Is honesty really the best policy?

“Be honest with me”

Being honest means telling the truth. Not half the truth or ¾ of it, the whole truth. If you’re going to ask a friend to be honest with you, you need to expect them to say “I don’t like that dress” or “you need to find a guy that treats you better.” But being honest goes beyond boyfriends and clothing items and starts to get more complicated.

Just like almost everything in life, honesty becomes more complicated as you get into teenage/young adult years. Problems, friends, school, and families all become more intricate and complex, meaning solutions to all these also become complicated. For example, say you’re with friends and one of them says “Something smells like B.O.” Maybe that person is you. Would you rather them just say it to your face…or save you the public humiliation? These types of situations can become awkward if not handled right.

There is no simple solution to honesty. On one hand, someone may only want others to be honest with them 1 on 1. But what about in a situation like the previous one? I wouldn’t want to be walking around all day, not knowing I smelt, only to have someone tell me after the fact that everyone knew I smelt. But if someone had told me at that moment, I would’ve been completely embarrassed. So if honesty isn’t the best policy…then what is?

In reality, it all depends on the person. To determine whether or not to bend the truth to save feelings or hurt their feelings but tell the truth, you need to know the person you’re dealing with. It’s that simple. No human is the same and some may feel different than others when it comes to honesty. So before you go to tell someone the hard truth, think about who you’re talking to.