better of us, our honesty can get us into tough scrapes.
A worse problem to handle is that honesty can and will mostly get us into many icky fixes even in situations when our words are factual. This is because human communication is almost never based on factual contexts. Humanity in our magnificently natural imperfection is irrational.
In communication what we say is only a part of the problem. How others perceive it decides the outcome. And everyone interprets everything differently. That’s the imperfectly individualistic beauty of humanity and why honesty plays an important part in making us stand out of the crowd.
When you’re really as honest as you can be, many people will definitely hate you. This will be for your realism, freedom, and choices. But in the same situations, some or many people from crowds that you respect and belong in, will surely respect you for being genuine.
Ask yourself this: Is it better to please everyone by being fake and get the same kind of fake support from the masses? Or is it better to be real, get hated by people who do not matter to you and in turn get respected by those who you really admire?
All of us are sacred to death of criticism at some point in our lives. But do you realize that any action that you take, including inaction, will lead to criticism that will hurt you if you let it?
We all judge everything that we are exposed to, including the people in our lives and the ones we know of. Remember that nobody knows everything about anyone. With this golden rule, the opinions of us by others or our own opinions of anything is inherently invalid.
No matter how much you think you know of something or someone, even if you’ve researched it for years, there will still be numerous variables and angles to the matter that you will never be exposed to. The one who thinks he/she knows everything there is to know about something will surely have an ego problem.
When your parents, best friends, life partners, or anyone who’s spent a lifetime with you tries to judge you, they are definitely misinformed as they will never know what’s going on in your mind. You are the best judge of yourself.
This doesn’t apply only to facing the criticism that others throw at us. When we try to practice real honesty, we need to remember the above mentioned points before judging others. When nobody is logically equipped to understand you, then you can never be qualified to judge anyone no matter how much you think you know about them.
Let me know what you think of this and let’s discuss in the comments. 🙂
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