Today, April 30, is National Honesty Day (quick fact: the creator of this “holiday” purposely wanted it to be the last day of April since the first is April Fool’s Day!). I doubt many of you are going to celebrate a mini holiday such as this one, but it’s a nice reminder that we all need to focus on being honest more often… because, let’s face it, the majority of us probably lie way too much.
But there’s a reason we all have a tendency to lie: lying is usually taking the easiest way out. Being honest can often be really difficult, especially if you’re trying to be honest about something that you know is going to hurt or upset someone close to you. So, we lie. And then we get caught in our lies. And then friendships and relationships suffer, and suddenly no one trusts anyone. It’s rough.
Over the past few years, I have been making a conscious effort to be more honest in every aspect of my life. And I’ve improved a lot! I’ve learned to tell the truth when I don’t want to do something instead of making up a lame excuse. I’ve learned to speak up when I feel like something is wrong. I’ve learned how to give constructive criticism and advice instead of just reassuring a friend that, yeah, maybe he’s just busy at work and that’s why he hasn’t called. I still have work to do, but being more honest has really changed my life. You should try it too! Here are 10 tips on how to be honest – without being a jerk.
Practice Being Honest With Little Things FirstIf you've never been a very honest person (it's okay, I'm not judging you), or if you hate confrontation, don't just jump into this with a big subject, like telling your best friend you hate her boyfriend. Practice your honesty on little things. For example: instead of saying you can't go out because of a family obligation, fess up and say you can't go because you really want to sleep. Or, if a friend asks if you like her shirt and you hate it, say, "It's not my style exactly" instead of lying. Once you get some practice on little things that don't mean much, it will be easier to move on to the more important things. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Procrastinate The HonestyTry not to put off talking to whoever it is you need to be honest with. The more you procrastinate the conversation, the more you'll have to fib, or avoid them, and the more nervous you'll get - so the convo will be instantly harder. Just be honest and get it over with! It's probably never going to get easier, and waiting for the "perfect moment" will most likely just backfire. If you're telling someone something they don't want to hear, there really is no perfect moment anyway. Source: ShutterStock
Know When It's Appropriate To Tell A White LieSometimes it's okay to tell a little lie - and sometimes it's not. It's really important to know the distinction between the two. For example, if you dislike your BFF's boyfriend just because you think he's annoying and not because of something legitimate - you should probably keep that to yourself. If the truth is going to hurt someone AND it's honestly unnecessary, it's okay to tell a white lie. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Be TOO BluntBeing blunt is saying something like, "I effing hate that dress you're wearing, take it off." That's also called being rude. Don't be like that. Learn how to talk when you're being honest. You don't need to be brutal here, okay? Instead of saying, "I HATE that," say something like, "Hm, that's not my favorite. I liked the other dress better, it looked awesome!" Doesn't that sound so much nicer? Source: ShutterStock
Apologize If NeededIf you're being honest because you need to fess up to something you did wrong, make sure you apologize and explain yourself. Being honest about a mistake you made can be really difficult, and there's no getting around that. But telling the truth instead of lying usually makes the situation a little bit better, because at least it shows people you respect them enough to be honest. Make sure you sound sincere. Source: ShutterStock
Be Honest In Private If It's A Sensitive SubjectIf you need to tell your friend that you caught her boyfriend cheating, it's probably not the best idea to do that when you're out with a group of people. When you're being honest about a sensitive subject, do it privately and preferably in person. If you think this is something that's going to make them upset, don't make the situation worse by embarrassing them in front of others. Source: ShutterStock
Explain Why You're Being HonestIf you're delivering bad news, or if you're being honest about something you know the person doesn't want to hear (like telling a friend you heard something bad about her), preface the confession by saying, "I just want you to know I'm telling you this because I want to be a good friend." Or if you're telling your boyfriend something you know he won't want to hear, say, "Just know I'm being honest with you because I really care about you and respect you." Make sure you're being genuine. Sometimes hearing that reminder makes people feel better. Source: ShutterStock
Emphasize The Positive and Give ComplimentsThis is really important when you're giving constructive criticism and/or advice. If you're telling someone they're not doing something right, don't just be like, "That's completely wrong." Statements like that are immediately going to make people defensive. Instead say, "This is a great start, but I think it could be even better if you do..." Doesn't that sound like more of a collaboration then just being like, "Do what I say?" Source: ShutterStock
Explain What You Think, But Don't Assume You're Always RightJust because you're telling the truth about something doesn't mean you're right. If you're giving your honest opinion, keep in mind that that's just your opinion - not everyone has to agree with you. Source: ShutterStock
Think Before You SpeakIn the end, it comes down to this simple rule: think before you speak. Consider your words before they come out of your mouth. Really think about how what you're saying will affect the other person. Talk to them how you would want someone to talk to you. It's as simple as that! Just be careful. Source: ShutterStock
Do you think you’re an honest person? How are you honest? What tips did I forget about? Tell me in the comments.