What Does it Mean to Be Honest?

What does it mean to be honest? It means more than you think, and it’s harder than you might imagine. But the rewards are worth it.

Lincoln seated, white marble

It’s not always easy to be honest, not with others or with yourself. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable by admitting your mistakes and talking about your feelings, your reward is tighter relationships.

A few months ago I wrote a post asking the question, How Do You Live HOT? In it I talked about using the three ideas of being Honest, Open and True as guiding principles to loving yourself.

Today, I want to expand upon the idea of being Honest with your personal appraisal and a check list of things you might want to do if your self appraisal shows you areas for improvement. In future posts, I’ll cover Open and True.

Unpacking What it Means to be Honest

Yeah, we all know we should tell the truth. Don’t lie. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? I have only one rule for relationships with my friends and family. I explain it like this: “Whatever else you do, just don’t lie to me. I can accept anything that happens, as long as you don’t lie to me about it.”

But embracing honesty goes beyond relating facts truthfully. Although even that can be really hard for some people.

Being honest also means you are honest:

  • About facts – where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing.
  • About your feelings.
  • With yourself and about yourself.
  • About your mistakes.
  • With yourself and about yourself.
  • With others.
  • Without omitting unfavorable or contentious information.

Honesty is a very expensive gift.

Do not expect it from cheap people.

~ Warren Buffet.

The Benefit of Being Honest

Being honest can be scary because it requires you to be vulnerable. It can be uncomfortable. It requires you to present your authentic self, and to deal with those who may not like your warts.

As hard as it might be to be honest sometimes, there is a reward that goes beyond a guilt-free conscience.

While being honest is not the same as being happy, people who are honest enjoy stronger and deeper relationships with others, and with themselves. Those things can contribute to your happiness.

There is even some research to suggest that being honest can also make you feel healthier.

Love for yourself. Happiness. Health. Better Relationships.

Sounds like it’s worth the effort, don’t you agree?

Your Personal Appraisal

On a scale of 1 – 5, how do you rate yourself for these?

  • You may not always be right, but you do your best to be honest.
  • You admit your mistakes to yourself and to others who are affected.
  • You recognize and acknowledge to yourself your feelings.
  • You express your feelings to others.

Live Honest, Open and True

What does it mean to be honest? Being honest goes beyond refraining from lying or failing to tell the truth. Honesty extends to recognizing and admitting your mistakes, and recognizing and accepting your feelings. When you’re honest, you experience love for yourself.

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Is it harder for you to be honest with others, or honest with yourself? Harder to be honest about facts, or about feelings? Share your tips for keeping yourself honest in a tweet to @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LiveHOT.

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5 Comments

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5 Responses to What Does it Mean to Be Honest?

  1. Pingback: Three Benefits of Living Honest, Open and True | LifeIsHOTblog

  2. Pingback: Being Honest Does Not Mean Doing This | LifeIsHOTblog

  3. Pingback: What Does it Mean to Be True? | LifeIsHOTblog

  4. davevslife

    I actually think I do a decent job of being honest – maybe rating a 3 or 4 on all of those. I think one of the reasons is that I grew up with a lot of liars in my family and it just made me hate what lying could do to relationships. So I’ve done my best to counteract that habit.

    Good post!

    • Yes, like you, I’ve experienced relationships where lying was a fundamental part of them. Fortunately, I had the relatively easier option of no longer having those people in my life. It’s harder with family members.

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