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The Value of Truthfulness

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Trust leads to truthfulness...

... just as truthfulness leads to trust

Truthfulness is probably one of the most important personal traits a person can learn. As a child I learned the hard way about the harmfulness of deceit and the affect lying can have on the way others treat you. 

When I was at school I told a single lie. To get revenge on some boys who had been bullying me. However my parents and the teachers blew it all out of proportion and my little lie became a big investigation. Needless to say my lie was found out. However the lie damaged my relationship both with my teachers and my parents. Throughout the rest of my time at middle school I was known as a liar and it left me powerless to defend myself if ever I were accused of doing something wrong, because my word could not be trusted. The significance of the loss of reputation was not lost on me.

From that point onwards I made it by business to always be truthful. I wish I could say that I have always lived up to the task. I admit there have been times when fear has got the better of me even in my adult life and I have found myself telling lies.  I had learned the lesson but had yet to fully put it into practice However When I actively began working on my self-development I found a way to cast that fear aside completely and to always maintain truthfulness regardless of the situation. It is basically comes down to a few simple rules:

The rules of truthfulness

If you follow these rules you rarely find yourself in a position where you feel it is necessary to lie.

1) Always do what you believe is the right thing to do.

2) Be ready to admit that you are wrong.

3) Don’t feel guilty about it if you make a mistake.

4) Actively tell the truth

The benefits of following the rules of truthfulness are:

  • Significantly reduced stress
  • The trust of people around you
  • A good reputation
  • People are more likely believe you if you are falsely accused
  • It feels good to be a genuinely truthful person


Truthfulness in relationships

Truthfulness is one of the corner stones of building lasting relationships. Alongside good communication, a relationship cannot truly thrive without it. When you are no longer afraid to express yourself to your partner for fear of upsetting them and you start being open and truthful about your feelings. It transforms the relationship and opens it up to new possibilities. It brings you closer. This is because truthfulness leads to trust.

However if you are in a relationship and you have a partner who always lies. The reverse could be true. Lack of trust leads to lack of truthfulness. It creates a feedback loop and it takes a remarkable individual to see and break this destructive cycle once it has begun. I heard a phrase once, I am not sure of its source, but it was,  ‘If you treat someone like a criminal and they will act like a criminal.’ Trust leads to truthfulness.


Are you bigging yourself up to much?

There is one other reason that a person might lie (assuming they are not actually a confidence trickster) and that is to make themselves seem more important. Everyone embellishes a story a little, but some people outright lie about stuff they’ve done. This is again rooted in insecurity and fear but it’s not worth it in the long run. You’ll be found out and no one will bat an eye when you make real achievements because they’ll think you are lying.


A warning on bluntness and directness

There are people out there who pride themselves on being direct and truthful to the point of becoming offensive. This is not genuine truthfulness. It is using truth as a weapon; at the very least it is simply rude. Be truthful, be succinct but do endeavour to be polite. Bluntness can be hurtful especially if there is truth to it. It is not endearing in any way and it will not lead to enhancement of your relationships with people.


In conclusion

Always be truthful and you will experience deeper and more meaningful relationships. Eventually you will earn the trust and respect of others. Being known to be truthful is a very valuable asset. Trust leads to truthfulness just as truthfulness leads to trust.




Jul 18, 2012 4:37pm
Thank you for this article, it made me think.
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