Monday, June 30, 2014

The Benefits of Honesty

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.  If he listens to you, you have gained your brother."    Matthew 18:15

    I recently read a great experiment conducted by Honest Tea.  It is called "The Honesty Experiment" and it's a frequent test they conduct to measure the honesty index of Americans.  It is based on the honor system, in this case, how many will pay for something if there's nothing more than a sign telling you how much money to leave behind in exchange for the product?  To read the results of this very encouraging test click here I was also very happy that women, blonds, and Californians (I'm all three) rated at the very top of this particular poll although Americans in general were all found to be 92% honest overall, as it applies to this test.

    For the past several weeks I have been giving you a sneak look at my new book, "Healthy Family, Happy Life: What Healthy Families Learn From Healthy Moms"

    This week I continue my review as we move on to Chapter 6, "The Payoffs of Being Honest With Others."  
    We can be honest as it applies to the honor system highlighted in the survey done by Honest Tea yet at the same time, why is it we are sometimes so afraid of being honest with others?  One reason may include a deep-seeded fear of wanting others to like us.  Of course this type of fear is unrealistic yet maybe it's a fear that we have carried with us since childhood.  After all, what might happen if we tell a friend something that they don't want to hear?  They may yell at us, turn a cold shoulder towards us, or worse yet, stop being our friend.   I believe a real friend will accept your honesty (as long as it is given in the right way) and they will learn to trust you even more. 

    Trust in and of others is built on honest interactions and great relationships are based on trust.   In chapter 6 I talk about "saying what you mean" and also "meaning what you say."  The first step includes being proactive and practicing the ability to articulate what it is that you want from a relationship, a job,  or even something as simple as what you want to order from a menu.  It's easier in the long-run if you can clearly state what it is that you do want.   The second type of honesty has to do with being reactive...the "meaning what you say" part of honest communication.  When a friend, a family member, or a co-worker asks you something you will gain lots of respect and trust if you tell them the truth.  The longer you go with telling the truth, the more you will get in the habit of doing so.  The childhood lies you have believed about everyone abandoning you for speaking up will be dispelled and you will live a healthier life; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    At the end of each chapter I have a list of steps to practice as it apply to the subject contained therein.  When being honest with others here is my advice, hint #6:  "Be cautious of giving advice unless it is asked of you.  There is no faster way to turn someone off or even ruin a relationship than to give unwelcome advice.  if someone does not ask your opinion, it may mean he or she does not want it-from you!  The person might just need to share his or her situation with someone--but maybe isn't asking you how you would or could or should have done it.  Be gracious.  Just listen and with an air of friendship and acceptance."

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    1 comment:

    1. I feel also, that our true feelings are apparent or imparted by our body language too, as much as our words, perhaps at times even more by our body language. And body language is not usually something we can pretend. It is mostly, I believe, a sense that is imparted so subtly by openness or closeness, belief or skepticism, it speaks volumes and others most often will know the other persons true feelings.

      Being honest with what we say is kind and leads to trust even if it causes some initial breakdown in a relationship. We can still rebuild a better relationship and it will be a better relationship.


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