Honesty is the Best Policy… Right?

honestyIf you’ve never met me, let me tell you a little about myself. I’m an easy-going, laid-back kind of person. I like to meet new people and socialize.

I’m also direct and very honest. Almost to a negative degree.

A friend and I were talking today. She is a person who doesn’t speak her mind and tries to be a people-pleaser. We’ve always gotten along just fine and I never really thought of us as being very different, until she said something to me today. “I wish I had as much courage to tell people what I’m thinking. You’re so amazing that way!”

Sounds flattering, right? I suppose the proper response should have been a polite thank you. But my response? I laughed. “If you only knew how many people I’ve unintentionally offended with my honesty,” I told her.

And thus, I am lead to write a blog about being honest. Because honesty is a good thing, right? We’re always taught that we should be honest in all that we do… except we shouldn’t tell that lady that her hair color is wrong for her complexion. And if someone comes to you and asks, “Do these jeans make me look fat?”, we should lie through our teeth if they look fat, right?

Well, like I already told you, I’m a pretty direct person. However, I’ve learned to curb my bluntness through my life and have tried to develop more tact. So do I tell people exactly what I’m thinking? Not if it’s going to come out as rude. (well, sometimes it does come out rude, but that’s never intentional!)

However, if someone asks me a direct question, I’m not going to lie. If those jeans don’t look good on you and you ask my opinion, I won’t say you look fat. But I will say something like, “You know, they’re not very flattering on your thighs. Maybe we could look for a different pair that would give them a better slimming effect.” Is that rude? Perhaps.

But, hey, when my friends want to ask something and not have the answer sugar-coated or danced around, guess who they turn to? Yep, I’m that friend. The one they come to when they don’t want to hear the BS they know other people will give them to try to make them feel better.

There is a downside to my open and honest personality, though. Which is that I simply rub certain people the wrong way. They don’t like how abrasive I can be (again, I’m really not trying to be like that) and steer clear whenever they see me. So it’s true that I don’t get along with everyone. I hold no grudges. I understand why someone wouldn’t want to talk to me when I’m being blunt. I really do try to censor myself around people I don’t know that well, but I’m still me. So don’t worry, I don’t take it personally if I’m not your favorite person!

So that’s me in a nutshell. What about you? Would you prefer to take the more diplomatic strategy and tip-toe around things so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, or do you like to tell it how it is.

What do you think the pros and cons to either side are? I’d love to have a fun discussion about this.