Radical Honesty: A Genius Idea Or Just Crazy
I lie all the time. I lie about how I feel. “How are you?” ”Oh..great…just fine.”
I lie to protect other peoples feelings. I withhold information in order for you to think I’m smarter..or cooler, than I probably am.
Although I pride myself on being pretty honesty, I’ve begun to wonder just how honest I really am, particularly when I notice the subtle lengths I go to hide, or sugar coat certain things.
Brad Blanton, author of Radical Honesty, claims that this sort of “white lie” dishonesty is just stressing us out, and maybe worse.
Here’s how Wikepedia describes his concept of Radical Honesty:
“Radical Honesty is a technique and self-improvement program developed by Dr. Brad Blanton. The program asserts that lying is the primary source of modern human stress and that practitioners will become happier by being more honest, even about painful or taboo subjects. Blanton claims this form of honesty can help all human relationships since it “creates an intimacy not possible if you are hiding something for the sake of someone’s feelings.”
The Radical Honesty technique includes having practitioners state their feelings bluntly, directly and in ways typically considered impolite. For example, “I’m disgusted with you for X” where X is a statement of objective observation about the person towards whom the comment is being directed. People who practice Radical Honesty employ a collection of techniques to shift them out of acceptable norms of “white lying” for the purpose of having a more truthful relationship with themselves and others.”
He details this way of life in greater detail in his book, Radical Honesty, which I just picked up. I’ve decided to dedicate the month of August to reading it, and implimenting only what I agree to be valuable lessons in greater honesty.
There’s a lot to consider, and although I’ve just began reading, I already have some questions. Here’s an article that I stumbled on that gives voice to some questions beginning to form in my mind.
Radical Honesty Is Rarely The Truth
Here are some commonly asked questions I found on the authors website that shed some light on many questions people typically have about this thing called Radical Honesty:
Here’s an article from A.J. Jacobs, the perpetual guinea pig. I Think You’re Fat. In it, he tries to live the radical honest life, and also speaks with the author about the philosophy in some depth. A long and crazy read…But worth it.
Our online reading group,#truthchat will also be reading it, and weighing in on the authors ideas. I’ll share a bit more of how this has affected my life within 30 days or so.
To be honest…There are somethings I would rather never divulge to anyone…So I sense this won’t be a walk down easy street. But I also sense that the things it will improve are endless and also worth it:
I believe beginning from your authentic self in your life, business, and marketing is just plain better business.
Thanks to Jane Friedman, here are two talks from Simon Sinek that touch on this:
What do you think about all of this? If you’re interested, pick up the book, join us on #truthchat, and test out the ideas in your own life.