It’s hard to find a truly honest person. Most people who claim to be honest are usually telling white lies and omitting things.
True honesty is rare. I could make a comparison, but everything I think of is either too rare or not rare enough. Honestly, it’s hard to gauge the number of honest people in the world unless one person spends lots of time with everybody.
That’s not possible. You can conduct questionnaires and surveys to find a truly honest person, but you’re still going to be limited.
Unfortunately, and I say this with sadness, true honesty almost doesn’t exist if you’re speaking about telling the truth every single moment of your life.
Now, you do have those who tell fewer lies than others, and those who tell different kinds of lies than others, but it all just gets so complicated. Honesty is just rare, plain, and simple.
Traits of an honest person
So, just to get an idea of what an honest person might act like, we can go over a few traits of a person who tries to tell the truth – you might say this kind of person has integrity.
1. A normal tone of voice
Let’s start with this one. Have you noticed how some people get loud when you ask them a question? Well, I hate to tell you this, but there’s a high probability that the person is lying because they are being so defensive. It may not be true in every occasion, but I’ve noticed a correlation.
Honest people tend to have a calm tone of voice when asked a question. The reason for the difference – they have nothing to worry about or pressure to fabricate a story. Ask them a question and they will answer you in a consistent manner.
2. They seem rude
An honest person may sometimes come across as mean. This is because if you ask them a question, they usually tell the raw truth. Many truth-tellers don’t try to candy-coat the truth to preserve your feelings. They rather just get it over and done with so you will get the real information you need.
If you ask them a question, get ready for what might be a hard truth. It might sting, and they may seem like some of the rudest people ever, but it will be honesty.
3. They’re good friends
A really good friend of integrity would also be an honest person. They tend to be there when you need them, and if they cannot be there for some reason, they will be honest about the reason.
If they have a problem with you or something you said, they will tell you to your face and not behind your back. While honest people may not have loads of friends, the ones they have are dependable like they are.
4. Strong beliefs
An honest person has a strong belief system. Their morals and standards are pretty much rock solid, and they don’t mind telling you about them. It’s sometimes hard for people like this to get a job because of the way they believe, but that just means the job isn’t good enough for them.
Employers with integrity may be taken aback by this honesty at first but appreciate this mindset after hiring an honest person. It usually benefits the company to have someone who goes against the majority sometimes.
These strong beliefs aren’t just good for the workplace, but they also work for weeding out the wrong people for relationships as well, plus many other situations.
5. Their skin is thick
If a person is honest, they have thick skin, not in the literal sense of course. But they have to be like this. Why? It’s because people who tell the truth are sometimes disliked for doing so.
The truth can be shocking to those with hidden insecurities because the truth contradicts the whole façade of the insecure person pretending to be okay with themselves.
When insecure people start getting defensive, watch out! They can be volatile, even becoming verbally abusive. Truth tellers use their thick skin to shield them from these things and preserve peace of mind.
I will say, sometimes an honest person has to grow this thick skin over time. They may not have it at first and may become wounded when telling the hard truth.
6. Cares not for popularity
Are honest people trying to win the contest of most beautiful, most liked, or the coolest person around? Nah, they don’t care about that stuff.
If they do something, they do it for themselves, or to help others. While others fight for popularity, an honest person is busy trying to better themselves. They usually have amazing self-worth and know exactly who they are.
Why is honesty so hard?
I covered some reasons why honesty is hard, but there are other reasons as well. Did you know that most of us who lie, do it to protect ourselves, not the feelings of others?
Since we, as humans, are into self-preservation, it’s easier to lie than tell the truth. And so many of us will choose the long term burden of a lie over the short term pain of the truth. Honesty is hard because many of us are cowards.
When we’ve done something wrong to someone, and they’ve been hurt, it takes a lot of energy to reconcile the truth to the person we’ve hurt. It takes the power of our thinking and emotion. What is a tactful way to tell them? How do I show I am sorry?
There are so many questions that need answers before we tell the truth. We could just blurt it out, and that would not be wrong, but tact and empathy are much better.
It’s sometimes hard, to tell the truth like this. So often, we use blame, projection, and other deceitful ways to shirk our responsibilities. But we almost always pay for it later.
It’s also hard to be honest because we’re not even honest with ourselves. Half the things we believe about ourselves are lies we’ve ingrained for years. It can take many more years of work to remove those lies.
Most people don’t want to do this work either. Look, meditation and such won’t even work without first facing who you are. Do you see how honesty can be so hard to practice?
What you need to know
Although these traits may seem daunting to learn, and the difficulty of truth may scare you, you should strive to be an honest person anyway. The world needs honesty.
Without people telling the truth about themselves, situations and others, we will never be able to solve all the problems we’ve gotten ourselves into. You would be surprised at how much influence honesty and lying has over your life.
Let’s start examining ourselves a bit better.
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This Post Has 17 Comments
I’m not sure honesty needs to sound so harsh. Telling the truth doesn’t necessarily require having a thick skin if you’re not being abrupt or confrontational about it. Some people will react badly but that’s their issue. Being honest doesn’t need to be “cut-to-the-chase, I don’t have time for this”. Honesty can be handled gently and not alienate most people.
You are right. A little finesse can make the truth easier to swallow. And you do have those people who no matter how you tell the truth always feel victimized. If you think someone will be hurt, take the extra time to sort through your words. Good, no great idea, Kelly.
Lovely and very informative article!
I just wanted to ask you if you might know the reason why it is much more easier for some to be truthful to themselves than others?
You know, I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time. In a nutshell, I believe those who lie frequently actually have a personality disorder, sometimes a pretty severe one. Then you have people who occasionally lie, and I will admit, I told lies here and there, but still working on it. Then you have people who absolutely refuse to lie, and I think they are really strong people. It’s the mindset. You must set your mind on telling the truth no matter what, and you can decide how to do this to spare feelings. You can actually be truthful without hurting someone. Most of my lying comes from being in toxic relationships. If you’re in those types of relationships, you will eventually start lying to protect your interests…because toxic people seem to lie, steal, and cheat. Those traits, unfortunately, can rub off on you if you’re not careful. Just a thought.
Thank you for this article of clarity, I sent the following to my wife of 30+ years…
“6 reasons you dislike talking to me, living with me, listening to me.
She’s right, it’s a lonely and difficult disease; honesty.
But; it’s who I am now, and compulsive liars will NEVER like or associate with me.
I keep giving you the opportunity to find someone better/different for your chosen lifestyle.
This IS WHO I AM, I was upfront and honest when I first hooked up with you at UOP, I haven’t changed.
(she explains why liars are popular & business leaders ((presidents))(((people you admire))))
IF, if, If you read & digest 95% of this article, you might learn why you have no respect for me.
(I still have LOADS of respect for myself so I don’t care)
You just keep being honest. Liars do not really win in the end. The more lies you tell, the deeper you get into sadness, hurt, and loneliness. Plus, if you tell a lie, you usually end up having to lie more and more to cover up the original lie. It’s exhausting. I did lots of lying when I was younger.
I’m impress with the author’s idea, surely touched a chord.
Always good to be honest. Thanks for reading, Dennis.
Nice article, sent to my granddaughters!
Thank you for reading, Kathleen, and thank you for spreading the honest word around. I appreciate you sharing the post. I hope it helps and inspires someone.
So true. I was always blamed for telling the truth and people was pointing at my @rudeness all my life. So hard to live with it. But that’s how I am and I wouldn’t change it. Candy-coating … thank you for this article.
Honesty is a rare thing. It seems like it’s becoming so normal to just lie about any and everything. And people do seem to treat you worse when you’re honest or don’t agree with everything they say. It’s really aggravating when they call you a liar and they are the ones lying.
Thank you for reading, Sam
We have to be honest on our lifes.
Being honest with ourselves and with people that sorround us
Unfortunately, there is a severe lack of honesty in our world today. Thank you for reading, Marcelo
Wow! I was laughing out loud at the accuracy of this article. It takes one to know one. Courage isn’t just helping kitties out of trees; it’s doing the right thing when no one is looking. Thick skin is developed through all sorts of pain, as you similarly stated. The reward comes through perseverance. There’s a term used in an old organization I used to be a part of that we either heard or screamed to one another; “pain is weakness leaving the body!” I wholeheartedly agree. We have to be honest with ourselves first to find who we truly are. IMO, that sets a standard to begin living life to the fullest. Most people can’t even be honest with themselves, so it’s no wonder why society is so starved for love and attention yet seemingly full of hate. You had me at “Nah, they don’t care about that stuff.” You hit it right on the nail. Fantastic article and great read!
I hope all is well with you. Honesty is difficult for some people, I suppose. I mean, I’ve lied too. However, I am not a liar, as I don’t find it necessary to be deceptive. Lately, I’ve been observing certain people in my life doing things that are deceptive, and they think I don’t see it. I do. I just don’t understand the logic of lying about such small things and blaming others for things they’ve done. I am so imperfect, YES, and I want people to know that I have imperfections like jealousy, control issues, anger issues, etc. However, I try to be a good person. I am guarded, and hesitant to help in certain situations for fear of my own wellbeing, but I want to help…preferably anonymously. I do not want others to know because I don’t want them to think that I want attention. I’ve seen too many people help for that reason, taking pictures and posting on social media and such. So, honesty is deep, sometimes difficult, and in most cases, the preferred and right thing to do. Thank you for reading.
I’m not alone in the world? Thank you