I was talking to my amazing, magnificent friend over the weekend as we usually do and we got on the subject of honesty. We discussed it in the form of book reviews but, like I usually do, I went off on a slight tangent about this particular subject and one of the first lessons I plan to teach my child in the future.
When you achieve something great or are rewarded for a job well done, how do you normally feel? You feel amazing; on top of the world. Then you want to tell everyone you know so they can feel wonderful with you. You are owning your greatness in that moment. You earned it, it was well deserved and you want to flaunt it. That’s a natural reaction to a positive experience right?
So why is it that when a person does something wrong, instead of owning their mistake, they blame everything else under the sun? Or, even worse, flip the tables to make it seem like the other party was delusional in their assessment of the situation because there is just no way you could be wrong even though you KNOW (because trust me, you know) that you were part of the wrong or even fully responsible for it?
Speaking from experience, I understand how easily it is to tell a little white lie when you don’t want to feel the wrath of another person. I truly get it, I do. But I learned over time that that literally makes things 1000 times worse because something so small that I could have owned up to in the beginning ends up getting blown out of proportion and multiple parties end up hurt. Then instead of just one person you have to apologize to, there are many and from there, people’s trust meter of you has faltered a bit.
Losing someone’s trust or even confidence in your own ability to take and receive information is one of the worst feelings. I personally own up to everything I say. If someone asks me for an honest opinion about something, they better be prepared to hear an honest answer. I’m not one for sugarcoating especially when I made the mistake. It’s quite easy to say “That was totally my fault, I’m sorry” or “My bad, I messed up or misinterpreted what you said” to avoid a total explosion of unnecessary drama. Now if I didn’t do it or say it, I definitely won’t take the blame.
When I worked as a manager in retail, this concept was something I pretty much drilled into my staff. If you messed up, seriously, it’s okay. Just tell me so we can fix it together and then you’ll know how better to handle the situation the next time. If you lie to me, I will find out so let’s not waste time. Now, is there times when things should be tactfully said? Sure. But that is one reason why I always lead in with something like “I mean no disrespect but…” and then lay it all out. That way the receiver is already prepared for what I’m about to drop on them but I also hope it makes them feel comfortable enough to do the same for me in return because who doesn’t want 100% honesty all the time?
At the end of the day, I know I can’t make people change. Some people are so good at lying or being two faced that that is their natural instinct. It just sucks for the rest of us who have to figure that out further along in a friendship or relationship instead of right up front. The world would truly be a better place if people owned up to all of their judgments instead of just some of them and not only that, be able to take information, even if it’s information they don’t like, gracefully. That’s the very definition of being an adult wouldn’t you say?
I’m quite interested in what you all think on this topic. Let me know in the comments below and feel free to share experiences of your own if you feel comfortable. 🙂