This may come as a surprise, but for me honesty really is the best policy (heavy sarcasm).
There is a time and place for authenticity, TRUST me. However, one must be judicious. If you take honesty and run with it, you may end up being an honest jerk instead of an honest peach (See what I did there?).
Thankfully, I came across a quote that may save you from being an honest jerk.
“Honesty without tact is cruelty”
TBH, the first time I heard it was when Kristen Bell mentioned it on a talk show. Sidenote: I’ve decided that Kristen is my celeb-best-friend-crush. Look up her reaction to sloths on YouTube and you’ll see why.
I happened to see this show and hear this quote during a period in my life where I felt that honesty was ALWAYS necessary. ALWAYS. It became integral to my personality, part of my core set of values. Talk to Alyson, hear the truth.
I was on an absolute rampage; a quest to forever be truthful, no matter the cost! I thought I was doing the right thing. No one likes a liar, right?
However, I came to find that at times I was sacrificing kindness for honesty.
Sometimes, being honest is the selfish thing to do
If you are so steadfast on being honest due to your own moral compass, you are now thinking more about yourself than someone else.
You see, I found that my obsession with being a strictly honest person became more important than another person’s feelings. In fact, if you think about it, sometimes being honest is a little selfish. You are essentially prioritizing your discomfort with lying over someone’s feelings.
Maybe little white lies here and there are actually less harmful than pure, unabridged honesty?
Here’s an example: Let’s say that your friend comes to you with some baby names that she LOVES, but can’t decide between.
Imagine her ideas are something ridiculous, sort of along the lines of “Chicago,” or “Apple,” or “True,” or “North.” (Damn, the next generation of Kardashian’s are literally just a bunch of nouns and pronouns…)
Now, maybe your initial, internal reaction is:
“Wow. These names are horrendous. I must tell her immediately to save her children from future harm.”
But, then you remember your friend already said she loves all of the names, she just can’t decide between them? And these are her kids? And she’s really excited?
In this scenario, being a supportive friend and just choosing the least terrible name of the bunch is probably the better call. If she names her kid something ridiculous like “Hammock” or “New Orleans,” then she is to blame for the bullying her children will endure, not you.
As the quote says, by all means be honest; but be VERY tactful about it. If you are too honest, it may result in you (accidentally!) being pretty cruel.