A quick update before I start this opinion piece; A new book review and a new chapter of the Augmented Series is coming soon.
Is Honesty still considered the best policy?
From a young age, everyone has heard the phrase ‘Honesty is the best policy’ from either our teachers, our family, or prominent members of the community. It is taught as a means to help us become better people in our daily lives, whether if it is during our interactions with our families or our coworkers. But honestly, it seems like in the modern day that honesty is becoming less of a preferred option for conversations.
Let me give an example of what I mean. The other day I was at a job interview, which I previously applied for and filled out an application on Monster.com, and a few days later, I received a call to come in for an interview at an office that was an hour away from my house. When I got to the office, I was greeted by one of the workers who gave me a packet of paperwork to fill out, which to my annoyance was the exact same application that I had previously filled out online. When I was finished filling out my previous job history, references, and education for the second time, I was then brought into the interview. When asked how I was doing, I honestly said that i was a little annoyed with having to fill out the same application again that I had already filled out online, which despite my efforts to be polite, was given the same reaction if I just spat on the grandmother of the interviewer’s grave. She said that while she ‘appreciated’ my honesty, they were going to look at other candidates. The entire interview lasted less than two minutes.
In the 2014 Inc. article written by Will Yakowicz entitled ‘Why Honesty Is Not Always the Best Policy at Work‘, he would describe how telling the truth can be detrimental to an organization as it can create unnecessary stress and panic while lying can improve morale. He would also describe how lying can actually improve trust among people, which I honestly think can be detrimental to a relationship of any sort whether if it is professional or personal. I understand that people will sometimes lie in order to spare people’s feelings or to make them feel better or appreciated, but over time it can become a problem. In Interpersonal Communication, it would fall under the ‘dark side of communication‘, where the speaker might have good intentions with their message, but it actually can cause harm to the other person over time.
In personal relationships, honesty can be interpreted as cold and harsh to another person which can easily harm a relationship. Jamie Turndorf in her article ‘Why Honesty isn’t the best policy: The honest truth about honesty‘, would describe being honest as a means of venting or releasing pent up emotions such as anger, which can harm other people and relationships. While someone might ask for an honest opinion for something such as their appearance or what they should do in a certain situation (ie. Break-up or In their work), they are often not asking you for to be blunt or clear-cut. More often enough, they are asking for affirmation or consolation as a means of making them feel better.
In my opinion, I don’t think that people should have to conceal their personal emotions or honest opinions. While it can be harsh or hurtful, it is necessary from time to time. I am not saying to go out and tell everyone you know your absolute and honest opinion about them, but lying constantly can be hazardous as well. You have to balance truth and deception in your life in order to benefit from them.