How To Practice Radical Honesty: 12-Step Guide

This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to practice radical honesty.

It’s likely that at some point in your life, you have told small lies or partially truthful statements. Radical honesty is a way to decrease the frequency of lying.

A psychotherapist named Brad Blanton established the “radical honesty” movement, which emphasizes honesty as a crucial element in effective communication. To practice radical honesty, commit to observing and stating things as they truly are to the best of your ability.

Adopt a mindset that enables you to perceive and recognize reality and learn to communicate effectively what you see. It’s important to approach situations with kindness, and being radically honest should not cause harm or hurt other people’s feelings.

How To Practice Radical Honesty:

1. Take a moment to observe yourself telling lies.

It’s common for people to lie frequently throughout the day, even in casual conversations. By becoming aware of your own lying behavior, you may be surprised at how often it happens.

It’s also valuable to notice how often those around you lie. Take notice of the things you say, and be truthful about whether they’re accurate. Often, people start with small lies, which can snowball over time. For instance, when someone asks how you’re doing, do you give an honest answer? Or do you hold back, either by omitting the truth or by telling a white lie?

These small lies may eventually transform into more significant falsehoods to maintain appearances. People may also tell lies to make themselves appear better. For instance, you might lie to your doctor about your habits or to your boss about your work ethic. If you continue to maintain these lies, they can have severe consequences.

2. Educate yourself about the negative impacts of lying or sugar-coating the truth.

Consider if shielding someone from reality is truly necessary. Reflect on the potential consequences of your lies. Before telling a white lie, take a moment to pause and consider how it might affect you or someone else.

Assess the possible outcomes every time you lie. Are you causing harm to someone? Is there a chance that you’re hurting yourself? Is there any situation where lying could have benefits?

For instance, let’s say your partner seeks your advice about confronting their boss at work. They expect you to support their decision, but you believe it’s a terrible idea.

Telling a lie to avoid hurting their feelings could have serious implications for their career. Lying can also harm your self-esteem as it undermines your authenticity and sincerity.

3. Radical honesty involves more than just acknowledging truths about others.

It requires you to face uncomfortable truths about yourself. It’s natural for people to avoid frightening truths. Learn to evaluate yourself objectively and ask yourself honest questions.

Make it a habit to scrutinize every aspect of your life. Are you taking care of your health to the best of your ability? Are your relationships satisfying? Are you devoting enough effort to your career?

When something feels off or wrong, learn to confront it instead of ignoring it. For instance, if you feel uneasy in a relationship, analyze why rather than letting it continue for longer than necessary.

Keep in mind that being honest with yourself necessitates bravery and self-awareness. Being truthful is necessary to maintain a balance mentally, physically, and emotionally. Don’t be afraid to face reality since perceiving things as they genuinely are isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

4. One of the essential aspects of radical honesty is the ability to view things rationally.

It’s helpful to take a step back from a situation and look at it from an outsider’s viewpoint. When faced with a stressful situation, don’t justify bad situations or behavior.

Instead, try to accept the situation for what it is. For example, if you’re developing unhealthy eating habits due to stress, don’t say to yourself, “It’s just because I’m stressed. This will change soon.”

Instead, take a more objective perspective. Regardless of the stress in your life, you need to take care of yourself. Part of radical honesty is being objective with yourself and taking responsibility for your actions.

If you know that you’re eating unhealthy foods, being truthful about your eating habits requires you to change them. To increase your self-awareness, periodically ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and how your actions make you feel.

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5. To implement radical honesty, it’s essential to communicate your intentions to others.

It’s particularly crucial if you’re planning to practice radical honesty (1) with your partner, as society usually expects people to hide some truths. Before sharing an uncomfortable truth, inform the person that you follow radical honesty principles. For instance, you may say, “I believe in radical honesty, which means I provide objective assessments.”

Discuss the concept of radical honesty with your partner before starting to practice it. Talk about how it can benefit your relationship and what you both can anticipate. This communication can help set expectations and ensure that both parties feel comfortable and safe with radical honesty.

6. When you realize that you have told a lie, it’s important to confess and stop the dishonest behavior.

It’s common for people to lie without even realizing it, especially when telling white lies. However, lies can quickly spiral out of control, making it crucial to be honest as soon as possible. If you catch yourself in a lie, it’s best to stop and admit the truth.

For instance, you could say something like, “I want to be honest with you. Earlier today, I said that I thought your proposal was great, but I wasn’t entirely truthful because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. However, I have some concerns that I would like to discuss with you.” By acknowledging your tendency to be dishonest and making a conscious effort to change, you are taking a positive step towards becoming more truthful.

7. Incorporate your honesty into your communication by expressing yourself directly.

Identify your emotions and any resulting needs in a situation. What do you require from the person you’re talking to? How are their actions impacting you?

Share this information with them in a direct manner. Learn to express your frustrations to others without sugar-coating. For instance, “I’m upset that you didn’t respond to our memo earlier. I need you to be more prompt in the future.”

Whenever possible, communicate your honesty face-to-face. This will allow you to experience the full consequences of your honesty and make it harder for the other person to dismiss your message.

8. When communicating harsh truths, it is important to use “I”-statements to reduce the impact of the message.

This approach emphasizes personal feelings rather than objective facts. To begin an “I”-statement, start with “I feel…” followed by a description of your feelings and the reasons behind them.

For instance, if your partner uses their phone frequently while you’re out together and you feel ignored, instead of saying, “It’s disrespectful for you to be on your phone all the time when we’re out,” you can rephrase it as, “I feel disrespected when you’re on your phone all the time when we’re out together because it seems like you’re not paying attention to me.”

9. If you practice radical honesty and find that someone is not accepting your honesty or is continually violating your boundaries, it may be necessary to walk away from that relationship.

While it’s important to communicate openly and honestly, it’s also important to recognize when a situation is not healthy for you. It’s okay to prioritize your own well-being and remove yourself from toxic relationships. Remember, radical honesty is not about hurting others, it’s about being truthful and authentic with yourself and others.

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10. Be prepared to receive honesty in return when you practice radical honesty.

Some people will respond with their own candid thoughts and feelings, and it’s important to welcome this feedback. This can be a chance for growth and self-discovery. If someone gives you tough feedback (2), try to respond with gratitude. You can say things like:

  • “Thank you for telling me that.”
  • “I appreciate your honesty.”
  • “I can see where you’re coming from.”

11. Expressing honesty with kindness is important.

While being honest, it’s crucial to find a balance between radical and reckless honesty. Consider phrasing your words in a way that isn’t hurtful. Having tact doesn’t mean you’re lying, and some feelings are subjective.

For instance, instead of saying “That band is bad,” you could say “I don’t care for their music.” If someone asks for your opinion, find a way to provide it without being overtly mean or coming off as a put-down.

For example, if a friend asks for your opinion on a dress they’re trying to purchase, don’t say “That looks awful on you.” Instead, say something like “That style doesn’t suit you well.”

12. To avoid being confrontational and aggressive, it’s important to frame your requests in a way that shows respect for the other person’s autonomy.

Instead of making demands, try making polite requests. For instance, if your partner is frequently on their phone during your time together, rather than demanding that they put their phone away, you could say, “I would be grateful if we could spend more quality time together without distractions.” This approach shows that you respect their choice and are making a request based on your own needs.

In summary, radical honesty is a practice of being completely honest in all aspects of life, including communication with others. In order to practice radical honesty effectively, one should first acknowledge and confess when they have lied in the past.

They should also learn to express themselves directly, using “I”-statements to communicate their feelings and needs without being hurtful. When communicating with others, one should strive to be kind and tactful, while still being honest.

It is also important to make requests rather than demands and to know when to walk away from a situation that is not working. Finally, one should welcome honesty from others, even when it is critical, and respond with gratitude. By following these guidelines, individuals can cultivate a practice of radical honesty in their daily lives.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to practice radical honesty. I sincerely 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