I am an honest person. It is very difficult for me to lie openly, and I attempt to never do so. I try my best never to be duplicitous and to make my honest feelings known on all matters, or, if I do not wish to make my feelings known, to simply not speak, or refuse to answer. I make it pretty clear to people whether I like them or not. I try to avoid people I dislike and to stay in the company of those whom I like. I try always to answer questions honestly. Generally, I do a pretty good job of it.

I’ve noticed lately that I will speak mistruths when I make it clear, through my actions, that I am joking or that I am lying. I don’t really like that I’ve been seeing myself do this from time to time, it really goes against my policy of complete honesty. I need to attempt to stop when I see myself doing this.

There is one person in particular who has a very open and well-known disdain for me who insists on pretending to be nice when he needs things from me. It annoys me to no end — we both know that he hates me, and it’s really stupid for him to pretend to be nice and then walk out the door and start shouting obscenities about me. I just don’t get why he acts that way.

There have been two occasions in the last week or so where administrators have said things to me that I know to be completely untrue. Their demeanor while putting forth these lies was almost exactly the same as their demeanor at other times. This worries me greatly. It is pretty darn obvious if I’m telling a lie, on the few occasions that I do. To realize that people I talk to every day are so adept at lying really throws me for a loop — I don’t really know if what they’ve told me in the past has been the complete honest truth.

Everyone embellishes, everyone tells half-truths, everyone distorts things slightly. I strive to be as honest a person as possible. While other students might go to professors and attempt to get grades changed on things like papers (and often succeed), I don’t do so because it just doesn’t feel right to me. While people make excuses for missing class, be they legitimate or not, I generally don’t, because I don’t think they’re honest — if I wanted to get to the class enough, I would have, and if I had another priority that made the class secondary, then I really don’t have the right to make excuses. And when I tell people my opinions, I tell them my true opinions, not the ones I think they’re going to like.

I’m beginning to feel that my honesty puts me at a distinct disadvantage to other people. I think that bothers me, but I’m not sure. Should it?

7 replies on “Honesty”

  1. I’ve also been told that I’m not “good at lying” (if, indeed, lying can be said to be good). If anything, I take that as a compliment. Quite possibly it does put you or me at a disadvantage, but all the same I think it’s probably a good thing from an ethical and social perspective.

  2. Oh, honesty. I honestly can’t lie worth a hill of beans [or did I just lie?].

    It’s become socially acceptable to lie in conditions where it once would not be. Who hasn’t heard a friend not only admit to, but rather brag about ditching class and then sending the teacher an excuse via email? If I miss class, I’ll be the first person to admit that I overslept [which, luckily, hasn’t happened this semester, but I’ve still got about 10 weeks].

    Yes, it sucks that other people lie. Yes, they CAN and DO get away with it. And YES, it SHOULD bother you. Besides, most teachers know that excuses are full of shit, so [I think] they’d rather hear the truth for once.


  3. Our language is replete with expressions extolling the virtues of honesty and damning deceit. ‘An honest days work’, ‘what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive’are but two examples. And this is true for many languages because honesty is universally held in high estime.

    Honesty is seen in the face, maybe not immediately in the lie, but your face shows the life you have lived and as you age it can only be reflected there, continue being honest and age gracefully.

    And finally, honesty is its own reward but not its only, you may sometimes be disadvantaged in situations, but never in life.


  4. your comments about staff at this institution make me sad – what ever happened to “Truth to its Innermost Parts”? Another fallen ideal? Sad, very sad.

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