In this day and age, many people believe it is alright to tell a version of the truth; however, this is really not the case. The truth is only one thing. There are no versions. Bending, stretching, elaborating and editing the truth for reasons of sensitivity, courtesy, evasion or any other reason is still lying. Luckily, it is possible to be completely honest and still be tactful. In this article, we will discuss some ways you can adhere to the actual truth even when it is difficult.
If you want to learn to tell the truth, you must first understand why you and others may sometimes choose dishonesty. This is usually a habit learned at a very early age. It is especially present in children who must use lying as a coping mechanism to avoid harsh punishment. If you have used lying as a way of getting what you want or as a way of avoiding injustice in the past, you must realize that this type of coping is seldom truly effective for adults. Sooner or later, you will be found out.
If there are areas in which you have tended to stretch or bend the truth in the past, it is time to examine those issues and determine why you have felt it necessary to embellish the truth or outright lie. This may cause you some discomfort, but you can think of this as growing pains and acknowledge that a deeper understanding of yourself and your own motivations can only make you a better person.
The fact that you are reading this article indicates you may be feeling some guilt for past lies. If this is the case, make a list of untruths you have told and do your best to set them straight. If you have misled others in material or emotional ways, take steps to speak with those people and let them know that you have been doing some soul searching and would like to share some pertinent information with them.
Be willing to let the chips fall where they may, and understand that a person’s first reaction may not be that person’s lasting response. Given some time to consider your words, people who truly care about you will adjust and continue to care about you. In fact, taking proactive steps to be truthful and honest will strengthen your bonds if they are worth strengthening.
Go forward to seeing every situation as unique. Avoid applying prejudices and generalizations because these are untrue on the face of it. Look at each situation as new, and strive to find, see and reflect the truth in every situation.
Make the honest choice in small, everyday situations. There are lots of times when being a bit sneaky or dishonest may be very tempting and won’t seem to make much, if any, difference. These are the occasions when you must choose to take the high road and make the honest choice. When you get in the habit of honesty, it will only become easier and easier for you to practice.
Remember that it is possible, to be honest, and tactful. Being honest does not necessarily mean being painfully honest. For example, instead of pretending to like something you do not like, look for a positive comparison. In this case, if your loved one asks if you like a certain hairstyle, and you do not, you might think of the hairstyle you have most preferred on that person and say that you really liked that one best.
Also, remember that you do not always have to express your opinion. You are allowed to simply decline to answer. It is also important to keep in mind that there is a difference between privacy and secrecy. Just because you know something, doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone about it. Be sure that you do share pertinent information with people who have a genuine need to know, but do not spread gossip and information that serves no purpose other than to stir people up.
Being completely honest may be a big change for you; however, if you do the work and begin to present yourself and your thoughts in a straightforward and honest manner, you may be surprised by your new-found sense of freedom.