Billy Joel summed it up best when he sang ‘Honesty is such a lonely word’. Or perhaps the prize goes to Ronan Keating with ‘You say it best when you say nothing at all’. Well there is no disguising my musical era age!
Honesty is a tough one, we say we want an ‘honest opinion’.
‘Tell me honestly does this suit me?”
“Do you honestly think this will work?”
But what is it that we really want?
Our insta posts posed the question can you have too much honesty? And perhaps more importantly can we tell the truth about others if we don’t first tell our own truth?
The VIA strengths talk about honesty as living your life in a true and authentic way. Taking the time to reflect, indulge in a spot of naval gazing, get off the busy treadmill, put down your phone and engage with yourself. Work out what makes you tick, what are your priorities and what is important to you.
Perhaps Shakespeare sums it up best of all in Hamlet when Polonius says ‘To thine own self, be true” (Thank you, Year 12 Lit).
The first step towards honesty and supporting our children in developing honesty is to know yourself, what makes you tick, your strengths and weaknesses. The VIA strengths survey is a good starting point, and I’m rather partial to a girls’ weekend away for some thinking time!
Modelling this self-awareness is step 2. Talk your thinking aloud, it feels silly to start with but set that inner voice free and verbalise to your children what you’re thinking and how you work through different issues whilst staying true to yourself. Voice your doubts and your solutions.
Finally open up a dialogue with your children, about how their choices and decisions fit with their truth, and their happiness. The more we talk about it the easier it becomes to think it.
When we are comfortable with and confident in owning who we are and what makes us tick, we will stop asking others to be honest with us, because we will know the answer ourselves.