Almost all of us claim we admire it. To a few of us, it's a deal-breaker. If you aren't honest with me - brutally honest - painfully honest - even if it isn't what you think I want to hear (and may well be!), if I catch you in a lie, it's the deal-breaker.
John at Left in Aboite recently posted about the "demerit" system for men when dealing with the women in their lives. A humorous example of the differences between men and women, but one sticks out - the ominous "Does this make me look fat?" question.
Being fat, I never bother to ask this question. I'd get the answer that Randy gives "What doesn't, Dear?" Randy's not known for his tact. That aside, I also have two eyes of my own and am able to tell that yes, in fact, I do look like a pregnant hippo in those jeans. If I do ever ask something like that, however, I'd really rather know the truth than to hear that I look fine and then look in the mirror and see something unfortunate.
Brutal honesty also means that sometimes we have to look at our own "Truths" and re-examine them in the light of other people's "Truths". One example that comes off the top of my head is that someone I respect told me that I need to work on something in my life. "No shit, Sherlock" was my initial non-verbal reaction, but my inner core said "Why? No. I don't think so"
The thing is, I've been hearing this same thing from a lot of people for a long time - but every time I have "reasons" why I can't or shouldn't or don't want to. Over the last month I've been giving some thought to that, and decided this time to do a bit of work on that very thing. And interestingly enough, it's made some changes.
Oh, not sweeping, monumental changes. Small ones, like smiling when I come down the stairs into the livingroom and see what I've done, or feeling proud of an accomplishment that I'd otherwise just shrug off as "routine". Taking pride in my accomplishments again instead of riding myself for what I've not accomplished has actually added to my strength, stamina and all-around energy, which has allowed me to increase the amount accomplished - which is the diametric opposite of the vicious circle that I'd allowed myself to spiral down. (Mixing metaphors is not something I'm all that worried about overcoming just this week...)
So yes, I should listen when I get "honest truth" from those I trust. Why would I trust someone if I think they would give me poor advice? Sometimes the glass actually IS half full.
Naturally once I've caught someone lying, however, I can't trust them anymore. Especially if I catch it out several times running. Yes, Conservatives, this means you!
I wonder what the world would be like if everyone gave some honest effort toward listening - and applying suggestions - when given honest (constructive) criticism? Not just taking what every Fred, Norm and Phil say as gospel, but listening to friends and family and that tiny little voice inside us?
642 days <-Note! Updated and corrected. Folks, we have 20 LESS days of misery than I previously thought. Not quite time to REJOICE - but 20 days sooner!