1-Sentence-Summary: Radical Honesty looks into the concept of lying and how we can train ourselves to avoid doing it as only through morality we can live an honest life, although our natural inclination to lie can sometimes push us to alter the truth.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Everybody lies. Whether you do it frequently or not, you must’ve done it at some point in your life. If you say you haven’t, you’re lying right now. We lie about our feelings to cover facts in front of others, and for many other different reasons.
Being a moral person is not easy. However, lying can erode us from the inside, so the best decision that we can make for ourselves and those around us is to be radically, brutally honest. Not only is it moral, but it is also healthy, as keeping lies can increase our stress and anxiety levels, and also ruin our meaningful relationships.
Some people lie more frequently than others. These are the people who go way past what we call ‘’innocent lies’’, and live their entire lives denying their truth. These people usually have issues with the persona they built for themselves in their teenage years.
When we grow up, we choose a persona for ourselves that reflects who we are to the world. This persona is supposed to be moral and control their mind over their body. However, when one has a problem or faces challenges with their persona, they choose their closest survival mechanism for defense: lying. What they don’t know is that they’re falling into a dangerous trap.
People’s lies can tell you a lot about them. Whether they’re frequent or rare, big or small, many or few, they all reveal significant insights. Radical Honesty reveals many lessons uncovered through careful observation of these behaviors in people.
Here are my three favorite ones:
- Radical honesty implies telling the integral truth even if it feels uncomfortable.
- Take responsibility for your life by being an honest person.
- Work on your anger instead of holding on to it or repressing it.
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into these lessons!
Lesson 1: True honesty means telling the absolute truth with no shortcuts.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell the truth to someone. It can be something that involves you, or the other person, and something that you may not want to address or confront. Whatever the reason is, the truth can be uncomfortable, and we all know it.
Not lying sounds like an easy concept. After all, we don’t have to do anything, right? In practice, however, things look a little different. Being completely honest is a struggle we all go through from time to time. More often than not, it is the consequences that we’re afraid of, rather than breaking the chain of lies.
Therefore, we use partial truth to keep our conscience clean. We tell the facts partially, we omit details or keep essential, decisive information to ourselves. Still, we told the truth, right? Well, being a moral person involves telling the whole story in a straight manner, being descriptive and brutally honest about it.
This is the healthier, correct choice in the long run. Contrary to your beliefs, it can also save a relationship, as people will trust you more if they feel like you’ve been honest with them. Moreover, lying can take its toll on you, and it can be quite detrimental to your mental health if you don’t come clean about it.
Lesson 2: Being in charge of your life implies brutal honesty at all times.
Taking responsibility for your life can be a real struggle. That is why many people blame their states, their environments, their parents, and mostly any external factor for their failures. The truth is, we have to start looking for the root of our problems within us.
It is hard to take a good look inside our souls and search for the answers. Did we really try everything there is to try to make our lives better? The response to this question is something everyone has to find out for themselves. Still, this is no easy feat, as we all have a constant contradiction between our beliefs and wishes.
On one hand, we resent our environment, our job, or our relationships with the people around us. On the other hand, we aren’t really doing anything about it. The way out of this existential paradox is the truth. Only by being true to yourself can you take charge of your life and free your mind and soul.
Moreover, the author suggests that we should stop putting things in boxes. The way we feel isn’t right or wrong, but rather just something we should acknowledge and work on. To do that, we have to look inside our souls and be frank about what we will find there. Perhaps this is why they say ‘’the truth will set you free.’’
Lesson 3: Repressing anger instead of telling the truth can destroy your relationships.
Repressing anger for the sake of those around you is not a heroic act. Many people feel as if they have to show a perfect face to their children, spouse, and the world, or they will be seen as weak people otherwise. That is, in fact, not the case.
Holding on to anger is foolish, as not only it affects you, but those around you as well. No matter how good you think you are at covering up your feelings, frustration and tension build up and they can ruin your relationships. Plus, nobody likes being lied to, and doing it will only worsen the situation.
The best thing you can do is let it all out. Cry if you have to. Eliminate anger and stress in your own way. For instance, you can try going to therapy, or find comfort in someone you love. Acknowledge your anger and keep in mind that the way you feel is not unreasonable, nor a burden.
As always, telling the truth is the key to the problem. This is especially true in our relationships, as the best ones are built on honesty and communication. Whenever something bothers you, it is better to discuss it openly with the other person, instead of keeping it for yourself and letting your negative feelings build up in time.
Radical Honesty Review
Radical Honesty helps its readers become better communicators and learn healthy lessons about openness and truth. Human nature is flawed, so sometimes people choose to lie, but doing so will only create a much bigger problem inside them and for those around them. For this reason, treating this flawed natural inclination is essential, as it will help us grow, evolve, and educate new people to be moral and fair throughout their lives.
Who would I recommend the Radical Honesty summary to?
The 25-year-old introvert who has a hard time telling the truth to someone’s face, the 30-year-old parent who wants to learn to communicate more efficiently and honestly with their children, and couples who are struggling with honest communication.