Are You as Honest as You Think You Are?
The other day, a friend was telling me about some of his wild romantic experiences. A few minutes later, he turned to me and said, “Actually, I’ve got to get something off my chest. Those crazy same-night sex stories I told you about…it only happened once.”
That shocked me. How many guys downplay their sexual ability…especially to other guys?
I told him I appreciated him telling me the truth. He replied, “Yeah, this year I decided to commit to being authentic in every part of my life. It’s helped me build better friendships, repair bad relationships, and love myself more than ever before.”
When we think about being an honest person, we focus on not bullshitting people. While that’s important, a commitment to authenticity goes much deeper than that.
It’s not only about speaking the truth to others, but being true to ourselves.
It’s about owning our feelings and intentions. It’s about embracing our values, wants, and desires. It’s about making healthy connections with the right people. It’s about accepting who we are and who we aren’t.
And authenticity is a daily, conscious practice until it becomes a way of life. It takes trial, error, and self-discovery.
But why should you care? What’s in it for you?
This is actually more for your benefit than anyone else. You are the only person who can answer the question, “What do I want and need in life?”
So the more connected you are to yourself — the more fulfilled and happy you’ll feel.
Prioritizing and embracing the real you means seeing yourself as worthy. And that is the literal definition of having high self-esteem, which is an insanely attractive quality in itself.
Going against your core leads to frustration, self-loathing, and a constant lack of satisfaction. So let’s commit to being honest together. That means…
- Letting go of friendships that are destructive to your well-being. Too many people stay friends because it makes them feel validated or because they think they’re being loyal.
- Not automatically saying you hate or dislike something which challenges your comfort zone. Giving it a real chance before making a final decision about it.
- Refusing to settle with someone out of fear or loneliness. Committing to be exclusive only when you’ve found someone you truly connect with, that respects you, and fulfills your expectations in a partner.
- Denying a request to help someone when you have more pressing priorities or it isn’t something you want to do. Only helping when you can, when you want to, or when you can do so freely without strings attached (seeking validation or for future favors in return).
- Not embellishing stories to make yourself seem cooler.
Standing up for yourself when you’re being mistreated and enforcing your boundaries.
- Pursuing a more personally rewarding career path rather than one that just provides monetary value. Obviously this isn’t easy for everyone but at least creating a game plan to make it a possibility is a step in the right direction.
- Not giving into peer pressure about the types of places you should go or what you should like. Only taking actions that align with your values. If the bar and club scene aren’t your thing, there are plenty of places to meet people elsewhere.
- Dropping all rehearsed lines when approaching someone new. Choosing to say what you found interesting about them, expressing a spontaneous thought that’s on your mind, making a relevant observation, or asking something you’re genuinely curious about.
- Admitting to and loving the hobbies or interests you may feel judged about. That could be your collectibles, video games, woodworking, cosplaying, or tabletop RPGs.
- Revealing your quirky or dark sense of humor in conversation.
- Not just doing whatever your partner is interested in all the time to please them. Leading with your own ideas and wanting to them invest in what makes you happy as well.
- Having a deep talk with your parents about how they hurt you or how the way they raised you shaped you negatively. Not just sitting with those feelings and always acting like everything is fine with your relationship.
- Sharing a disagreeing opinion with someone even though it may lead to an uncomfortable moment or discussion. This is especially true if you it’s something important to you or that you feel you’re right about.
- Not pretending to be a platonic friend or tutor when you secretly want a romantic relationship with someone. Flirting, showing your intentions, and risking rejection to seek the connection you desire.
- Opening up when something is bothering you instead of just saying, “I’m fine.”
- Admitting you’re terrified in a situation when asked, rather than pretending like you’re unphased.
- Ending a relationship you know has no future due to major differences (e.g., not wanting children or not going to join their religion).
- Not leading a girl to believe you’re looking for a more serious relationship when you just want to get laid. Conveying what you’re looking for early on even if it may not be what she’s looking for.
- Actually being present in a conversation, listening intently, and creating natural dialogue instead of just waiting to say something planned.
- Choosing a partner that you want to be with even if they aren’t of the approved race/religion/economic status by your parents.
- Apologizing when you know you were wrong or hurt someone’s feelings.
- Not changing your personality dramatically depending on the people you’re talking to just to gain approval.
- Accepting your weaknesses and flaws as something to work on. Not just denying their existence or telling yourself you don’t need to improve anything.
- Giving necessary criticism to help the people closest to you grow. Speaking up because you care about them rather than holding it in and building resentment.
So I ask you…are you as honest as you think you are? If not, listen to the words of Dr. Bennet Omalu and…