Is Honesty  always the best policy?

Yesterday was Honest Day.  Am I always honest, every single hour of every day?

Maybe and maybe not; but what is the truth?

I have my truth, what I believe to be true, and real, but someone else, even in the same place and situation may have a different truth.

I don’t like to lie, and in fact, I’m no good at it.  If I try to lie about something, even a small thing with my husband, I give myself away, because I start to laugh

Life Values 

Integrity is one of my highest values in personal life and my business. I often question when people say they have different values for both personal and business life. I don’t understand why they would be different; surely if you are honest in your personal life, you aren’t suddenly become a liar in business… are you?

I suppose because I work for myself, it’s easier and my values are what they are because I am my business.  However, I would find it very difficult to work with a company whose ethics were diametrically opposite to mine. 

Where do we get our values?

As children, we learn by modelling our parents.  I was brought up in a family with strong moral values and was taught that honesty was important.  When I was young, I was probably too honest on occasions for my own good. 

As a teen, I belonged to the Guides, and after the weekly night meeting, my friends would stop to buy chips.  My mum told me not to hang around. However, when your friends are going home the same way as you, but via the fish and chip shop, you’re not going to go with them, are you?

I’d not buy any chips, but wait with them, and walk back with them. My mum had the nose of a bloodhound!  She could smell the chip shop on my clothes, so there as no way I could lie about being there!

What is honesty?

Having just written a blog for someone else about honesty, I found a great definition of it:

‘Honesty is not only about telling the truth. It is also about being truthful with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life.’

Being honest in both our personal and business lives promotes openness and empowers us to develop consistency in how we present facts.

Does being dishonest affect your mental health?

Telling even white lies can affect how you feel and cause stress.

In my mind, people who live a life lying must either have no sense of guilt or be continually living in a state of stress.

According to psychologists, narcissists are often pathological liars because they don’t care about the truth.  They prefer to tell lies to gain control of other’s rather than be honest.

Sometimes though, compulsive liars are people who are impulsive and don’t think about the outcomes of their lies.

It’s far easier to say ‘yes I’m fine’ when you’re not. It is often seen as a weakness to admit to having problems. Again, this can cause unwanted stress.

Is honesty always the best policy?

For me, on 99% of occasions, ‘yes’!

I’m not perfect. Of course, I’ve told lies. Mostly, I lie if it a case of not wanting to hurt someone.

Also, most of us Brits at some point, when asked how we feel have answered, ‘fine’ whether we are or not.

I could never be involved in a dangerous lie. I wouldn’t be able to remember what I had said, or what I wasn’t supposed to say. The pressure of keeping the lie hidden would be such nagging stress; I would crack.

As I’ve got older, I also tend to say what I mean more readily. If a friend asks my opinion of something, I will usually answer with my truth, even if it isn’t what they want to hear.  My answer will always be given with care and explanation if needed.

In terms of me – you get what you see!

A poem about honesty…


If you caught me out in a lie, who would I be?

Would you think I had integrity?

Would I be the person you expected?

Presenting myself as something I’m not

Having airs and graces like some big hot-shot,

My business headshot should be reflective

Of who I am now, warts and all, 

Not one of me twenty years younger – retrospective!

If I cannot give myself my true value

Then how can I truly support you in whatever we do?

We all want to work with someone we trust, 

Not have to walk away in disgust

Due to misleading truths and confusion,

Giving completely the wrong illusion.

Our ethics should not take a backseat.

Once you start to lie

Therein leads a life of fantasies to fly.

Untruths once out there and verbalised; 

Hard to cover up and hide.

Falsehoods escaping far and wide.

Integrity in life is key;

Openness, morality and truth for all to see.

If when asked for my advice

The answer you receive seems testy, 

I’m not trying to be nice; at best,

I’m being kind, with honesty.

                        ©Lis McDermott 2020