I have a pet hate. Ok, I have many pet hates. Many many.
But the one to which I am referring right now is when you are in conversation with someone, and they keep peppering their speech with, “to be honest with you” or, “to tell you the truth”. It’s only partly because habitual phrases irritate me (ya know what I mean?). Mainly it’s because when someone says that, I think to myself, so what are you telling me the rest of the time? Should I just assume that you are lying to me, unless assured otherwise?
(I sound like a Grumpy Old Woman today, don’t I? I feel like one, for some reason!)
What it comes down to is this: I can’t bear dishonesty. In any form. Verbal lies, deceitfulness, people who live double lives, false flattery, petty thefts and fraudulent behaviour, infidelity, unscrupulousness, the lot of it.
It’s not ok. Dishonesty is never ok. It’s unjustifiable. It’s insulting. It strips other people of their dignity, and wrecks lives. It’s cowardly.
I try to live up to my own standards by being as honest as I possibly can. The older I get, the easier I find it, especially in my relationships with other people. The wheels of society don’t have to be greased with white lies. We can get along perfectly well with each other by being upright and true and up front. Of course, honesty is no excuse for tactlessness or bluntness to the point of being hurtful. I’m sure we all know people who pride themselves on speaking their mind at all times, regardless of the feelings of others. I hope I’m never like that (although the older I get, the more often do I get the urge to be outspoken, which isn’t always indulged). I would like to think that all my friends feel as one did, who told me recently, “I always know that I can rely on you to tell me the truth about things”.
Because more often than not, honesty is not only the best policy. It should be the only policy.