We’ve all heard the statement that honesty is the best policy.
Being honest will take you to several places in life, but dishonesty can negatively impact your life.
Honesty is an integral character trait that makes people become better versions of themselves.
When you’re honest, you’re also perceived as reliable, dependable, and someone with integrity.
While there are other factors to consider, these are the primary reasons why honesty is the best policy.
With this being said, we’ll be diving into everything you need to know about why honesty is the best policy and some tips you can apply in your life.
What Does It Mean When People Say Honesty Is The Best Policy?
It’s much better to confront someone with the truth than comfort them with a lie.
While it might make them feel better temporarily, you’re hiding a truth they deserve to know.
People who choose to live a life filled with dishonesty tend to be afraid of confrontation and don’t want to face the facts.
In reality, lying is a better option as it helps you run away from brutal truths.
However, it’s neither helping yourself nor the people you’re lying to.
Most often, dishonesty is the aspect that breaks apart relationships and friendships.
The reason why honesty is the best policy is that it takes a lot of integrity, courage, and righteousness to be able to live an honest and authentic life.
Honesty isn’t just about stating truthful facts all the time, but it’s also being true to yourself and the way you live your life.
Not only is it extremely stressful to keep being dishonest with yourself and others, but it represents everything on your character and values.
People won’t be drawn to maintain a bond with you if you’re not someone they can rely on.
Honesty is the best policy because it’s the right and moral thing to do – simple as that.
People deserve the right to know the authentic version of the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable and may result in conflict.
10 Reasons Why Honesty Is The Best Policy
1. It encourages an easy life
Honesty is the best policy for the core reason that it makes your life so much easier.
There’s no need to feel guilty or harbor difficult feelings that come primarily from lying.
When you live a truthful life, you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not, and you don’t need to hide important facts.
The way people see you is how you actually are.
So you don’t feel guilt, shame, or fear daily for being discovered on the lie you were trying so hard to bury.
Being truthful makes your life ten times easier instead of living a very stressful and frustrating life.
2. It makes you confident
Confidence is one of the underrated reasons why honesty is the best policy.
You live a more confident life when you’re not focused on dishonesty and lies.
It’s rare to find someone who cares little about what others think and cares more about doing the moral and right thing.
If this is you, honesty builds your confidence since it also reflects your character and integrity.
Since honesty is also connected to how you maintain and develop relationships, being a dependable individual builds your self-esteem.
People will always be drawn to honest people as it’s impossible to have any kind of bond with someone you can’t trust.
Without honesty, there’s no trust and without trust, no foundation can be formed.
3. It strengthens relationships
Speaking of relationships, this is an evident factor behind why honesty is the best policy.
Honesty will always be at the base of every relationship and friendship since it’s a bond that can’t work without trust.
Three elements comprise a working relationship – love, respect, and trust.
Even when one of these is compromised, there’s no way that relationship would work.
This is why when a friend becomes dishonest with you, the tendency is you become doubtful about their intentions as a whole.
Even if you give them a second chance, there’s always that idea in your head they’ll lie to your again.
This is precisely why honesty will lift your relationship up, but any form of dishonesty will break any foundation you originally had.
4. It benefits your reputation
Whether or not you care about what others think or not, your reputation is on the line when you’re an honest person.
Others will negatively perceive you if you live a dishonest life.
Nobody wants someone in their life that typically lies and distorts the facts.
Instead, people want someone they can depend on for anything, even if it means the truth will hurt them.
You’re generally a better person if you have honesty as one of your qualities as believe it or not, it’s a rare trait to find nowadays.
5. Others will respect you
Respect will take you places in life, and one of the primary ways to do that is by being honest.
Honesty is the best policy because it makes others respect everything about you, including your values, opinions, and beliefs.
You’re not the type of person to change their ideas and beliefs just because others don’t share the same belief.
Instead, you choose to stick to your principles in life, even if others may not share the same ones.
This is part of what it means to live an honest life.
You don’t feel the need to pretend for the sake of others, but you just stay true to who you are.
6. You get what you give
When you’re an honest person by nature, you also get back what you give most often than not.
Of course, this should never be your motivation alone for being honest.
However, honesty means that how you treat others is how you’ll be treated.
This is the notion behind the saying – don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.
If you treat others with the same respect and honesty they deserve, that’s also how the people in your life will treat you.
7. You’re dependable
As we’ve mentioned above, honesty means others see you as a dependable person.
This is mainly because they know you wouldn’t lie to them for your own comfort.
The reason why honesty is the best policy all comes down to integrity.
It’s not easy to tell the truth and facts as it is or be your true self.
Most people venture through life, still finding difficulty with this one.
However, telling the truth means others will respect your words and who you are as a whole.
They may not like what you say or certain truths you have, but at least you’re not sugarcoating significant facts – and that’s something to admire.
This doesn’t just go for people, but even jobs value someone who proves to be dependable and has integrity.
8. You have integrity
Speaking of integrity, this is defined as having the conviction to stay grounded in your principles, beliefs, morals, and values.
When you’re someone who doesn’t compromise on what their stand for and is honest about it, that’s what integrity means.
Honesty is the best policy because it shows you’re a person of integrity, and you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not.
Even if the rest of the world doesn’t share your belief and even if it may disappoint someone, you practice honesty anyway.
You have power when you have integrity because then it means you’re living your life according to your morality.
9. You don’t have to live with guilt
Guilt is a pretty strong emotion, whether you realize this or not.
Living an honest life means you don’t have to harbor feelings of guilt or shame.
It can be pretty stressful when you’re always guilty of being dishonest to others or yourself.
You may think you can carry all that guilt around easily, but it will project itself in uglier ways you can imagine.
When not handled accordingly, guilt can ruin your life and can easily turn to resentment and anger.
10. It shows authenticity
The best reason why honesty is the best policy all comes down to authenticity.
You live an honest and authentic life, and your dishonesty is not controlling you.
You don’t care about conforming to what others want or making others comfortable.
You tell truths that matter, and you don’t bother changing who you are.
11. It represents your character
Honesty is the best policy because it represents your character.
When someone meets you for the first time and you’re an honest person, your admirable character is immediately recognized.
Honest people don’t bother pretending to be someone they’re not.
Not only is this extremely stressful, but it doesn’t represent your good heart.
12. It makes you consistent
Consistency is an important trait when it comes to both friendships and relationships.
When you’re consistent, others can depend on you when they need you for something.
Whether it’s your honest advice or just you in general, you’re someone dependable when you’re consistent.
This means you won’t be lying one time and then be honest another time.
13. It represents courage
You’re someone who is brave and courageous when you choose to be honest.
It’s not easy to tell the truth, especially when it’s far from convenient.
However, doing so means you’re doing the moral and just thing.
You’re being brave enough to tell the truth as it is – not for yourself, but because it’s righteous.
14. It empowers you
Being an honest person can empower you to become a better version of yourself.
When you stop pretending to be someone you’re not, you can then live a highly confident life.
This also means you can live your version of the truth without worrying about everyone else’s comfort.
Honesty is the most empowering choice you can make.
15. It represents the goodness of your heart
Lastly, honesty represents that you have a good and pure heart.
It means that most often, you have the best of intentions.
You’re honest not to show others your image, but because it’s who you genuinely are.
You value relationships, you have a pure heart, and most importantly, you have integrity.
❤️ Related: The Truth Hurts: 101+ Quotes About Lying In A Relationship
4 Tips For Practicing Honesty
1. Reflect why you need to lie
If you want to apply the concept honesty is the best policy in your life, you should first ask yourself why you feel the need to lie.
You can only live an honest life if you first tackle the issues that cause you to be dishonest in the first place.
Most often than not, our limiting beliefs prevent us from living an honest life.
Maybe you don’t think people can actually be honest, or honesty had gotten you hurt before so you swore never to go down that road again.
It’s important you let yourself heal from whatever trauma and reason caused you to be dishonest, and only then can you better yourself.
It might feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s a necessary step to make.
2. Stop being a people pleaser
Being a people pleaser is one of the most common reasons people live dishonest lives.
When you’re more focused on pleasing others than living an authentic life, that’s when it becomes a problem.
This is a massive problem because you die things or pretend to be someone you’re not just for the sake of blending in.
Whether for the sake of a friendship or relationship, you would rather be dishonest to get them to like you or stay in your life.
If you want to be honest, be more focused on doing the right thing rather than being liked by everyone else.
3. Stand on your values and morals
You have to be the kind of person who stands for their morals and values to live an honest life.
Your values are everything when it comes to your character, and you can’t compromise that for anyone – not even the people you love.
It takes a particular act of bravery and courage to stick to your beliefs, no matter what anyone else says.
It’s much easier to sway to everyone else’s opinions, but living an honest life means staying true to yourself.
4. Stop comparing
Comparison will steal your joy faster than anything else, which also means that it’s the opposite of honesty.
You can’t keep comparing yourself to others to live a truthful life.
Instead, be focused on your individual life and try not to be swayed by the opinions and ideas of others.
Honesty Is The Best Policy – FAQs
Is Honesty Really The Best Policy?
Honesty is the best policy since it’s one of the values filled with moral conduct.
You’re a step closer to being a good person when you’re honest.
Honesty will take you far more places than lies and deception ever will.
You may deal with conflict and disappointment from time to time, but what matters is that you stick to your version of the truth.
Not to mention, you have fewer things to worry about, and you’re not as stressed with everything.
Negative emotions like shame and guilt will hinder you from living your best life, but an honest life will encourage you to thrive.
Is Honesty The Best Policy In A Relationship?
Honesty is one of the primary foundations of a relationship, but there’s an exception to this rule.
There’s no need to disclose everything when it comes to white lies.
You also don’t need to let your partner know every thought in your head, as this can cause unnecessary friction and doubt in the relationship.
However, when it comes to things that matter, such as your significant thoughts, worries, that’s when you should let your partner know.
If a particular thought or statement affects your relationship, you need to let them know.
It’s vital to balance telling the truth and holding on to a white lie regarding relationships.
While honesty is the best policy, this concept may not apply to romantic relationships.
When Is Honesty Not The Best Policy?
There may come a time when acts of brutal honesty can be seen as harsh or cold-hearted.
While honesty is a great trait, you should never use honesty as an excuse to say what you’re thinking out loud each time, especially hurtful words.
You still need to think before speaking and ask yourself if your words are kind and will be able to help someone today.
If not, it’s better to keep those words to yourself.
You aren’t being dishonest, but you’re simply filtering the words before they come out of your mouth.
After all, words are like bullets and once you say the wrong ones, it can haunt someone forever.
So be honest, but also choose your words wisely.
I'm a full-time freelance writer with a love for writing self-improvement, relationships, mental health, and lifestyle articles. Check out my other articles here on Subconscious Servant, or also Thought Catalog (that’s where I express myself in a more creative form ✨).