Today I want to focus on the trait honesty and it’s opposite lies. Honesty is one of the most important traits I look for in people, but is there such a thing as being too honest? And when is it ok to abandon honesty and just lie instead?
I have always tried to be as honest as possible to others at all times, but admittedly I do find it hard every now and then and instead find myself telling a lie. Honesty can be tricky and get get you into trouble if you’re not careful, but at what point do you draw a line and tell that little white lie?
I’ll tell you a little story of a few years back where I started to doubt that being honest as much as possible was really the right thing to do. So a few years ago I was going out this girl and we had both been under quite a lot of pressure and stress at our work due to deadlines and stuff like that and we both agreed the perfect remedy for this would be to take a weekend off and go somewhere. The problems started almost straight away when we started discussing about where we should go. She suggested a seaside get away somewhere really close to beach, where as I was thinking more along the lines of a nice quiet and secluded place or a road trip where it would be just the two of us. However she quickly shot idea down saying things like going somewhere secluded would be boring and because it was the middle of summer that the beach was the ideal place to be. She wasn’t really understanding that the basis of the holiday was meant to be about relaxation, but did I argue my case?…..if you guessed no then give yourself a gold star. I pretty much gave in straight away as I didn’t want the holiday not to happen just because we couldn’t agree on the location or type of weekend away we were going to be having.
So fast forward a couple of weeks and we were down on the southwest (I think) coast of England in Devon. Really nice weather and quite a nice place overall but the experience I had on that weekend was a rotten one. It started off bad and progressively got worse in my opinion, let me tell you how. For one the hotel we were staying at was rammed packed with people, middle of summer so no real surprise there, but I don’t like crowds and there were just way too many people in and around the hotel for my liking. I didn’t mention this though as I didn’t want to seem as if I wasn’t enjoying myself before the trip had really started. We arrived early Friday afternoon and would be leaving around midday on the Monday. After we got checked in and dumped our bags in our rooms she immediately wanted to head down to the beach, this once again didn’t really sit well with me as we had just completed a 5 and a half hour drive and I wanted to just take a little breather and relax a little first, I didnt argue and headed to the beach. My second problem which ties in with the first and that’s as you can imagine, the beach was packed with people of all walks of life I mean it’s lucky we even found a spot to lay down our towel if I’m honest the amount of people around made me uneasy and my anxiety quickly kicked in leaving me extremely uncomfortable with my surroundings heightened by the fact I was no where near home. For those that may be wondering, yes my girlfriend did know I suffered form anxiety and that crowds made me feel really uneasy but I suppose she was so intent on this beach weekend away that my feelings kind of took a back seat to what she wanted. We spent a good few hours sunbathing…well she was, my thoughts were too preoccupied to relax at all and I spent the whole time feeling on edge. After we decided to walk around for a bit, visit some shops and see some the other things Devon had to offer. Personally I was glad to just get off of that beach even though the streets were just as packed and the walking around didn’t really seem to help my anxiety at all.
After going from shop to shop and weaving in and out of people we found a nice little park a little out of the way from all the hustle and bustle and decided to rest our weary legs for while. I was glad to find the park almost empty and felt for the first time since we had got there that I could relax little. The conversation we had whilst sitting there however is where my point about honesty comes into things. I started to talk about the plans for the next day hoping to try and coax her into the idea of going somewhere away from all the crowds and find some activities much more relaxing as for me that’s what the whole point of the weekend away was about, but she had other ideas and told how she had told a couple of her work mates about the trip and had invited them to come along and the fact that they would arrive early tomorrow morning so we should find something that all of us could do. Great, more people and now the idea of relaxing had completely vanished. It was at this point though I did finally say something. I asked her why I wasn’t told about this before hand and that I thought the trip was meant to be so we could take a break from work and the pressures of life so to speak. She got slightly offended at this saying how she had forgotten to tell me her mates would be joining us and that if all I wanted to do was relax than why didn’t we just stay at home. She then asked if her friends joining us would be problem and if I was having a good time.
Now if I was being honest yes I did think the idea of her friends joining us would be a problem and no as matter of fact it was a terrible idea to even agree to this trip in the first place, that was my honest opinion. Imagine if I had said that. What would of followed? Most likely she would of fell out with me for the time being at least and the weekend would not only have been ruined but a waste of time, effort and money. So I proceeded to lie, in hindsight I would say I did a good job in convincing her that I was totally fine with all of it and that I had just simply misunderstood the idea of the break. My reasons behind not being honest were pretty simple I didn’t want to seem like I was making mountains out of molehills or offend her anymore than I had done.
All in all its was a disastrous weekend for me and drained me both physically and mentally to which I kept to myself and acted like I was having a great time through the whole weekend. My aim to be honest took the back seat in this situation as her friends had already spent the money to travel and I didn’t want to be the one to ruin everything for everyone.
I could of maybe avoided the whole situation if I was honest from start so in telling one small lie I then had to cover that with another after another after another, you see the pattern? Sometimes just being honest from the start will save you in the long run even at if at the time it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do at the time. Unfortunately there’s no real way to determine if this is going to be the case and the best advice I can give is go with what you feel is the right thing to do.
Another reason why some may think that honesty isn’t always the right way forward is when people ask what you think of them or something they have made. And in that sense I would say you can still be honest without being negative also known as constructive criticism. If for instance someone asks what you think of them or someone else and you don’t particularly like the person in question than be honest but don’t say things that could be deemed as nasty or insestive but rather explain why you feel that way, but always follow up with a positive or a suggestion on how they could change. This way you don’t come across as completely negative and doesn’t make you seem as if your just having a go at the other person.
It can be tricky but I feel that if your honest with not only yourself but with others too then you set yourself up to be trustworthy as people will know that lying isn’t really in your nature and you will also become more reliable as person.
Honesty in relationships are arguably the most key as without it you will find yourself second guessing the other person and wondering wether or not your are being lied to on a daily basis. It’s a trait which seems to be getting more and more lost the longer time goes on buts it’s value stays the same. If you find being honest a hard thing to do when asked about your opinions on certain people or subjects just remember not everyone is going to share your honesty and those that can’t handle it have a problem with honest with themselves first and foremost so I would try to not worry about it too much
In conclusion to this topic (even though I feel I will revisit this topic one day) I don’t think there’s such thing as being too honest as long as you have positive things to say along side it. Having said that some times very small lies don’t really harm anyone although it’s a grey area In which you consider everything from all angles. If you disagree with anything I have said I would happy to read you point of view on the matter as I feel i have a lot to learn on this and I’m interested to see it from others point of view.
To you with love, your friend THC x