I found this on a friend’s page (thanks, virginia!) and it pretty much sums up how I feel about how to have non-stupid relationships with other human beings on this planet, and also how to have any sort of chance at happiness in this life. The concept of Radical Honesty sounds almost too easy, like, how could the secret to happiness be so simple? but it’s actually the hardest thing in the entire world, and many people are completely incapable of it. Try it! You won’t be able to do it, and then you’ll find some reason to rationalize the fact that you can’t do it. It’s totally intense! I try to do it every day, and I’ve lost jobs, friends and dates from it!
I especially like this part-
Think deeply about whether you’re really doing anyone a favor by lying. Should you really shelter someone from reality? Are you giving the recipient of your white lie enough credit? Do you assume they’re too weak to handle the truth?
- Consider that telling someone the truth presents the opportunity to help them learn how to not take things personally, which is a very valuable life skill to have.
- In a way, it’s manipulative and patronizing to pretend to be interested in what someone is saying, when you’re really not. That’s what we often do with kids, because we consider them too immature and inexperienced to understand that not everyone is interested in what they are interested in. If you treat the people around you the same way you treat children, then you might just find that the people around you act like children.
- Is lying ever really the best way to express compassion? Or is it the easiest way for you to avoid confrontation, rejection, or discomfort? If you’re going to lie, then perhaps you can be honest with yourself about why you’re lying–don’t tell yourself it’s for that person’s own good, or that you’re being kind, when it’s really because you don’t have the courage to be completely honest yet.
And these warnings are great too-
- Esquire writer AJ Jacobs, tried radical honesty for one month and considered it the worst month of his life. You may not enjoy this “therapy”. (here’s the article he wrote, it’s awesome!)
- At worst, you’ll be fired, divorced, disowned, and sued. At best, you’ll be considered rude, you’ll get invited out more because you’re entertaining to be around, and the relationships that remain in your life will be healthier.