Rules of Friendship – Honesty

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few be deceit.” ~ Noel Coward

Honesty is not an easy trait to come by these days. In a world where you are basically forced to do better than the person next to you by any means necessary, it’s a trait that, at first glance, will not help you advance, but examining what honesty actually is and why it is so important will prove that it is arguably the most important characteristic that a person can have.

Being honest in any situation will almost always serve you better in the long run than any short term deceit.  For example, in a normal business transaction if you know that certain terms within whatever agreement is being made will harm either you, your business or your clients in the long run but in the short term offers a quick buck, the question should be raised on whether or not that’s transaction should happen. Another example would be if you make a decision to go to a certain school or work at a certain job and you are happy with that decision but you do it because someone else will be happy, then you should be honest about your feelings.


Someone I know was a used car dealer. The reason he’s successful at selling used cars is because he’s always honest about the history of the car in any future business dealings with him. If a car has been in an accident, he will tell the customer and allow them to make an informed decision because he understands the value of presenting his products honestly. Let’s say a customer bought a car and all the details of the history of the car were disclosed and something would happen to the customer that was directly related to the history of the car the used-car dealer would be liable in that situation. So while in the short term my friend can make a quick sale, he knows in the long run by not being honest that might come back to haunt him.

Another example that might be more relevant is let’s say that you’re deciding on where to go to college and your whole family has gone to a specific school and you know that you’ll be unhappy at that school, you’ll be better off being honest about that than going to school for years paying over $200,000 for degree that you’re not going to be proud of.

Let’s ignore money for a little bit. Now you’re out at a party and you see a cute girl so you walk up to and start talking. You hit it off and she starts asking more questions about you like what you do for work or what school you’re attending or if you play sports and you lie and tell her that you are Capt. of the varsity football team at the best high school in the state or that you tell your doctor we tell you go to an Ivy League school, you can easily get caught in that lie. Imagine that she knows somebody who plays on the football team or goes to that school, the quick lay you were trying to get now has backfired into your face.

If you feel you need to deceive someone in order to achieve something whether it’s getting laid or getting a promotion at work, then you obviously feel that you haven’t done enough to achieve it on merit alone. That should make you set some goals and give you a new direction this way in the future you won’t only be known as a hard worker who has achieved great things but also as an honest person I can be trusted.

The brief lesson here in honesty will come into play and all of your relationships especially friendships. A true friend is someone who understands when you’re being honest. They’ll accept your opinions and understand where you’re coming from as you build trust and they understand that you’re being honest with them consistently. If a friend is about to make that decision and you tell them that you think it’s a bad decision, then they will know they are speaking from the heart. It could be as simple as your friend comes over wearing an outfit you think is stupid, and you honestly tell them that you think their outfit is stupid maybe they’ll respect your opinion change or maybe they’ll just say “whatever it’s comfortable”. Either way you honest with them and little by little you can begin to build a deeper relationship.

Did I miss anything? You guys have any stories about honesty and friendships that you’d like to share? Sound off below the comments or of course over in the forms, I’m sure the whole community can learn something.