How To Be Honest With Someone: 15 Practical Strategies

This article has everything you need to know about how to be honest with someone.

Lying is something that is universally disliked. However, it can be easier to be dishonest with others and ourselves instead of telling the truth. Nevertheless, there is no need for it to be that way.

By learning to be truthful and removing the need for lies, it is possible to improve both our conscience and relationships. By adjusting our perspective and committing to a policy of honesty, we can eliminate the necessity of lying and make telling the truth more appealing. For further details, please refer to Step 1.

How To Be Honest With Someone:

1. Identify the reasons behind your lies and the people you lie to.

Everyone has lied at some point, for various reasons, to different people, and even to themselves. However, it is challenging to become more truthful without understanding those reasons and the individuals involved.

Sometimes, we lie to make ourselves look better, such as exaggerating or telling tall tales to feel better about our inadequacies. When we are unhappy about something, lying is often an easier solution than telling the truth.

Additionally, we may lie to peers we admire to gain their respect, but dishonesty is not a respectful approach. It is essential to give people credit for their empathy and understanding.

We also lie to hide bad behaviors or activities we are ashamed of, such as lying to our parents about smoking cigarettes found in our jackets. We may even lie to authority figures to avoid embarrassment and punishment or to ease the guilt that comes with objectionable behavior.

Unfortunately, this cycle of lying to cover up negative actions can become a never-ending pattern.

2. To avoid the cycle of embarrassment and lying, it is crucial to anticipate behaviors that will make you feel guilty in the future.

By doing so, you can either become comfortable with the truth or avoid the behavior altogether. When you lie, you are essentially covering up an uncomfortable truth that is easier to conceal with a lie.

Therefore, it is essential to recognize and confront the truth instead of hiding behind lies. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, it is better to own up to it instead of lying about it.

However, if a behavior is something that you cannot own up to, it is probably best to avoid it altogether. For instance, it would be humiliating for your partner to discover that you had an inappropriate relationship with a coworker, but you won’t have to lie about it if you don’t engage in the behavior in the first place.

3. Comparing ourselves to others can lead us to lie and exaggerate in an attempt to appear bigger and better than we are.

This competition with others can cause us to feel inadequate, which can be quickly resolved by telling a creative lie. However, if we stop comparing ourselves to others and recognize our own value, we won’t feel the need to lie to elevate ourselves because we’re already content with who we are.

It’s crucial to speak the truth from the heart and not worry about what others may think. Assume that others are not trying to manipulate you, and be honest even when it’s uncomfortable.

Honesty is always respected, even when the truth is not ideal. Instead of attempting to impress others with exaggerated stories, it’s better to let our honesty impress them.

It’s okay to listen and not contribute to a conversation if you don’t have any relevant experiences to share. Making up a false story to compete with others only perpetuates the cycle of lying.

4. At times, it’s more beneficial to take responsibility for our lies, deceits, and past actions that we’re ashamed of instead of continuing to create more lies.

It can be freeing and exceptionally beneficial to confess to the truth. Although admitting the truth may result in some consequences, it’s crucial to accept and face them because they’re honest and deserved.

5. Engage in activities that bring you a sense of accomplishment and self-worth, and you won’t have to resort to lying to feel good about yourself.

Surround yourself with supportive and compassionate individuals who accept you for who you are. Engage in activities that bring you joy and boost your self-esteem.

For instance, binge drinking every night might make you feel good temporarily, but the negative consequences, such as a hangover and missed work, will make you feel guilty and ashamed. Therefore, prioritize your mental and physical well-being and avoid doing things that you’ll regret later.

SEE ALSO: How To Deal With Know It All Person: 15-Step Guide

6. Try to avoid situations where you may have to keep secrets for others that could potentially lead to lying or deception.

If someone confides in you about a harmful act or a lie they have told, it puts you in a difficult position. Eventually, the truth will come out, and you may find yourself in trouble for keeping the secret.

When someone asks you not to tell someone else about something, it’s best to be upfront and honest about your own boundaries. Let them know that you don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s secrets but your own and that if it’s something you would want to know if you were in their shoes, you won’t keep it from the person.

7. Differentiate between what is necessary for the person you are speaking to and what you want to say.

Sometimes, we feel an intense urge to express ourselves fully (1), such as confronting a rude roommate or arguing with a teacher. However, this can often damage our relationships and lead to regretful statements. To avoid oversharing, it’s important to understand the difference between what needs to be said and what you want to say to make yourself feel better.

It is crucial to inform someone if they are putting themselves or others in danger or causing emotional distress. For example, your roommate should be aware that their excessive drinking makes you uncomfortable in your shared space. However, there are certain opinions or thoughts that do not necessarily need to be expressed, such as calling someone “trashy” for their choice of date.

In a fit of rage or high emotions, we may want to express ourselves in a way that is not considerate of the other person’s feelings. For instance, during an argument about a declining relationship, you may feel the need to say, “You’ve gained weight and I’m no longer attracted to you.”

Although this may be important for your partner to hear, it can be expressed in a more sensitive manner. By rephrasing it as, “I think we could focus on improving our health,” you are still conveying the same sentiment, but in a way that prioritizes their feelings.

8. Be considerate of the impact of your words and choose them carefully, especially in sensitive or delicate situations.

It’s important to express your opinions and truths honestly, but be aware of how they may be received and try to phrase them in a respectful and tactful way. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and experiences rather than making accusatory statements.

When offering your observations or opinions, start with phrases like “In my experience” or “Personally, I’ve observed that” to convey that it’s your own perspective. It’s also important to listen attentively to others, even if you disagree, and offer them the same courtesy when it’s your turn to speak. This creates a more open and comfortable environment for honest communication.

9. Assess yourself objectively by taking a moment to reflect on your thoughts and behaviors.

Acknowledge your strengths and areas that need improvement without judging yourself. Make a list of things you are good at and what you can do to enhance your skills.

Also, make a note of things that make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, and what you can do to overcome those weaknesses. Celebrate your achievements, and look for opportunities to grow and learn from your mistakes.

Remember, this exercise is not to measure your self-worth but to help you become more self-aware and improve your overall well-being.

10. Face and deal with the things that you don’t like about yourself.

Often, we avoid confronting our flaws or weaknesses, which can lead to dishonesty with ourselves and others. However, it’s essential to recognize these aspects honestly.

For example, you may have always wanted to write a novel, but you haven’t made any progress towards that goal in years. Or perhaps you know that you need to improve your physical fitness, but you keep putting it off. Maybe you’re unhappy in your relationship but are afraid to make changes.

Instead of making excuses, confront these uncomfortable truths head-on. Don’t dwell on the past or the reasons why you haven’t made changes yet. Focus on taking action now to make yourself happier and improve your situation.

SEE ALSO: How To Manage Conflict Effectively: 20 Essential Ways

11. Make opportunities to develop yourself.

After identifying areas for improvement from your list of strengths and weaknesses, find ways to create opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

Reflect on what you did to develop your strengths and what you’re proud of. Think about how this knowledge can help you improve your weaknesses.

Consider the obstacles that might hinder your progress. Are these challenges external, such as a lack of financial resources to attend a gym and achieve your fitness goals (2), or internal, such as a lack of motivation to research and implement do-it-yourself weight loss strategies?

12. Take action and follow through with your decisions.

It’s easy to make excuses and talk ourselves out of doing things we don’t want to do, but that won’t help us grow and improve. When you decide to make a change, don’t wait for the perfect moment. Start taking steps towards your goals now, even if it’s just small ones.

Make it easier for yourself to succeed by setting up a system of rewards for achieving your goals. For example, treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting after you’ve accomplished a difficult task.

Utilize technology to help you stay on track. There are plenty of apps and services available that can help you set reminders, track progress, and even penalize you if you don’t stick to your commitments. For example, Skinny-Text can send exercise reminders to your phone, and Pact can charge you money if you don’t exercise as planned.

13. Avoid embellishing your stories.

It is common to feel tempted to add extra details to make a story more exciting or entertaining. However, this can create a habit of lying and make it easier to tell bigger lies in the future. It’s best to stick to the truth and be as honest as possible, even if the story isn’t as interesting as you might like it to be.

14. Use tact when telling “white lies.”

Sometimes, in social situations, we might feel obligated to tell a small lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or causing conflict. In these situations, it’s important to use tact and choose our words carefully to minimize any negative impact of the lie.

One way to do this is to focus on the positive. Instead of outright saying “no” to a question like “Do I look fat in this?” we can redirect the conversation to something more positive, such as complimenting a different outfit or accessory. Similarly, if we don’t enjoy a certain activity or place, we can express our willingness to participate while still keeping the mood positive and fun.

Another tactic is to keep some opinions to ourselves. While we might not enjoy a certain restaurant or activity, it’s not always necessary or productive to express that opinion in the moment. Instead, we can prioritize the enjoyment of the group and find ways to make the experience fun for everyone.

Lastly, we can deflect certain questions or topics by engaging the person in conversation and getting their perspective. For example, when a child asks if Santa Claus is real, we can ask them what they think and feel while avoiding a direct lie or harsh truth. In all cases, it’s important to balance honesty and kindness to create positive social interactions.

15. Expressing your thoughts and opinions is important, but it’s also important to recognize when it’s not the right time or place to do so.

If you find yourself in a situation where speaking up would only cause more harm than good, it’s perfectly acceptable to remain silent. In fact, sometimes it takes more strength and courage to do so.

In the midst of a disagreement or argument, it’s important to choose the high road. Engaging in petty arguments and trying to prove your point may only escalate the situation further.

Instead, try to find common ground and work towards a solution that benefits everyone involved. It’s not about being right or wrong, but about finding a way to move forward in a positive manner.

In this an article, several ways of being honest have been discussed. Firstly, it’s important to avoid adding unnecessary details to stories or events, as this can lead to a slippery slope of more lies. Secondly, when it comes to situations where a white lie may seem necessary, it’s possible to emphasize the positive, keep some opinions to oneself, or deflect the question.

Additionally, staying silent or choosing the high road in certain situations can also be a way of being honest. Finally, it’s important to recognize that honesty isn’t always a simple choice between telling the truth or lying, and that sometimes the best course of action may require some creativity and nuance.

Thank you for reading this article about how to be honest with someone and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here