Why is honesty the best policy (for happiness) ?

If you want to be happy, the only policy you can really adopt is honesty. There is no other alternative. Dishonest people cannot be happy because they are lying to themselves.

Does honesty make you happier? Isn’t there a weird question? It is, quite weird. However, we still live in a society where most people aren’t happy. People have to lie in relationships, in offices, everywhere to be able to sustain their jobs, businesses, friendships and even families.

Why is the world such a dishonest place?

Simply, because dishonesty is valued in society. The other day there was a discussion going on LinkedIn about being honest in interviews. Most people, unsurprisingly, were of the opinion that if candidates were honest in job interviews, nobody would give those jobs to them. That’s where the problem lies. If the society respects dishonesty and that it rewarded, most people would choose dishonesty. However, even in the interview scenario, if you lie and you get the job, you won’t be happy in the job and would be a burden for the company.

If you want to be happy, you would need to embrace honesty. I don’t care if it’s popular or not considering even happiness is not popular. External success is. Trying to be a happy is a mind-set in life. You can’t be dishonest and happy because you know that whatever you have achieved as an outcome of your dishonesty is not deserving of yours.

Here are 10 reasons why honesty is absolutely critical to your happiness.

1. When you are honest, there is no guilt

Dishonesty creates a feeling of guilt. Guilt is a severe negative emotion. It makes you feel, well, guilty. When you feel guilty about something, it creates a kind of poison in your mind, and you cannot find joy in that experience. It is pointless, and rather counterproductive to gain anything through deceit and dishonesty since it doesn’t serve the purpose of achieving happiness.

2. Honesty makes us free

Honesty makes you free.
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When I was in undergraduate college, I used to take a bus to my college and many times, just to save money, I would not buy the ticket. I would be scared the entire journey and everyone who boarded the bus looked like a ticket checker.

When we are dishonest, we are scared because we know that we are at fault. While when we are honest, we are free to be, because we know that we aren’t doing anything wrong. Even if we don’t get what we want with honesty for the time being, eventually someone would appreciate our honesty and we would get to do what we want. Honesty brings freedom.

3. Honesty with your self is even more important

Honesty with yourself is indispensable to your happiness.
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We don’t only have to be honest with others. We need to be honest with ourselves since only when we are honest with ourselves, we would be able to evaluate our lives with clarity. If you aren’t honest with yourself, you would not be able to know what is lacking in your life and if you do not know the problems, you won’t know the solutions.

Being honest with yourself is so important that it cannot be overemphasized. However, it needs to be overemphasized every time since we live in a world where most people are not honest with themselves.

4. Honesty kills pretense

Charles Bukowski quote on everyday life

The world is a pretentious place. People are pretending to be happy when their internal world is in shambles. How do you know that? They hardly laugh, they look somber in their business attire and complain of monotony while they show off their material possessions like houses and cars.

People don’t admit that the decisions they took messed with their inner worlds and they are not willing to do anything about it. They, therefore carry on with life with a façade of everything being hunky dory.

“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”

― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

However, that’s what the majority of the world has been doing and pretends to enjoy it. Pretense is destroying happiness for you and every time you notice yourself pretending, your conscience should raise a red flag so that you can get back to honesty.

5. Dishonesty kills relationships

Honesty doesn’t only apply to social and professional context. It also applies to relationships. People who enter relationships with dishonesty destroy their own and their partner’s lives. For example, if your partner likes people who write, and you don’t, but since you want to be with him/her, you get a friend to write a story to impress your partner. They would be impressed for once, but you would be in for a shock when they ask you to write a story the next time, and they would be in for disappointment. I am aghast at people lying to get into relationships when dishonesty only leads to pain for everyone involved.

Relationships can be one of the most important sources of happiness and if you start with a foundation of dishonesty that creates the contrary output.

6. Honesty makes you confident at the outset

When would you be more confident, when you are honest or dishonest? It’s a simple answer. When you are dishonest, there is a fear in your mind that your lie might be caught any day and hence you can’t give your 100% to the job, because you know that you might be caught someday and your lie would be exposed. Hence, dishonest people are nervous to start with.

Honest people on the other hand, since they have nothing to hide and they are building their career/relationship/business on the foundation of honesty are confident from the word go. Since they are confident, they achieve more and hence are happier.

7. Honesty makes you a better person

Honesty makes you a better person
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Honest people are simply better people. They don’t fool around in conversations and they have clarity of thought. They do not hide their emotions or their vulnerabilities and hence are more trustworthy than those who are not honest in their dealings. Choose honesty, just because it will make you a better person.

8. Honesty lets you evaluate your life from a happiness standpoint

If I were to ask you how happy you are on a scale of 1-10, you would have a number in your mind immediately. The problem is, most people would continue to ignore the warning signs.

If the answer to the question is below 5 for you at the stage, there is something wrong with your life and you need to fix it. Being honest about the things that make you unhappy, puts you in a position to fix them. If you do not acknowledge the problem on the other hand, there won’t be anything to really fix because no problems have been identified.

9. Honesty simply makes you happier

Honesty makes you happier.
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Honesty is just a better approach to living life since it takes away any sort of masks that you would need to wear if you were to be dishonest. Dishonesty creates nervousness, fear and guilt. These are all negative emotions. If you want to be happy, you need to live your life in a way that you stay away from negative emotions. If you choose honesty in every situation, small or big, you would find yourself happier than large swathes of population which lives on dishonesty.

10. Honestly speaking, there is no alternative to honesty

People try act over smart and think they can manipulate their way through life and not be honest. There is simply no other way beyond plain and brutal honesty to live a satisfied and happy life.

In every situation, whenever you are tempted to be dishonest, choose honesty. Be known for your honesty. You may only lie in situations where the truth would be significantly painful to the person receiving it. For example, telling a terminally ill patient that they have a week to live. It’s okay to be dishonest and not tell them anything about the number of days they have. However, in most cases and situations in life, honesty is rightfully the best policy.

In conclusion, honesty makes you a happier person because you have nothing to hide. You have shared your strengths and your weaknesses, your powers and your vulnerabilities and hence you are going with what you have. You are confident that you have played your cards transparently and people would then be able to trust you. Ironically, it does take courage to be honest in a world where most people are going about wearing masks of dishonesty. Hold your courage. It is the right thing to do, to be honest.

Thank you for reading.

The purpose of this blog to help you find your happiness. Please read the other posts on the blog, and follow so that you get updates when new posts are published. Please share any posts you like with your friends so that they can also find their happiness. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments and I would be happy to work on it. If you would like to support my writing and this blog, you may please send a donation through PayPal here.

I appreciate the time you spent in reading the blog and wish you happiness.



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