Honesty as a Personal Policy – Agree

Honesty is the best policy and should be the only policy in life for everyone. However, there are varying degrees of honesty that should be observed. Those degrees should not change the truth of what is being said but simply change the mode of presentation. Each person has varying degrees of acceptance, tolerance and just plain feelings to consider in how you present material honestly.

1. Brutal honesty: This is when the bare facts get presented with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer landing on a person’s foot. There is no softening of the truth and words used can be quite harsh. This is the type of honesty used when no other way will work in making the point.

Rather like taking a jackhammer to the person’s driveway, stealing the car battery and an ice pick to their tires to keep them from driving drunk. You could say this is the method just short of physical assault to make your point.

2. Fierce honesty: This method is a little softer and less confrontational while still making your point clearly. The approach is open enough to allow for some discussion on finer points but still offers some leeway in using gentler words that are less like a sledgehammer and a little more like a pillow fight.

3. Diplomatic honesty: This way leaves a greater amount of flexibility in word choices because the listener is intelligent enough to not need the ball bat upside the head approach. Being diplomatic allows the information to be presented with facts and figures or references that the person might be able to debate with a given amount of research, yet they will understand your meaning.

Appreciation of the presentation is more likely in this variation because the listener can see you acknowledge their intelligence is active and well above the level of the average houseplant.

4. Subtle honesty: Here the speaker can insert hints and subtle inferences that listeners are able to pick up and appreciate. Listeners are even evolved enough to query where the information and ideas came from for later research and dissemination. These are people who are open to new and different ideas.

They will listen, investigate, and consider the implications of the material as it applies to them or their surroundings. These are the easiest people to be honest with and are generally friends, colleagues and like-minded folk.

Naturally if people applied themselves they might come up with more variations or degrees if they choose. The number of degrees would then dilute the separations. The purpose of this presentation is to offer people a few methods of offering complete honesty while considering the situation surrounding the need.

Being known for dishonesty is not a desirable form of notoriety, even for politicians whose veracity is often in question these days. Honesty itself can be perceived as a difficult concept if one does not understand the degrees of presentation.

Some people feel being honest with someone will hurt their feelings and they will lie, even a little, to avoid that problem. However, sometimes even the honesty of silence can be more hurtful than a diplomatic or subtle response.

Would you not prefer a person being honest rather than having a lie given? After all, a lie is more likely to destroy any relationship, even a lie of omission, than a subtle truth.