Honesty Is Not Always the Best Policy

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[Tomorrow, Friday, April 30th, is National Honesty Day. We’re all about telling the truth around here (often to a fault), but as one writer argues, sometimes honesty may not be the best policy.]

Whoever said that “honesty is the best policy” has obviously never been in a relationship, nor had a best friend on their period. Sometimes a girl’s best friend is a white lie. Trust me, I know from experience. Not only have I had a petition signed against me (yeah, really), but I’ve also gotten into many fights that could have been avoided by not being brutally honest.

I’m not saying that in every situation we need to lie. In fact, lies can lead to the end of many relationships. There are, however, times when honesty probably isn’t a good idea. Don’t know what I mean? Here are some situations when it’s best to just bite your tongue:

Probably not the best idea: “Sorry, mom; I look like crap because I’m hungover as hell and that dude that stayed over kept kicking me all night, dammit!”
Instead: “I had a late night.”

Probably not the best idea: “Not to be mean, but you are in desperate need of some Listerine. Seriously, what died in your mouth?”
Instead: “Want some gum? There are gonna be cute guys and we don’t want to smell like onion rings.”

Probably not the best idea: “Seriously? Shut up! All I asked you was how you are, not your life story. I don’t really care, I was just trying to make small talk.”
Instead: “Oh, well I’m running late for a study group….”

Probably not the best idea: “Honestly, your laugh is like nails on a chalkboard and I’d rather swap spit with a Golden Retriever than let your slobbery mouth near mine again.”
Instead: “Yeah, you’re a great guy, but things just aren’t working out. ”

Probably not the best idea: “Nice muffin top.”
Instead: “I’m not sure I love the way those jeans look on your butt. We can do better.”

Probably not the best idea: “You look slutty in that dress.”
Instead:
“I like the other dress more.”

Probably not the best idea: “ARE YOU KIDDING? He’s clearly not interested in you so just move on already.”
Instead: “There are lots of guys here, what about that cute guy from your Physics lab?”

Probably not the best idea: “You’re the laziest mo-fo I’ve ever met.”
Instead: “Could you take out the trash today? Thanks!”

Probably not the best idea: “STOP STALKING THEM ON FACEBOOK! It’s creepy!”
Instead: Actually, no, that one’s OK. Someone needs to intervene.

In the long run, honesty generally is the best way to go. Lying will get you no where, as people will eventually discover the truth. I am not saying that we need to lie; I am just saying that sometimes being completely and totally honest isn’t appropriate. Sometimes you need to tell the truth in a much nicer way. When your boyfriend’s mother asks you how dinner was the first time he takes you home, tell her it was great. When your friend just got a horrible hair cut and comes to you teary eyed and depressed, do her make up and make her feel good about herself.

Honesty is about packaging. Know how to be honest, and use your discretion when deciding if it is appropriate.

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