When we were younger our parents told us that we should always be honest about things – they drill into us the “honesty is the best policy” mantra and encourage us to live by that idea for as long as possible. However, somewhere along the road from childhood to adulthood we seem to abandon the faithful and idealistic rule that was weaved into us and start making our own rules, none of which seem to abide by the rule of honesty. So I’m asking, when things become serious and our answers really matter, is honesty still the best policy?
It seems that we do manage a few bouts of honesty but they’re almost never around for us when it comes to our personal relationships. We’re always more concerned with what the other person will want to hear rather than what they might need to know. Doing the right thing is almost never easy, so it makes sense that telling someone the truth and being brutally honest about something is often the more difficult option out of the few that you’re choosing from.
What people often forget is that more often than not if you lie to someone about something you will eventually get caught out. To be a liar you have to be very good at what you do, you need several things that allow you to get away with your fictional tales: a steady nerve, a good memory, very little fear, good friends that will back you up if necessary, and countless other things that make lying a very tricky business to be a part of! Surely it’s easier for everyone for you to just tell the truth?
In many circumstances it’s not the action that’s been performed or the thing that’s been lied about that upsets someone, but rather the presence of a lie and the act of deception that pushes them over the edge. A lot of people think that sometimes the truth hurts too much to tell someone; what people don’t ever really consider is what will hurt more, the truth or knowing that you’ve been lied to by someone you trust? Honesty might be a stab to the jugular on occasions but being put in a position where you don’t know whether you can trust someone you thought you were close to seems much worse from my perspective.
I think we can all hold our hands up to the odd “No, your bum doesn’t look big in that” when actually her bum has its own postcode, and the ever-popular “Yes, he seems like a lovely guy” when in reality you wouldn’t let him go near your friend in a million years. So maybe there are different degrees of lying that we can condone and appreciate sometimes. Lying to protect someone‘s feelings is one thing, but lying to save your own skin about the guy you kissed on a night out or the time you took your engagement ring off while you slept with someone else, that‘s a completely different lie with so many more consequences that we even realise, until of course it’s too late.
It seems that when it comes to the big things of life, the things that really matter and the things that need something to be done about them, our parents probably had it right…
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