So, as a new month rolls around, so does a new trait. The trait for August this year is Honesty—but what makes honesty the best policy?
Honesty is arguably one of the most important traits to have, as it visibly affects your life in a lot of ways. An honest person is more likely, overall, to get what they want in life rather than those who shy away from their wants, or those who lie and scheme through life. Those who are honest will have a much stronger foundation below their achievements than those who are worried that their lack of skill will be found out. Of course, there are situations where telling a little white lie is better than complete and utter honesty (for example, when talking about something personal), but this depends on you, the people, and the situation! Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll see that honesty will make your life will a little easier!
One reason why honesty is so important is that it shows a lot about your character. Those who are honest, first of all, seem a lot more confident, as their behaviour suggests that they know what they want and how to get there. Most importantly, it will raise your self-esteem. The more you are honest about your skills and your experiences, the more people will like you for who you are, and the more confident you will be with yourself.
Honesty encourages honesty too. Honesty will undoubtedly make your life a whole lot easier—people will understand your needs and wants a lot quicker, which means fewer arguments, which means that your relationships will be a lot more secure, which means that you’ll aim a little higher, which means you’ll feel a lot more confident in a work environment… the list goes on! What’s more, the more people see you being honest, the braver they will feel, and the more honest they will be. This means that your relationship with that person will improve, as you are being upfront and honest with each other, but it also means that it creates a peaceful environment for everyone around you.
Honesty makes relationships stronger by promoting trust. If someone is lied to by someone, they are less likely to believe them in the future. This means that not only will the person who lies not get as much as they would like, but it also reduces the co-operation between everyone. This is why honesty is so, so beneficial as it means that everyone will be doing the best they can, and there will be no lies or conflict beneath the surface. Everyone will achieve!
Finally, honesty is much better for your mental health. People who tell the truth do not have to deal with the stress that comes with a lie, whether that be through guilt or through upholding the lie. It has been shown that honesty has a healing effect—one group was told to stop lying for the duration of the study, and the other was simply told they would be recording how many times they lied at the end of the 10 weeks. The group who were told to stop lying for that period experienced more health improvements than the other group because they told fewer lies! So, although being honest in the moment may be hard, you’re freeing yourself of the stress that would have come later on.
Of course, it’s virtually impossible to never tell a lie again. It’s a very, very human thing to do, and we all do it—so don’t feel guilty about the lies you’ve already told! Just remember that honesty is, although it is hard to do at the start, the easier route to go down. Try to be a little more honest this week, whenever you can, and see if you can feel the benefits. Have a good month!
By: Katie Joslin